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ForFamilies.com first went online in early 1996 with the intended purpose of publishing my family history for the enjoyment of my immediate and extended family. Over the years, ForFamilies grew to become something much larger than originally envisioned with the addition of sections devoted to cooking, education and travel. Readership grew dramatically as content expanded reaching a peak of about 80,000 monthly readers in 2000.
During this time of rapid growth, web technologies also developed allowing us to add many new features like interactive forums and books from Amazon.com. ForFamilies.com ultimately took on the look in the screen capture shown here. Unfortunately, along with large numbers of genuine readers came an increasingly troublesome problem of hackers. By 2006 we began to notice serious hacker attacks which forced us to step up security measures. Bye late 2008 the hacker attacks reached a level that could no longer be properly addressed using the then 12 year old programming of the original ForFamilies.com web site. The increasing security concerns combined with the aging graphical design forced a temporary shut down of the site.
After significant development work behind the scenes, ForFamilies.com was re-opened on December 16, 2009 in the form you see today. The site is now based on the Joomla! Content Management System and hosted on significantly more robust and secure servers. I am confident this new technology will serve the needs of ForFamilies’ readers for many years to come. Still, much work remains to be done. Many thousands of pages from the old site have yet to be converted to the new CMS system. However, I am encouraged by the new direction ForFamiles is taking and by the response of our readers. I am also very excited about the potential for future expansion of ForFamilies.com made possible by our new system. Some features currently being developed include an expanded Learning Center with interactive lessons, a family history publishing program that will provide a means for ForFamilies readers to publish their own family histories in a safe and secure environment and a collaborative pedigree charting system.
The future looks bright. I invite you to join other ForFamilies readers in this most rewarding journey of discovery. Follow the site navigation links to learn more about ForFamilies.com or subscribe to our regular e-mail newsletter containing ForFamilies.com news and announcements of new features.
Jonathan Carter, Executive Editor