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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Magically, a sitemap appears on FamilySearch.org

During the past few weeks, a number of bloggers discussed the issue of a sitemap on FamilySearch.org. It is nice to find that FamilySearch.org reads the blogs, because now a sitemap link has appeared at the bottom of the Startup page. Here is a screenshot showing the link:



A sitemap should give a listing of all of the pages of a website in a list format. The reason for having a sitemap is enable users to find pages that may be buried under a series of links. It also helps users who have found a page previously on the website, but somehow have "lost" the page in subsequent visits. Here is a screeshot of the current FamilySearch.org sitemap:


There are a few pages that need highlighting. These are pages that users should know about, but have previously been rather difficult to find or navigate to. I would highlight the following pages:

  • Product Support
  • Partner Products
  • Research Wiki
  • Family History Centers
  • International Genealogy (really the IGI)
Here is another screenshot with the above links outlined for reference:



Nice improvement. Of course, there are still those orphan pages out there that haven't been included in the site map because they are seemingly unconnected to FamilySearch.org. For example, the Consultants training page that is on LDS.org. See this screenshot:


3 comments:

  1. James, you say "During the past few weeks, a number of bloggers discussed the issue of a sitemap on FamilySearch.org. It is nice to find that FamilySearch.org reads the blogs . . ."

    Why exactly do you think the addition of a site-map has anything to do with recent blog posts?

    Absence of a site-map has been an obvious defect for years and was discussed, among other places, in the now-removed FS "Forums" rather a few times as well as in responses to various FS Blog posts, and over the past couple of years on the "getsatisfaction" message boards.

    Of course there is always room for improvement, but the site-map's appearance a couple of weeks ago was a welcome development. Imagine, no more hiding the wiki! No more hiding how to find FamilyHistoryCenters!

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  2. I also gave a presentation at the BYU Family History Conference last summer that was a site map of sorts and includes several things not on the main site map. It's getting out of date, of course, but I think still may have value for those trying to understand the various tools provided by FamilySearch, including some of the more obscure ones.

    URL List - For a list of URLs with some brief descriptions
    Screenshots - The presentation slides which is mostly screenshots of the URLs in the first link

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