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  • Why WordPress?
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Using WordPress Blog for Historical Archive

We are unashamedly fans of WordPress, an opensource blogging platform-turned-Content Management System.

WordPress was conceived as a simple-to-use blogging script. If you search the web, you will find plenty of examples of straightforward blogs using WordPress, as well as many that wrap a conventional-looking site around a blog. Equally, however, plenty of complex, high-class web sites which wouldn’t immediately strike you as being WordPress-based, are based on this Content Management System. In short, WordPress offers a lot of power and flexibility for a small or medium-sized business, or for an individual.

wordpress monthly archive linksNearly all bloggers use blogging platforms to comment on the present. But it needn’t be so. I have recently been working on a ‘100-year-old-blog’, transcribing and presenting the letters of my grandfather to his mother during World War 1.

Presenting the letters using a blog platform has a number of advantages. Most of all, they are searchable by date, by tags, by word and so on, allowing the viewer rapidly to access the subjects or dates of interest to them.

I was curious to see whether this experiment would work, and in particular whether using dates prior to 1 January 1970 00:00:00, the UNIX ‘epoch time’, would cause difficulties. So far I have had no problems: the archiving and search functions work fine. Out of interest, I tried a series of much earlier dates. I think I have established that anything from 100AD onwards can be handled – so bad luck if you wanted to create a blog around Julius Caesar’s invasion of Britain!

Some WordPress functions still may be limited to using epoch time, but on the whole, WordPress would appear to hold out real possibilities to anyone looking to organise their family history or an archive,