© 2010-2017 Nick M. Gombash


Original "Tree" logo design by happymeluv at Vecteezy.com

Graphic design by Dániel Gerhát

Useful links


Daniel (02/10): The lock icons have been changed to "Coming Soon" ones so hopefully there won't be any more questions about unlocking content on the site.

Daniel (11/03): I've reworked the footer and created a "blank blog image" which could be used for blog posts without any pictures. (See the "Welcome to the new Hungary Exchange site!" post on the right.) The dimensions of that image are 555x354 and if we were to keep these dimensions for every blog picture, we could anticipate how tall the "Blog" section would be on the homepage at all times. This would come in handy because we have content to the left and below it, and I don't want to have large gaps because of the changing content. Ideas? (I have already set up two posts with images matching these dimensions.) I have also made those tiled links at the bottom (just above this text). The homepage should be more or less finished now, we need a featured website to display and something to fill up the gap to the right of it. (I've written some text there, but we need something better there. I could put a blank advertisement image which we could later change to whatever we want - maybe the Memrise course if I ever get to it.) The last thing should be adjusting the blog posts on the right and then deleting these temporary posts at the bottom. Lastly, the cursive database is now accessible through the guides section, not the database. (Corresponding links have been changed too.)

Daniel (11/07): A quick update: I've created a sample page called "blank-Header-idea", you can find it at the bottom of the list of pages. It's basically just an idea of a different header we could use with the tree logo. It looks more modern and clean, although we'd need to change the background color for all pages (excluding the homepage) for it to fit it. (Because of the white label -> white on white interferes.) Which one do you like better? The original one or this sample?
Nick (11/28): I like the look on blank-Header-idea with the logo, but I don't think it's the way to go. I much prefer the white we have now.

Daniel (12/02): Okay, so let's keep the design this way. Do you need help with anything else? We should finish up the homepage somehow.

Nick (12/04): I spent a few hours the other day using the FAQ app to create a rough database with all the content available, linked up. I figured we could use that while we work on something greater to later supplement it with - I'd rather get the site up and continue working on the larger project it in the background.

-Let me know what you think needs adding to the Home page, I made some changes.

Daniel (12/05): I agree, the sooner it's up the better. The Home page looks good, although I'd prefer the featured site image to not have that shadow because I feel like it kind of throws off the design. Would you mind if we changed that to a simple image with no borders/shadows/etc? Otherwise, I think it's good to go, we just have to link the title and the image to the site. Also, the FAQ app is the one used for the index now, right? I like it, it looks clean and easy to navigate.
Nick (12/05): I linked the featured site title and image, and changed the shadow background - I wasn't feeling it either, was just playing around with it and planned on changing it back. Yes, the FAQ app is what I used for the index. I had searched Google trying to find an expandable menu option to use on Wix and the FAQ app is literally the only thing available on Wix right now. I was worried about limitations at first, but I was able to input all the counties. I'm glad you like it - it's very simple and clean-cut. Feel free to tweak the settings with colors, etc. if you want.

Further ideas for the homepage: I've set up a slideshow above, which could display the latest news and notices from the Hungarian and international archives. I'm subscribed to a lot of official newsletters from these archives and could update them when I see something worth publishing. I'd also have to find images for each, together with permission to use them, but that's not that big of a problem really. Once we get the website up and running, and fill it with content, I could reach out to these archives to get some kind of a recognition if you want me to. (I know they acknowledge and partner with MACSE, but that's mainly for Hungarians, and this is the biggest international community.) Ultimately, I want this homepage to be something, which is worth coming back for: constant updates, news, etc. (Fortunately, the blog posts will update themselves once you post something new.) I've also been thinking about creating an "On this day" type of thing, which would display a short message of what happened each day. I haven't really found an easy way to do it (besides updating it manually each day, which would be impossible), so I might leave it for later.

Nick 10/4: I really like this idea and am open to it, if you're up for the work with updates. Lucrezia was always good about that with the MACSE updates and getting noteworthy things publicized.

Daniel 10/5: Definitely, it wouldn't be that much work either, so I'll start collecting material for this.

I'm also thinking about putting some quick links at the bottom. (Four would look decent.) One would redirect you to the Facebook group, and the other three are up for debate. I'm thinking of a design similar to those tiled buttons on the database and guides pages, but these would be more like squares, and aligned horizontally, not touching each other.

Nick 10/4: Do you mean in the footer above the copyright info? I like the idea of it, but can't immediately think of anything other than the FB group to link to. Maybe the blog, but there's the main button for it at the top of the page. We can think on it - let me know if you come up with any other ideas.

Daniel 10/5: I was thinking above the footer actually, this could be the "end" of the page, just so it doesn't feel that empty. The FB group could be one, then we could maybe make one for the family tree charts that I'm going to do later (something like a starter kit type of thing). Another idea is to create buttons for the most frequently used online resources: FamilySearch, Ancestry, Hungaricana, AdatbázisokOnline, etc. I actually like this idea better.

Thematic and seasonal headers: Speaks for itself, but do we want to use special headers for Christmas/the Holidays, Halloween, Easter, March 15, August 20, etc? I think it would be cool :)

Nick 10/4: Yes! Definitely for all the major holidays, both in America and Hungary. Can you create any of the headers? Have you ever heard of fiverr.com? We can always try using that if you're not up for making something - I know a few people who've used it and liked it.

Daniel 10/5: I'm always up for making stuff. :) I've heard about fiverr.com though, but never tried it, especially since I'm trying to learn graphics myself. We could gather these major holidays into a list first with ideas (e.g. March 15 - Hungarian national holiday - original header with a tricolor cockade), I'll start working on them, and if I can't come up with something, or we don't like what I've done, we can try fiverr.

Logo: We have this label, which I think is a pretty solid design element and I'd like to have it as our primary logo, but I've also been thinking about creating a secondary logo, maybe a tree (what else :P). I might be able to throw some sketches together this weekend. If I am, I'll make sure to send them over. Also, would you like me to create some stationary templates? Would it be of any use? I'm pretty interested in doing some, so let me know.

Nick 10/4: Yes to a secondary logo - perhaps a more formal one. At least, that's what I think of when I think stationary. It'd be great to have the templates for any reason we may need them. Again with fiverr on this, if you're not up for it. Everything you create is fantastic though, to be honest.

Daniel 10/5: I've started looking at these free vector pages and similar sites to collect some inspiration, so I do have some ideas. Stationaries will be child's play afterwards, I just have to come up with something. It's gonna be fiverr if I give up, but I usually don't.

Family tree charts: Speaking of paper, I'll definitely throw some free charts together, like the ones on Family Tree Magazine.com Free stuff is always good, I've learned that in college. :D

Nick 10/4: Great idea, and providing them in Hungarian would be beneficial also - or perhaps both languages on one chart

Daniel 10/5: Noted. I'll gather some from other sites, see which format(s) work the best and I'll get to it.

Progress: I've uploaded the guides for the 1715 and 1720 conscriptions. The only one remaining is the 1828 Land Census, but I'm struggling with the translation of some of the Latin text in it. Do you know anyone who could help me out with it? I'm looking forward to finishing up the capital letters for the 1700's cursive database in the near future. (It's a really slow process unfortunately, so I might only be able to do it on weekends.) Have you heard from Magda about the 1869 Census index yet? Should I lock that page at launch too?

Nick 10/4: I have talked to Magda about her 1869 project and the files are stuck on a computer that's broken down at the moment. Once she can take it in and get the hard drive backed up, she'll send the files - but there's no saying when that'll happen. So, yes, we should lock the 1869 page at launch.

Daniel 10/5: Okay, locked it!

Blog: I have two topics in mind, which could develop into great series:

- occupations (like the meaning of gazda - there's been a pretty hot debate over this in the past few weeks)

- Hungarian phonetics and spelling (such as why some surnames have letter Ö's instead of E's, e.g. Szegedi-Szögedi)

I'll deal with these later, I want to get the site's core stuff up and ready.

Nick 10/4: Yes yes yes! There are many occupations that routinely pop up in the group and having a complete list with explanations would really help. Many native Hungarian speakers have explained what they mean in the group, so we could extract that information from the threads if we find it.

Daniel 10/5: What about giving some FB group members the opportunity to have their success stories published through our blog, and of course linking to their own blog if they have one? It would be simple and could bring some diversity. Have them write their own post, provide their own photos, we would go over the whole thing, format it, include the credits and the link to their site, and that's it. There are some posts popping up from time to time in the group about how great some researchers' trips were and people seem to love them.

Some extra: Do you know Memrise.com? If not, this is a language learning site (focused on teaching words), which allows anyone to create free courses. (I'm using it to learn German vocabulary.) I was thinking of throwing together a thematic course designed for Hungarian genealogy. (Strictly after the site is done.) Thoughts?

Nick 10/4: I'm not familiar with the website, though I just took a quick look, but this sounds like a fantastic idea! I wonder if there's a way to incorporate images along with specific words throughout the course - like taking them from the parish records, so they can see an actual example of it being written in script.

Daniel 10/5: There IS a way to upload images for each word, and that's a great idea! I'm not sure how those are shown while learning, but I'll try it out.

The Index

This is a hell of a lot work to do, so don't hesitate to call on me for help.

Nick 10/4: I know and I haven't even begun it - I'll start on that today.

Things to do:

- replace PNGs with JPEGs to improve performance

- homepage/ header: change Est. 2012 to Est. 2010 (DONE)

- homepage/ footer, with horizontal tiled buttons/links?

- homepage/ slide1: "I don't mind the image of the bridge - what about changing it to the yellow 'hover' color on the database button images?" (DONE)

- newsletter/ layout (DONE)

- blog/ delete temporary posts (DONE)

- guides/ given names / wording and format

- contact us/ set email for the contact form (DONE)

- contact us/ paypal donate button (DONE)

Documents & databases to finish until launch:

- database/ cursive / 1700's / capital letters

- guides/ reading hungarian relationships

- guides/ 1715 &1720 conscription (DONE)

- guides/ 1828 land census

- database/ Hungarian Marriage Project (DONE)

              + documentation

- database/ 1848 project

              + documentation

- database/ the index

Pages intended to be locked at launch:

- database/ 1869 census

              + documentation

- military research

- law repository

- cursive/ 1600's, 1800's, 1900's

- shop (not locked, just not set up)

(Once every other thing has been finished, these are the projects I want to continue working on)