I’m Louis Kessler, a long time programmer and genealogist, living in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
I’ve always been interested in finding the right software package for me to enter all my family information and help me in my genealogy hobby. I’ve tried many different ones, and found some things I like in all of them as well as some things I don’t like.
To keep track of these, in 1997, I created “Louis Kessler’s Genealogy Software Links” page for my website. I maintained it as an organized list of all the programs available. I included links to the program websites as well as to independent reviews of each program. I even subjectively picked the ones I liked best. I always kept it up to date, adding, changing and deleting programs as that happened.
That page actually became very popular with over 400,000 hits, it was mentioned in several articles, over 200 websites have linked to it, and it ranked quite high in many Google search queries.
But I always wanted more information there than just a having a list of programs. I wanted to find out what people liked and didn’t like in each of the programs. I wanted an interactive site, one that allowed anyone to review and rate their genealogy software.
I was inspired many years back by what deja.com did. They created a shopping service, and as part of that, it had user rating pages for various types of software. One of their pages was for Genealogy Software. Users rated the software for Features, Performance, Ease of Use, and Cost/Benefit. There were over 2500 user ratings for 40 different programs. I thought it was a great tool.
But then Deja ran into monetary problems and Google bought them out and kept their Usenet discussion group archive, and dropped their shopping service. Unfortunately, the Genealogy Software rating pages were dropped as well. That was in 2001.
Since then, I’ve wanted to convert my Genealogy Software Links page into something more interactive like Deja’s page. I even purchased an ASP script to do it, but there would have been a lot of work to customize and set it up, and I wasn’t ready to get into that.
In the first half of 2008, I converted my Behold Blog over to using WordPress. During that time I developed quite an expertise in WordPress as I heavily customized it to make it just the way I wanted. Not much later, I stumbled across a nice plugin that appeared to be just what I needed to help make the Genealogy Rating site that I wanted.
It took about 4 weeks of work in August and September 2008 to create the site and customize it to my liking. It turned out even better than I expected, because it not only allows ratings, but it allows full reviews as well, and there’s all sorts of filtering, links, a search tool, a simple yet inviting design, and many other features I hope you’ll like.
Most of all, I look forward to see the reviews and ratings that are submitted, and I hope you do too.
p.s. This site is safe and is NOT monitoring you in any way and cannot spam you because it doesn’t even ask for your email address. For more info on this or a number of other subjects, see the FAQ.