RootsWeb Still Off-line And Going To Be For a While

I tried to find a US GenWeb Kentucky county site, but it’s on RootsWeb and I received the following message:

RootsWeb is currently unavailable

We have been in the process of improving the site throughout 2017, and as a result of an issue we recently became aware of, we have taken the site offline while we work to resolve it. We take the security of our contributors and our viewers seriously. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but protecting our users’ personal information is our top priority.

Update: January 9, 2018

We have spent the last few weeks reviewing the functionality on RootsWeb and have created a plan to bring many of your contributions back online over the next few months. As we stated before, our first priority is security, and ensuring that every part of RootsWeb meets our stringent security standards. Our next priority is getting you, the users of RootsWeb and its services, access to your content.

Right now, the best way for us to meet both goals is to begin bringing portions of RootsWeb back online in a read-only state. This means you will have access to content, but you will not be able to load new content in these sections. While this may not be ideal, it is the best way for us to protect RootsWeb users while also providing the ability to use the content you value. This is an interim step while we continue to evaluate the potential for bringing more of the RootsWeb services back online in a more complete manner.

Here’s our current plan:

Hosted Web Sites: Soon we will begin bringing Hosted Web Sites back online. We will start with a few hundred and then add more over time, giving us a chance to scan the content.

Family Trees/WorldConnect: Family Trees or WorldConnect allows you to upload a GEDCOM file and publish it for others to see. It is currently being reviewed by our software engineers and security team and we plan on having a read-only, searchable version up in the next few weeks. The ability to upload new GEDCOM files will be available in the coming months.

Mailing Lists: Mailing Lists have been functioning as normal, but the archives have been unavailable. We plan to make the archives available to you once we have WorldConnect available to you in a readable version.

We will be making decisions about other functionality over time.

We appreciate your patience as we bring the different pieces of RootsWeb back online in a secure manner. You, our contributors and viewers, are what has made RootsWeb the vibrant free genealogy community it is.

The RootsWeb Team

Looks like they are slowly trying to bring stuff back. For those genealogical and historical societies and other groups and websites that rely only on RootsWeb, let’s hope this is a wake-up call to them to have back-up plans in place for the next time RootsWeb goes down for a prolonged period. It’s never a good move to have your eggs solely in one basket, especially when that basket is run by Ancestry is great when it works, but when it has a major issue like this, it can take months or longer before Ancestry figures out the solution.

Let me be one of the first to encourage those societies and other groups to create a back-up plan while you wait for RootsWeb to come back online. Hopefully, you have back-up files that you can access to create a back-up site; you can always deactivate it once RootsWeb is back up, but if you keep it updated, you won’t be blindsided the next time RootsWeb or Ancestry goes down. It may be a pain to do this, but if your only web presence is currently unavailable for a very long time, then you and any potential supporters are missing out. There are any number of free options out there which may be useful (WordPress, Blogger/Blogspot, etc.).

I had a similar situation happen to me, but it was the result of an update to The Event Calendar that bricked my old website which was on WordPress. Thankfully, I had made a back-up a few days before my old site got bricked and I downloaded it to my computer before it was too late. If you run across links on my site that don’t work, please let me know and I will fix them if possible.




About ICT Genealogist

Originally from Gulfport, Mississippi. Live in Wichita, Kansas now. I suffer Bipolar I, ultra-ultra rapid cycling, mixed episodes. Blog on a variety of topics - genealogy, DNA, mental health, among others. Let's
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