I use FindAGrave quite a bit in my research. It can be a great way to get pictures of tombstones that I otherwise would not be able to. Transcriptions of stones (when they are actual transcriptions and not borderline biographies) are great as well.
The rest of it I can take or leave as sometimes it seems like FindAGrave is getting beyond it’s original purpose. I generally don’t use the other memorial information–unless there’s an obituary with a date and place of publication. That’s my personal preference.
But the update.
I know that the old site needed an update so that it displayed better and worked better on phones. There may even have been some programming on the site that needed to be updated. I understand why there are ads on the site.
But why does each FindAGrave page feel like a very old MySpace page? Couldn’t they have modernized the display, updated the code, and kept the ads without using the layout format they chose?
I find myself doing less browsing of memorials on FindAGrave since the change.
Note: For the time being the old interface can be accessed at http://old.findagrave.com
38 thoughts on “The FindAGrave Interface”
I liked the nice concise format of the old Find A Grave. Now you have to scroll, scroll, etc. to see all the information. I realize that change happens, but they could have made it more friendly.
I do, too. I am not at all impressed with the new site. In fact, i am saddened. I don’t know or understand the reason for the change, it isn’t helpful.
mary emerson-smith says:
there are pop-up-ads now! in the past, i have sponsored (for 5.00) the sites for my loved ones to prevent advertising. i don’t know if we will be able to do this once the old site disappears .sadly, i am going to have to leave this site. i used to love it, especially connecting deceased
relatives to each other, getting their dates corrected, asking or adding photos. it was a meaningful hobby. ancestry has ruined it.
Ruth Gray says:
I agree! Perhaps with enough comments they’ll soon update the update.
Lynn Nelson says:
Don’t hold your breath.
Ken Nagel says:
I’m not sure what is wrong with the original format it displayed just fine on my phone. It might make sense if they said they wanted to up date to add things like GPS but, that’s not their claim.
The problem isn’t one of aesthetics. The problem is it’s going to chase contributors away. Myself included. I’m not going to waste my time building someone else’s site when it looks like crap.
I’m not even going to spend that much time there. if I get a hit on Family Search I’ll follow through and look at the page while remembering when times were better. The bottom line is this site belongs to Ancestry now and they’ve never purchased a competitor that they didn’t kill off.
I agree, after posting for 15 years I have given up. So much information has been lost. They have become very unfriendly and, as you say, I don’t need to spend my volunteer time for their monetary gain.
Victoria Brown says:
I figure a fee unless you have the “world” subscription to Ancestry is the next thing around the corner! Who knows they make have already built into this new site some extras they aren’t displaying and won’t display until they make it a “pay to use’ site…if my gut is right!
Amy Daniel says:
I totally agree! It has gone from being a user friendly site to one that is frustrating because of all the wasted space.
I’m leaving there, too. Why would I contribute to a site that serves itself rather than the community it was designed for. And the ADDS! Good grief. I can’t say as I was ever thinking about buying a pizza or a new car when I went to findagrave. But now! Now I can do both at the same time before I even see all the information for the memorial.
The memorial page now takes up more space than will show on my 23 inch monitor so it’s scroll, scroll, scroll. And that works better on a phone?
And another thing, who works on genealogy on a phone? Take a photo and upload it. WORK on my family tree on a phone? Never.
David Ballard says:
I do occasionally work on my tree on a phone, but only about 1-2% of the time. I am in total agreement about the new site, and almost always go back to the old format. Unfortunately, I know those days are numbered. I do not begrudge Findagrave making money, heck, I am certain that it is a lot of work! And I would probably pay a modest fee to be free from the ads. (read MODEST, FindaGrave). But i do hate scrolling and having things all spread out over several screens. When there is an obit with good information, I like to cut and past onto my family tree, but this layout is not very conducive to that. I want my old FindAGrave back!
Lynn Nelson says:
They want it to work better with phones so more photos get taken. Unfortunately the vast majority of those photos are complete crap. There are people who use their phone or iPad to photograph that are amazing. This change will Bring in people who don’t care if the photo is legible or not. I’ve already seen a lot of photos after the rollout that are trash.
Diane Gould Hall says:
I truly loved this site. What a w default way to remember our ancestors and even help others find theirs. BUT, the “so called” update is incredibly bad! I won’t reiterate all the things mentioned in previous comments here, but ditto to all of them.
SADLY, I know thousands of us have left feedback letting them know what is wrong. I have probably left at least 50 feedback comments over the past several months. THEY HAVE NOT LISTENED TO A SINGLE ONE. Not one change has been made, so what’s the point any more?
I belong to groups and communicate with hundreds of users who are saying the exact same things about the new site and not one thing has been changed.
I know the programmers have the capability to make our beloved site a place we want to be, but they choose not to. I talked to a beginner genealogist just last night and she said she is dumbfounded by the difficulty in using the new site compared to the old.
We are doomed and so is our beloved website.
I totally agree, liked the old way much better
Sloan Mason says:
I liked the old Findagrave, that I have been using on my phone for years! Worked great! Hate the new update! Plus I told them so!
Lisa Gorrell says:
I agree with everyone above and dread each time I go to the site. Too many ads and empty space. It’s hard to tell what is the results/memorials and what isn’t.
There is one good new feature on the site. I go to Save To on the memorial page and save to The Clipboard. Then I can paste the information from the memorial into whatever program I want –Word, Powerpoint, RootsMagic notes page — and I have all the pertinent information. Before when I copied and pasted, I had to delete a lot of extra stuff.
P Young says:
The new programs are SO difficult to use! Very poor design.
Janice Halnen says:
Old site definitely better.
Marie Morris says:
I don’t care for the new site at all please bring back the old one. Sometimes change is not so good.
LInda S-H says:
Absolutely agree with all of the above. It seems to be a disease that infects website designers that makes them have to change things that don’t need changing, and the result is almost always worse than the original.
Karyl Hubbard says:
Job security. Hate the new site, though, The old one was concise, easy to navigate from one spot to another.
The new site does fit better on a mobile screen than the old site did. That’s a plus when you are working from the cemetery.
Leave it to ancestry to ruin a free source. The nee look is awful with all the ads and not user friendly. Keep the orginal please.
Sue Malek says:
I teach a genealogy class, I did a “hands up” poll this past week and asked everyone if they liked the new format or not? The majority said they did not care for the new format.
Robert S. says:
They made it clear a long time ago, they don’t care what customers think on any issue. They go their own way and the main reason for this change was twofold. 1) To make Find-A-Grave look like Ancestry; 2) increased ad revenue.
Best way to void their second reason is to install a good ad blocker and have it block all or most of the ads on Find-A-Grave. You have to be careful as some sites don’t allow ad blocker usage, but so far Ancestry hasn’t made that a requirement. Next best way is to slow down or stop adding memorials and reduce amount of visits if you aren’t using an ad blocker program. Both of these hit them where they hurt – the pocketbook. Another thing is to see who is placing ads on the site and contact them and let them know you will never buy a product from them because they are advertising on Find-A-Grave. If enough people do it to enough advertisers, Find-A-Grave suddenly finds itself without a lot of companies willing to buy ad space on the site.
I agree with the comments here — and would echo his comment about the information left that is not on the stone itself or in an attached obit. For example, someone posted that an ancestor of mine, 68 when the Civil War began had served in the CSA throughout the entire war. Possible, but exceedingly unlikely. After a lot of research, I determined that the soldier was a different (much younger) man with the same name. Still , I recently tracked down someone who had posted that an ancestor of mine was from Soultz-sous-Forêts in Alsace and got a helpful tip to the Bas-Rhin Archive, which I hadn’t known about before. Thanks to the tip, I’ve been able to get past a substantial brick wall. So . . . like others’ trees on ancestry, take what’s posted as possible beginning points for research, not as truth.
Jim Rogers says:
Discouraging as it may be, we need to keep hammering them with our comments so that HOPEFULLY they will wise up and return to the simple older format. I’ll stop using the site so much too, when I can no longer access the old format.
Stephanie Landis says:
I looked at the new site twice and then reverted to the old site. The new site was either designed by IT people with no knowledge of family history or was deliberately designed to drive people away.
Features I miss: Seeing all the family links on one page. Seeing my profile on one page AND from that page search for one of my memorials.
Features I don’t like: Page, Page, Page, Scroll, Scroll, Scroll. The similarity to Ancestry’s site (I didn’t like their last update and have become a fan of Family Search as a result).
I’m about to drop out of Find A Grave. When sites become hard to use or take to long to extract information from, they are not performing as they should.
Rodney Green says:
I used to rely on Findagrave almost daily when researching over the last 8-10 years. Since the new Findagrave format was launched, I only log on as a last resort. It is virtually unusable and definitely user-unfriendly.
Marian Johnnson says:
I have actually had the thought of going back and savings copies of the old pages before they go away, rather than dealing with the new page.
I do that. But the volume of pages I want is overwhelming!
Ancestry will not ever change no matter what the paying or nonpaying customers ask. NEVER. They have a monopoly so why should they? Job security for the computer graduates; all those jobs created!
I am not participating in findagrave anymore. I contemplated removing all the memorials I have added and photos I’ve uploaded but that seems like punishing innocent people.
And wait and see. It will be behind a pay wall within 5 years.
J l Stevens says:
The FindAGrave movers and shakers are totally out of touch with the loyal olde time users.
Or the ‘once loyal’ users at least.
Sad, very sad, to see a good thing deliberately screwed up for no good reason.
Scott Eisenuth says:
Findagrave has gone from easy to use to frustrating. Info found easily on the old site is now hard to find.
The only purpose of the update seems to be to give space to cram as many ads as possible on to the site.
My Use of the site has gone way down because of the new design.
Lynn Wenzel says:
This change is completely NOT user friendly. I loved the old site. Hate the new. Why oh why do people screw with things like this. You know the old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”
I’m another long term FAG contributor. I have thousands of memorials up. But I’m not sure if I will continue. While I understand the old site needed some updates and I fully understand the need for ads, this “New FAG” is a huge failure. Everything is so spread out. Scroll, scroll, scroll….. And the Ads are unbelievable. I’ve counted up to 35 on one page. And some of the pop up videos ads drive me off the site. Things need to change, but is FAG listening?
The new FindAGrave looks horrible, works horribly and is a total detriment to the genealogical and historical world… And a slap in the face to the thousands of volunteers!
Robert S. says:
Sadly, they killed the old site on August 20, 2018 and even created a Famous memorial for it on the site: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/192415894/original_find_a_grave. Before they killed it, you could still access it by replacing www with old.