Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ta Da! - New Website

We've lived with our old website for nearly 12 years so it was an interesting walk-down-memory-lane experience to revamp and redo a new site. Back when we originally built it (thank you Heather Capp), we had a very small roadmap for doing this work and no idea what the future would hold. We went into this project with a blind optimism that if we did some good work, some good things would happen for the dogs and their people. We were a pee-wee rescue group only trying to find a way to help the dogs that were standing right in front of us.

Building the new site has made me ever more appreciative of how much has changed over the years and the people we've met along the way. Jane Berkey and Stacey Coleman of Animal Farm Foundation, Ledy VanKavage of Best Friends Animal Society, Don Cleary and Karen Delise of National Canine Research Council - their bones and their wisdom are now a part of who we are and though you may not see them in our website, their good influence is inside so much of the content. So are the officers of our group who've been with us from the beginning and who embody the soul of pit bull activism: Christine Allen, Susi Ming, Linda Chwistek. And the diehard volunteers who are too big-hearted and too stubborn to walk away from this work: Kim Ramirez, Donyale Hoye, our incredible foster homes and dog handlers.

When the facebook based software company Zynga gave a gift to help us move our project into the future, it seemed like the right time to say good-bye to our past with a new and improved site. Your feedback is welcome as we pick at it, edit it, add to it and make this vision real. Thank you.


Kirsten (peacefuldog) said...

Congratulations--looks great! Thank you for all the work you do for pitties.

Anonymous said...

Looks fantastic, and so much to explore! Way to go!

goosie mama said...

So pittie and so pretty!

Tracy Wilson said...

Aww I LOVE it! Looks awesome-

Tina said...

It looks great guys! I love the English countryside background, but as a nit-picky thing, it's a bit busy for the pages with lots of text and content (at least, to me). The eye is automatically drawn to the donkey head, the rooster, and the milkmaid's apron while you're reading, so it detracts a bit. I love the idea of the background, but is there a way to fade it a bit for the text-heavy pages? The background for the barn blog is nice because it's neutral and more or less symmetrical, so it's pretty without being distracting. Something similar might be good.

Also, at least for my monitor, the main text body isn't quite centered because of the sidebar, so it makes the website seem a bit off-kilter.

I love the banners for the pages, and the use of the vintage photos, and the color behind the text. And of course the content is fantastic, which it would be even if your site was all white background and black text and blue links.

Feel free to disregard any of the critiques! For work I help critique posters and powerpoints for presentations, but rarely the website, so I may be comparing apples to oranges.

Anonymous said...

The new website looks amazing! Thank you so much for everything you do for the breed. I frequently send people to your website to educate themselves when I receive negative comments for owning a pit baby. Keep up the good work!


Donna said...

Thanks so much all. And thanks for your honest and wise critique Tina. I agree -- Busy, busy! We wanted a site that matched the inside of our swirling headspace, so people could experience the richness of the dogs - So, welcome to our brains! I agree that there's a lot to look at. Sort of like living with a pit bull - lots of action, not much rest. We aren't big on white wall space, so my suggestion to anyone who is distracted by the farm scene is to squeeze your window up so only the content box shows. It also seems to show best in Chrome.

We'll be adding more content as time goes on (more pages) and will likely announce those additions on the fb page as they come up. And we're very open to content suggestions. Since our site caters to everyone from 12 year olds learning about dogs to executive directors of shelters and other non-profits, our goal is to meet the needs of as many minds as possible around the topic of bringing humane approaches to the challenges these dogs face. You are us, we are you. And all that. Thanks again.

One voice counts said...

Just flipping love this new site. Love wee small font size for menu items at top leaving space for way cool cascading elements. Makes me think of sitting at a long oak kitchen table with a box of photographs -- spreading them out, grouping the memories and the moments. L o v e the barnyard background, the vintage photographs joining the barnyard, the movement. Very exciting. Definitely a Tony the Tiger G R E A T ! Major kudos to all on concept, design, willingness to take it all the way. You guys hop. Beeg time.