As I stated last week, I’m doing a bit of house cleaning here on the blog and over at the website. The website will take longer, as I really need to go to each page and update the content and information on all the dogs. Many have new titles, almost all need photo updates and each page needs a detailed look at the written content to update it for our current situation. I just noticed the ‘contact us’ section still had us listed as living in Texas. I kept wondering why people were saying “Ok, I’m confused. Do you live in Texas or Alabama!” Things like that need to be corrected.
With that said, I am pretty happy with my ‘theme’ choice. I wasn’t sure I was going to stick with this one, but I was able to adapt it to my old website using only a few key points by maintaining the old style, and fully integrate it on my blog with a complete change in look. They are now different enough in style that you can quickly tell you are on the static website or the more fluid blog. I’ll be editing and adding many more photos to the banner section of both sites. I want to fill it with so many photos you are unlikely to see many repeats when you visit and increase the time delay so they don’t scroll as quickly. That takes time so bare with me as I locate suitable photos, edit them to size, upload, and tweak. I’m also going to have to upgrade the mobile site design for phones and tablets. Changing out the look and feel of a blog and website is not a simple click of the button, though it is so much easier than when I started this journey long ago.
Speaking of my first website, I might as well impart upon you a bit of history. Let’s turn back the clock 18 years. I had just whelped and raised my first litter of puppies, a gorgeous group of Shiba Inu pups from my two AKC Champions. Shibas were rare at that time and finding suitable local homes was stressful to me. I had a great mentor, my good friend Sandi Smith of Dragon House Shibas. Sandi and I co-owned my foundation bitch Mia (AKC CH Ishiyama Naughty By Nature) and she bred my boy Jaxom (CH Dragonhouse Total Eclipse) Sandi sent me many great homes for that first litter, but I knew eventually I was going to have to locate homes myself. Sandi’s husband was in the Navy, so eventually they would move. Keith was half way through his residency and would be entering the Army in 2 years. Sandi and I both utilized the traditional show breeder method of selling puppies… ‘word of mouth’. The National Shiba Club of America offered a breeder referral service of which we were both listed, but again the audience was fairly limited. The internet was starting to take off and AOL offered a free website to each of their customers. I ventured in and set up my first site. It was basic and I was not happy with the editing program AOL provided. It was incredibly limited in what I could do on each page and the total number of pages allowed was five. Even then I had more to say than five pages could cover! I started reading, researching, and landed on a fairly new program called “Microsoft FrontPage”. The software was relatively new, but it offered What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) interface. I walked out of the store with a copy of the software and 3 large books: How to use Frontpage, how to set up a website on the net, and a basic HTML code book. I’d never written a line of code in my life, but I have always been a person who seeks out knowledge, because knowledge in any topic is never a waste. I could already see the limitations on hiring someone to run my site. Updates would cost money, every single time I wanted to change a photo it would cost more. That simply was not going to work for me.
Now with the advent of blogs I can prattle on about nothing for hours! Webpages are cheap by comparison and easy to maintain. I can make any one of you an contributor to this site and you could post your own information! I’ve done it before when Courtney whelped Georgie’s litter, essentially cutting out the middle man. Amazing stuff, my friends and I am happy to be a part of this information revolution.
With all that said, I need you guys to click on all the links here on the blog. Let’s make sure everything is functional. If you see something you previously used missing, please let me know. I might not have added everything back or the location could be hidden and needs to be moved. I wanted to change things up for a fresh look, but not so much everyone is lost. Thoughts and suggestions welcome. I can change just about anything, so don’t be shy if you need darker text or a different background. Speak up!