A word from your Friendly Neighborhood Webmaster....
Our long-awaited home page is finally ready, and in place. We are really excited about the new features and changes that have been added, and hope that everyone likes the new look and feel. Briefly, I'll run down what has been changed, added, as well as what is still to come.
The old home page was basically the same as the home page for our articles. It included a featured article, a featured photo, as well as some promotional text that allowed new visitors to see a little about what the site has to offer, as well as some shameless plugs for search-engine optimization. (I might as well be honest about it.)
The new homepage still has the featured photo, and the featured article, but now offers not only the current featured article, but the previous one as well. Also, the featured Article is now accompanied by featured content from all over the website. We will now be featuring Pedigrees and Classified ads that our members have posted (as long as these contain images or videos), and this featured content will be updated every 30 minutes. So if you place classified ads with us, there is a very good chance that your ad will be featured on our home page. Additionally, Items from our general store and photos and video galleries from our community will also be featured in this area. These items are placed on "tabs" in the featured content area, and the tabs will automatically change every so often. However, if you want to read, or view the tab for longer, simply hover your mouse over the information, and it will pause.
We are also very pleased to announce our first official contest. Every member now has the opportunity to enter to win a FREE Registered Missouri Foxtrotter! We have created an entire section of the site with information on how to enter by simply adding content to the site, so be sure and take a look at it. We have already added a small box on the front page about it with all of the links.
We also have added an area with some of our most popular links to the home page, and we still have our shameless search-engine text, although it should be a little more interesting to read, and actually had quite a bit of good information in it.
What's coming in the near future?
This new home page is actually just the first in a series of exciting improvements that we have planned. In the coming weeks, we will be making changes to the rest of the site so that all of the areas have the same color scheme, and look-and-feel.
We will also be adding some new features to the site, such as our upcoming review section.
Additionally, we realize that finding Wiki Articles can be challenging if you are not familiar with Wikis, so now that the new Home Page is in place, our Wiki home page will be undergoing it's own transformation. We plan to make it much easier to find articles by breaking the articles up into portals for much easier navigation.
Also, I do realize that there has been some issues with creating articles, and I am working to resolve these by continuing to refine our "What-You-See-is-What-You-Get" (WYSIWYG) editor. Once this editor is perfected, creating and editing articles will be a breeze. Unfortunately, we have had a few issues integrating the editor with our software. (We are using the same software for our articles that WikiPedia.org uses, and they don't provide an easy-to-use editor, so we are on our own with this one.) However, we will be resolving these issues, as well as continuing to add features to our editor over time.
Finally, we are very excited about our upcoming community upgrade which will add MANY new features to our member community and forums. This upgrade is still in the testing stages, so we will be announcing more about this later.