Our New Look: Something to Howl About

Small chihuahua dog sitting on floor isolated over white backgroundAARTexas.org is excited to announce the launch of our new website! OK so it’s not really a new website, merely a refresh – at least from your eyes. We know the last update (almost a year ago) was a major overhaul, and this time we’ve fine-tuned some things behind the scenes.

TL;DR: Blame the webmaster for any glitches. Found  a problem? Let her know. She can be reached at [email protected] for complaints and proper tongue-lashings.

We’ll apologize in advance for any technical surprises that may pop up over the next few days, but rest assured we’ve got a lot of eyes on the website and will be working quickly to attack any issue that we see.

Rebuilt From the Ground Up

Only the keenest of eyes might notice a few differences, but unbelievably, this version was built from scratch. We attempted to keep the design similar so that our dedicated supporters wouldn’t roll over in horror. Plus, we really did love the initial redesign.

Here’s a list of some of the improved features for the curious.

MAJOR CHANGES

Blog
Our online version of the newsletter will be easier to read! If you recall, the emails are being reduced, but from now on all the newsletters will be on the website as well.

Map and Phone Options
Poke around the website and look for our address or phone number.  For mobile users, we’ve integrated a new Click-to-Drive feature to help you navigate to us easier! Click on our address anywhere you see it, and you’ll have the option to drive with Google Maps, Apple Maps (MacOS/iOS users only), or Waze.

For mobile users, and users with Click-to-Call enabled on your desktop, anywhere you see our phone number will be clickable! No more trying to memorize the number while switching apps, or copy/pasting the phone number into the dialer.

Impact Counter
2018 ImpactDid you notice the Impact Counter on our home page? This will hopefully serve as a reminder to our volunteers how much impact they’re making in our community by donating their time to the Abandoned Animal Rescue.

We are incredibly proud of everybody’s efforts, and wanted to showcase that.  Look for this counter to change annually!

Privacy Policy
In keeping with our dedication to full transparency, we have added a new Privacy Policy page that will inform our website users what data we may have to collect.

IMPROVEMENTS

Navigation
By reducing the number of, and reorganizing, pages on our site – along with putting more actionable links on the homepage – we’ve made it easier for you to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Events Page
Our Events Page was overhauled and revamped! The new page now includes additional details; each listing now includes a “Learn More” link.

Kitty Cam Visibility
Hover over the word “Blog” in the menu at the top of the page. We’ve made it easier to see whether there are kitties showing off, right from where ever you are on our website!

Kitty Cam Preview
Preview of the Kitty Cam Menu. No kitties at the time of this blog post!

It’s not a live ongoing image (when hovering in the menu), but just a screencap of the kitty cam when you first loaded the page you’re on.  It all happened behind-the-scenes, and you didn’t even realize it! Click somewhere else on our website and that image will refresh again.  You can then click the picture to be taken to the actual live kitty cam!

Go on; check it throughout the day to see how that image refreshes!

Side note: Having the always-live view in the menu would not have been ideal, as it would have added to the page-load time, and speed is always a priority when deciding what factors go into building a website.

Geeky Things
The absolutely normal people can just skip this part. The rest of you would probably like to know the mechanics of the back-end, which is bulleted below:

  • CMS: WordPress
  • Theme: Astra base (free), customized for AAR with Elementor pb, updated for a more responsive design on both desktop and mobile
  • Site Speed Improvements: CDN, gzip, cache, lossy/lossless and adaptive images, lazy-loading images, WebP images, on-the-fly processing, flying pages (replaces Quicklink), unloading assets per page
  • Back-end improvements: white-labeled, reordered menus for ease of admin navigation, custom shortcodes built into functions, anti-spam, backups, custom user roles, built-in analytics
  • Things that add no real value but are super-fun anyway: Responsive mega-menu,  accordions on various pages, off-canvas on various pages, dancing “donate” button, custom Google Maps appearance, auto-updating copyright in footer for less website babysitting

“THANKS, I HATE IT”

Just kidding; we know you probably don’t hate it. If you do notice something that’s gone awry, doesn’t work as it should, or just want to give praise, adoration, suggestions…. or maybe some crab legs….  to the designer/builder of the website, please contact Christine Clauder by emailing [email protected].  We promise she doesn’t get her feelings hurt easily, and she also really likes crab legs.

 

 

1 thought on “Our New Look: Something to Howl About”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Drive With
X