Welcome to the New and Improved Website!

dog welcome home
Notice a change around these parts?

In an effort to streamline our practices, make the most of volunteer time and skills, and to fix our awful mobile website we’ve built a new and improved website!

The new website is more modern looking and includes lots of storytelling images. We think it fits better with the personality of Zoe’s and our brand. We’ve also improved the menus and navigation. We sat down and looked at the website from the user’s perspective to see what should be where. We also took a look at the websites of some of our friends in the rescue community to see what we thought they were doing better than us.

But it’s not just good looks. We’ve reinvented the entire back end of the site.

(for those of you who hate technical jargon, please scroll to the end of this list. For nerds like me, ENJOY!)

We’ve added:
  • improved Search Engine Optimization;

This means our website will be found more easily in searches!

Not only do we actually have a mobile site now, but it’s developed from the ground up to work for mobile users.

  • cross-browser compatibility;

Whether it’s Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome, you will have a great user experience.

  • integrated social media;

Sharing buttons on blog posts and now on adoptable animals; please share our animals! We’ve also added a spot for our Instagram feed and our blog posts on every page.

  • clearer, more graphically pleasing storytelling pictures;

We’ve been very strategic about the images we have chosen for the website. We wanted pictures that were beautiful, told a story about Zoe’s and were formatted well. We also added photos on all our pages.

  • advanced caching;

This helps the website load faster. Statistics show you have 3 seconds to convince people to stay on your website, so speed in loading is important.

  • completely overhauled content;

We went through every page of the old site and rewrote the content. We’ve made the language friendly, approachable, and more clear. We’ve also added and eliminated content as necessary.

  • Google Analytics;

We now have better data to see if our online efforts are working. We can set goals and make sure we achieve them.

  • graphical navigation;

Some of our pages have navigation that is through pictures. This improves the user experience and helps keep our guests on the website. It just feels more friendly and interesting.

  • a better form plugin;

Our old forms were powered by a plugin that was out of date; our new forms are powered by one of the most well respected form applications for WordPress.

  • a web store for donations;

This is still a work in progress, but we have added a store where people can buy items on our wish list for our animals. For example, you can buy a pack of bully sticks. The web store will take your donation of the amount that the bully sticks would cost and one of our volunteers can use that money to buy the item for our fosters! It’s an easy and fun way to donate!

  • and loads more!
But most importantly…

The biggest change is in the simplified process to enter adoptable animals. Before, we had to enter each animal through a painstaking process. It took a lot of time and you also had to have coding knowledge. There was also two different systems that had been used to enter animals in an effort to improve the process but neither were working well. Errors were made just because the process was so complicated. Now if you can fill out our volunteer form, you can enter one of our new adoptable animals on the website. This means we can have a wider base of volunteers working on the website and volunteer turnover is not as detrimental.

Take a Look at this Beautiful Screenshot of the new Back End!

backend

You can see how easy it is. All the fields are labeled. You basically just fill in the blanks or check off the boxes – and viola! A beautifully formatted animal profile emerges. Take a look at some of our┬áprofiles!

I’m very excited to see how all these changes improve the experience users have when visiting our website. The ultimate goal is to help more animals and I think these improvements will further that goal!

Join the Web Team!

If you’re interested, we are always looking for help on the web team. If you think you can handle entering new animals, would like to contribute to the blog, want to take high quality photos for banners, or are interested in taking charge of the web store, we would love your help! Fill out a volunteer application and indicate your interest in being part of the web team. We can offer lots of training, coffee dates, dog walks together, and laughter – as well as putting in some good work for Zoe’s! And you’ll get lots out too; positions like these look great on a resume!

Enjoy the new website!