Catnutrition.org upgrade 4.7

Faithful regulars to catnutrition.org must be rolling their eyes. Within the past month, they’ll have seen yet another overhaul of the site.

I thought I was so very clever a few months back, opting to re-do the site on my own using iWeb, the web design program that comes with Apple’s iLife suite. I love my Apple. I love Apple programs. I live for iTunes. But let me tell you, using iWeb to re-do a site like mine? Baaaaad idea.

It backfired horribly, taking what was a more-or-less navigable site that loaded relatively quickly and inexplicably turning small photos into grotesquely oversized files, hence rendering the site virtually out of reach for anyone with less than a high-speed connection. The whole thing ground to a near complete halt.

Oh, and never mind that it became impossible to print the pages.I love you Apple, I do, but iWeb truly bites for anything but the simplest sites.

But still, Macs rule.

So along came Epiphanio Sanchez, a terrific human being I met last summer at a retreat. Epiphanio is an artist, musician, graphic designer, life coach, and yogi. And an awesome web guy. He runs Pearl Planet Design. I did what I said I’d never do — pay someone to professionally re-do the entiresite. And it’s paid off immensely, at least psychically. Not having to fight with iWeb or Dreamweaver or fill-in-the-blank web design program to update the site. And he very patiently, just today in fact, walked me through the ABCs of html so I can easily update the site myself. I don’t recall when I’ve worked with someone more patient, kind-hearted, reliable, and enjoyable.

Hand-coded HTML. Wow. I get it. I might even be able to learn this.For those of you frustrated with the site’s slowness in loading and other bugs these past months, thanks for being so patient. And Epiphanio? You rock my world.The educational website on cat nutrition that I’ve run for coming up on five years now has always been a labor of love. And as the site got more popular and site visitors increased, I have remained true to my word to never accept advertising. Not to boast, but catnutrition.org has a high rank on Google, and more than a few folks told me I could recoup my costs pretty quickly if I just started letting ads on to my site. But eeew! After all those years and all those email answers explaining why most commercial pet food is dreadful I’m going to let ads for dry indoor-formula food appear on my site? Not so much.

Nettie ponders web design options.

And I never will. But this latest upgrade has been entirely an out-of-pocket expense. Worth it, mind you, but out of pocket nonetheless. And I’m not living off any trust fund here. So after much consideration, I created an option for people to donate some money to help begin to offset the cost of hiring a web designer, maintaining the site, and periodically paying for more bandwidth. If the site has helped you and you’re of a mind to pay it forward, I’m much obliged. It feels a little funny to me asking people for money.

Still . . . I’ve had nice offers over the years from people asking how they could say thanks.

The greatest and most meaningful payback I can get is knowing that more people are feeding their cats like the carnivores they are, and giving them the best shot at a life that isn’t plagued with the multiple diseases that far too many of our beloved housecats are enduring as a result of feeding a diet that has no relationship to what it is Mother Nature built them to eat. Knowing that along with the other noisy voices out there — Michelle Bernard, Dr. Lisa Pierson, Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins, and the wonderful folks at Feline Outreach — the site has had something small to do with the awakening on pet food? That’s a heckuva nice feeling. I’m very proud to be a little voice in their chorus for sanity.

So thanks for bearing with these website renovations. And an extra big thanks if you opt to financially help offset the cost.

But mostly? Please, feed well.

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