Discuss Catster's Re-Design!

This forum is for Catster members to seek and share advice to enhance participation and make the most of the features offered on the site. If you need assistance with your Catster account, or require technical support, the most effective way to get the information to the Techno Cats is to contact Catster Support directly by way of the Contact links located at the bottom of each page on Catster. Additional help is available at FAQs.

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Catster HQ

Purred: Tue Feb 16, '10 9:54am PST 
Dogster and Catster just celebrated our 6-year anniversary as a company and an online community, and we could not be more grateful and proud of what we have all done together. For those of you that have been with us for a while, we extend our deepest thanks. And to everyone from long-time members to brand new members, get ready for some exciting changes ahead!

Here at Dogster/Catster HQ, we've been spending a lot of time lately looking for ways to improve the experience for all types of users. We have been doing a lot of research into who exactly our audience is. It's become clear that our users are really divided into two big groups:

- We have our amazing, active, passionate members like all of you - who come to the sites regularly and make our community features like Groups and Forums great. You like to hang out, have fun, make friends, and support great causes.

- Then there is also a large group of information seekers, coming mainly from search engines, who arrive with a specific (and sometimes urgent) question they need answered, then they leave until their next question arises.

We are currently working on a big initiative with the goal of making sure that both types of users get what they need on our site, and have a great experience while they are here.

We are shooting to launch these changes in a few months. So far, the project involves:

- Changes to the organization and navigation of the site's content and features
- Revamping the home page
- Adding some new topic-focused pages and content

Rest assured that none of our core community features will change - the functionality of our Forums, Groups, Answers, and pet pages will remain as is.

We welcome any thoughts or ideas you have - please add comments and ideas below, or post in the New to Dogster/Tips & Tricks Forums or the Plus Experts & Help Corner (Plus members only).

We will continue to keep you updated as more specifics of the changes develop - we will include regular updates in the new monthly Community Newsletters, in the site updates, and in Forums listed above.

Much Meow!

kitty HQ

Catster HQ

Purred: Mon Mar 8, '10 4:03pm PST 
wave Hi Catsters!

Last month, we revealed that new, exciting changes for the site were brewing here at HQ. Here's another update on the renovations we are cooking up.

* We will be widening all of our pages to provide more real estate for pet pages and content. This means that the left navigation column will go away, but will soon be replaced with a new and improved top nav bar.

* We will be saying goodbye to a few small and not-so-trafficked sections of the site, namely: travel bookings, The Cat Manuals, and the stand-alone video area. Don't worry, you will still be able to upload pawesome videos and show them off on your pet pages and in your Video Book, and all your existing videos will remain intact. We will just be closing down the Video area at :http://www.catster.com/video/

Look for these changes around the end of March/early April, and we will continue to keep you posted!


Your friends at HQ

Hawkeye- (Rainbow- Bridge)

Yeah,- Whatever....
Purred: Tue Mar 9, '10 10:16am PST 
Oh ... I'm so excited. The suspense of waiting to make new page graphics is driving me crazy silenced

Catster HQ

Purred: Wed Mar 17, '10 2:38pm PST 
Redesign Update: First Set of Changes Coming on March 22

wave Howdy, Catsters!

As we noted in our last site update, changes for the better are in the works, and our team is working hard to make Catster the best site it can be. As a heads-up, we thought we'd let you know to expect some differences on March 22nd, next Monday. These changes are an interim phase as we prepare for larger site design changes coming soon.

Next Monday you will not see any change in the design of the pages (colors, graphics, etc.) just yet, but you will see the following:

1. No more left navigation
2. Some changes to the top navigation bar
3. All pages will be wider

In a few months you will see a much bigger set of changes: the overall look of Dogster and Catster will really evolve. We're talking colors, graphics, some new pages, a new way to navigate the site and so on.

We'd like to make it clear at this stage that there will be no changes to pet page functionality during these two launches. We have a long list of suggestions, requests and great ideas from all of you as to how to improve the pet pages, pmail, and other site features. We just want to clarify that these two upcoming launches concern basic site framing, design and navigation and will not include any changes or additions to the functionality of specific features like pet pages, forums or groups.

We also want you to know that we hear you on how great it would be to have bigger photos on pet pages, for example, and that's in the works! But changes like that are not launching just yet. We need to do these big changes incrementally. Doing it all at once would be a lot for us to bite off and a lot to ask you to adjust to.

This last week we've heard some concerns about the widening of pet pages from those of you who have spent a lot of time and creative energy decorating your pages. The main concerns seem to boil down to a couple of issues, which we'd like to respond to here:

* Page centering: Page centering will be happening so that your blog backgrounds will continue to look great on your pet pages. You will see this change on Monday!

* Drop-down menus on nav buttons: We are adding a drop-down menu to one button on the nav bar. This is to accommodate losing the left nav and to provide easier access to My Account features. These will not interfere with pages, as they are only open when you hover over the menu button. We will most likely not be using drop downs in the new navigation coming next.

* Moving the bios down on pet pages: As noted above, we will not be changing the layout of the pet pages at all except to make them wider. This should work to move some content from the right column further up the page, not down, as there will be more room for content to spread out.

We ask that you hang in there and be patient with us as we make these changes. The design changes are part of our larger plan for improvements to the site. Remember, we haven't changed the design of the site in many years - we're long overdue and really excited about getting a facelift! There will be some bumps along the way with pet pages and group pages, where you have all built wonderful, creative designs that work with our current site coding. There will be some growing pains as we update our code and design and we will continue to communicate with you about these changes as specifically as we can.

Thank you for loving Catster, we love you right back!

Catster HQ

Purred: Mon Mar 22, '10 5:01pm PST 
Wider Pages and Navigation Changes Launched Today!

wave Hello everypaw!

We have just completed the first round of site layout changes that we've been talking about for the last few weeks. The changes that you will now see across the sites are:

1. We've removed the left column of site links as they had become excessive and were taking up valuable space on the page

2. With the left list of links removed, we could widen all pages on the site - Pet pages, Group pages, Forum pages - everything! This means that people can see and read more on a page and have to scroll less! Yee Haw!

3. We made some changes to the top navigation buttons. The My Account button is now a drop-down if you are logged in so you can get to some key account pages faster.

4. All pages of our site are now centered in your browser window instead of left-aligned. Monitors are getting wider and wider and centering the page is more natural on average for general site usage, especially as time goes on. This was also a change that many of you have been asking for to make the backgrounds on your pet pages look better.

We have been working VERY HARD at HQ and with top site users to have these changes affect your experiences as little as possible. The two items we could not automatically fix are customized Pet Pages and Group pages that have a custom-sized top image, or have a custom-sized background image. Those top banner images can now be wider, and backgrounds are centered instead of left-justified. If your Pet page or Group page looks different than you want now that the page is wider, we are terribly sorry. The Pawsome Pages Group has already set up simple tutorials on how to adjust your customized page so it looks better. The good news is you now have more real estate to make bigger top images. Here's the Group thread to learn about the changes: http://www.catster.com/forums/groups/thread/666335

While there were no big changes to site functionality that would affect your experience on the site, there were a lot of changes and improvements to the inner workings of the site - “behind the scenes” - to prepare for more changes coming soon. So please let us know if you see anything on the site that seems not quite right by leaving a comment.

Thanks for your patience during this time.

Big meows,

Catster HQ


Catster HQ

Purred: Fri Apr 9, '10 4:38pm PST 
Hi Everypaw,

You may have wondered why we put so much effort into widening the pages when it didn't really have much of an effect on the site (other than making pet pages, forums and groups wider with less scrolling, which we hope everyone is loving). But widening the pages was also something we had to do to prep for much larger changes in the works. Back in February, we told you about the research we've been doing to better understand the two groups of people who use our sites:

- passionate community members who come back frequently to connect, play games, make friends and support one another, have fun, support great causes.


- non-members who are coming to our site, often from a search engine, looking for an answer to a specific question or problem they are having with their pet

Turns out our sites are growing up and becoming more popular than we ever imagined. So we want to make sure that all our visitors are able to get the information they need to be excellent pet owners, while at the same time having the greatest place for dog lovers to meet, learn, share and have fun. So here's a sneak preview of what the new site organization will be!

Dogster and Catster will be adding sections to cover the major topic areas that interest pet owners:
Breeds - Adoption - Health & Care - Food - Behavior & Training - Puppies/Kittens - Home & Away - Advice - Photos - News

In addition of course, we will still have all of our wonderful Community areas, grouped together in one place:
Pet Pages - Forums - Groups - Answers - Local - Gifts - Games - Contests & Deals

Dogster and Catster will also have a new look! New colors, new background, new navigation buttons, and more. We've all grown very attached to our adorable site design, but change is coming and we hope you'll embrace it! However, we very much want to keep the features you know and love very very similar to how they are now. It's like rearranging the furniture in your house - sometimes it's hard to get used to, but once you adjust it's like a breath of fresh air and allows you to enjoy your space in a new way. And trust us, we're going to stay out of your room, so to speak and ensure that Pet Pages, Paw Mail, Forums, Groups, Photobooks, Pet Awards, Pals, Corrals, will function and work just the same way.

Stay tuned and we will be sure to let you in on the new design as it's evolving. We'll share some screenshots here in the coming weeks!

Please leave a comment here if you have thoughts or feedback on the new site navigation listed above.

Much meow,


Catster HQ

Purred: Mon May 10, '10 3:02pm PST 
Hey Everypaw!

Check out a sneak peek of the new Catster!


~ Angel- Tessa ~

We- lubbs- U!
Purred: Tue May 11, '10 1:45pm PST 
I'm glad you soon will provide the link for us to make hover links. This weekend's problem with jon radenchenko proved to me we should have that resource her at Catster.

Angel- ♥Kally- Kat♥

Purred: Wed May 12, '10 4:08pm PST 
MeOwz Tessa,

Yes, it certaintly would be so much more convience for us to access quickly to that link. way to go

Hope yur still able to use that link Tessa at jonradchencko.com

Kally Kat wink

Sonny Bono- Angel- Dreamboat-#3- 4

Purred: Thu May 27, '10 3:32pm PST 
Why doesn't the homepage look like the one we just sampled???? Ours looks nothing like it and we hate it.

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