Jan 072016

Finally! MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG got a new web design and layout, and tons of helpful features! Professional, intuitive, ergonomic, helpful. Summarized below:

MyGermanShepherd.Org website design

  1. SSL Encryption
  2. Linking
  3. Facebook Page
  4. Comment Subscriptions and Email Comments(!) and Facebook Comments
  5. Follow and Share buttons
  6. Donation Call-to-Action
  7. Ads
  8. Avatars
  9. Your Personal Notebook
  10. Social Share inside Periodicals on hold
  11. The best FIND (don't search) that "free" allows
  12. Dog Community Photo Albums

We've been working on these improvements for four months now, at times day and night (4 hrs sleep). Most improvements need no explanation. A few do, for example what I can think of right now:

oneSSL Encryption

MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG now has a security certificate, and all traffic between you and this website gets encrypted before it is sent. This is called SSL, and you see it in your browser address line as https, instead of http.

SSL (Secure Socket Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted connection between a web server and a browser. This encrypted connection ensures that all data transferred between web server and browser, and between browser and web server, remains private and integral in order to prevent eavesdropping and tampering. In a nutshell, SSL is the standard that defines how web connections get encrypted via HTTPS. It's the best way to protect user data and defend against identity theft.

https for MyGermanShepherd.org

We trust you appreciate major improvements like this. So you see, we've got green lights for everything. But how good is our green? Well, MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG apparently is now safer than BIG Amazon, see the photo story here.


MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG has always written clearly which link "opens in new window/tab" (as opposed to links that open in the same window/tab). Namely links where we believe you will appreciate not to lose the flow of reading on the page you are currently on. However, these days most mobile devices won't yet show you this "hover text" (also called "title text") - which, for your convenience, we've always been using extensively to give you further insight when you hover the cursor/finger over certain words. No ads, like others do, here pure information for further insight.

So now the new site design highlights "opens in new window/tab" links even clearer by

Related (links): If you wonder "Where are all the flags gone?" - Before, everyone was seeing the same flags, namely all flags. But now we've improved on this as well because, other than making everyone see how interconnected the world is (! certainly for the German Shepherd Dog), being in the USA there rarely is a point in getting the choice to buy an item say from Germany. Being in Canada there rarely is a point in getting the choice to buy an item say from France. You get the picture.

So, now if you visit us with an IP address from the USA then you won't see any flags at all - which however means that you no longer get the choice to buy dog items from other locales. If you visit us with an IP address from the UK then you get to see (only) the UK flag linked to amazon.co.uk. If you visit us with an IP address from India then you get to see (only) the INDIA flag linked to amazon.in. And so forth. You get the picture.

For our international visitors, the standard link to items at amazon.com will always remain visible (right before your country flag) so that you can still see the features of the recommended item. Frankly because often the same item will not be available in your locale, and so only if you first looked at the features of the recommended item (amazon.com has the best choice of dog products), you are able to choose the best alternative in your country. Many of our visitors have thanked us for this always-aiming-to-be-helpful approach. Whether you are thankful we shall see.

threeFacebook Page

MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG - finally! - has a Facebook page (our third or fourth attempt, I lost count). And this time it's very different: GSD Lover and Periodical subscriber Krystal has created our facebook page and she's taking care of it: mygsd.org! Applause for Krystal from everyone: Three cheers for Krystal, yeah! clap

Krystal's secret (only for us here, don't tell anyone else yet): Krystal will soon have her own German Shepherd Dog website! And together we are stronger! Speaking of together: Krystal is also helping with things beyond facebook - and she is so fast that I can't keep up! Seems, new times lie ahead for MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG - and thus for you. ;-)

fourComment Subscriptions and Email Comments(!) and Facebook Comments

Long awaited, now you can comment away ... by simply being logged into facebook (or Google Plus too if you want that?). AND: MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG now even offers you comments by email! :-) Here's how it works:

  • Simply subscribe to an article or Periodical at the end of it. Even if you have nothing to say at that time, on MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG you can subscribe without commenting.
  • Now you'll be notified by email of the type of comments you subscribed to.
  • And you can simply hit the email's reply button to add your own comment! :-)
  • Again, no need to visit the site and find the place where to comment, log in etc, like on other sites. Here, you simply hit the email's reply button to add your own comment.

This is an exceptional convenience feature. As no one here is using it yet though, let me give you an example to show the convenience:

  • Say you just read our life-saving(!) Periodical on Vaccinations and you'd love to see (and maybe later participate in) a discussion on that topic.
  • So now you subscribe at the end of it where the comments start. No need to comment yourself in order to subscribe, here anyone can subscribe.
  • Going forward you will receive an email notification when there's new discussion (until you UNsubscribe from it)
  • and you can simply hit the email's reply button to add your own comment! :-)

It can't get easier than this to stay abreast of what interests you. And only what interests you. No information overflow here. Cool, eh? thumbup

So start using it, subscribe at the end of whatever interests you.

fiveFollow and Share buttons

Have you noticed? MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG now has cute Follow and Share buttons on the left and at the top. Lovely Krystal (managing the new facebook page, see 3 above, and for now twitter too) explained the difference to me, but I have forgotten. Somehow the buttons on the left are different from those at the top. Cute are both sets, I knew you would say that. :lol: Anyway, Krystal says you and other site visitors know the difference, and when to click which button. Well, that's enough then! Happily click away. Share your experience, your opinion, your dreams, and even your pants. ;-)

sixDonation Call-to-Action

Finally, after so many years(!), we've been able to program a mega-smart donation box for you. Surely you've been desperately awaiting this one. :mrgreen:

Our donation box is 100% SAFE TO USE, see item 1 above: SSL Encryption and green lights from the testing lab. Not only that: OUR donation box even knows your preferred currency, and in many cases will be able to prefill your email address - and this is all that's needed for your donation. No time waste! Now that's magic. :-D

Surprisingly, no one has donated yet, not even a penny. Please appreciate that this site cannot survive on posted dog HELP! requests. :roll: Who's gonna pay the bills to keep everything running, and to help YOU tomorrow when you request help? Believe it or not, you will feel better when you give back a bit, finally. You are a good person. You mean well for others. Like we do for you and for your dog.


Very much related to the above: To help this site to survive, we need ads. Advertisements, yes. And many, because so very very few people give back and pay forward a bit of what they are getting, see item 6 above.

If you as the site user only consciously take in the information that MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG offer, then you know that our uniquely helpful information instantly saves you THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS in vet and trainer cost. And yet too many of our users stubbornly resist the donation call-to-action. Hence why sadly, we need ads. Many, many ads.


As site member, and even as mere commenter (whether free Periodical subscriber or not), your gravatar (globally recognized avatar) has always been displayed next to your username. That is, if you have a gravatar; very few of our audience have a gravatar, after all dog owners rarely are geeks. If you don't have a gravatar, nothing was displayed next to your username, but now you see a greeting-puppy avatar as default.

Further, every site member and every commenter now got an additional avatar that is specific to your usage of MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG. Each of these additional avatars clearly depicts how committed you are to benefit your dog:

avatarSite-specific avatar of mosquitoes: exactly 1 comment, typically a Help! request

"I am a passing parasite: I pierce dogs and people, I suck their life blood, and I leave diseases behind. And so here I am to post ONE comment, and I request that you HELP ME! Yet, I won't come back to follow up on the solution that you have kindly already provided to solve my problem." dumb

Dude, you cannot read eh? Even before you can submit your question you are shown clear instructions, one of which is: "Be polite, introduce yourself with what you found, not a help request". As nonprofit, we have no life blood left that you can suck. Imagine you have guests at home, and the first thing they say is: "I want your car, your house keys, and the cash under your mattress. Give me everything you have, NOW!" - How would you react? :?:
I bet you'd kick their ass. :lol: And yet we don't, My German Shepherd only shows them his: bum

What would this world be without humor, right? Here we keep our humor even for the vacuum type.


avatarSite-specific avatar of newbies: more than 1 comment

"I am a repeat visitor. I may have read a bit here, or may not. You offer here solutions to so many problems that I am lost."

Oh really? That's why we devised the easy-to-follow Dog Solution Decision Tree. Just go through it now.


avatarSite-specific avatar of frequent visitors: more than 9 comments

"I have found here at least 9 solutions for what were my problems, or would have been my problems otherwise. Of course in every instance I have commented and shared my experience here to benefit others. Yet there is so much more to find here, and so I am still sniffing around."

That's good. Follow along to benefit your dog.


avatarSite-specific avatar of permanents: more than 49 comments

"I realized I have arrived where I need to be, and so I settled down here."

You are a long-term Periodical subscriber, fine. A German Shepherd deserves a mature owner.


avatarSite-specific avatar of supporting site members and engaged commenters: more than 99 comments

"I open all your emails and I can READ. I also know how to use search and how to apply your posted solutions to my dog. I share my own experience here with others. I am the best parent to my dog, and my dog deserves only the best, hence why I am here."

Right. And that's why My German Shepherd gives you "high-five"!


Like the gravatar and any other avatar you may have elsewhere, your avatar is visible to everyone, and here you can change it easily by doing more for your dog.

This is what a Top dog expert says:
Find out more: Click to save vet cost, training cost, and your nerves!

nineYour Personal Notebook

The newest helpful feature is what we can call your personal notebook! I LOVE this one, and you may too: How often is it that we read something somewhere, and we'd love to note it down quickly to remind us later, or to tell a friend or colleague or relative. But we don't have a pen with us, and we can't waste time handwriting or typing it out, right?

new notebook feature

Well, THIS IS FOR YOU: Simply highlight your favorite text like you would normally when you want to copy something. Unless your browser prevents it, immediately four buttons will pop up and with one click you can send the selected text to your own twitter or facebook or google+ or linkedin account. So now you can keep any worthy text for later to remind yourself or others! Because, you may not remember: Within just one day we forget 85% of what we've read. But now you can remind yourself by taking notes without even taking notes! clap

onezeroThe call-to-action SOCIAL SHARE box

For years you were used to seeing inmidst a Periodical an invitation to SHARE with your circle what we share with you! It looked like this:

social share invitation

That is gone but may be back if too few of you share what we share with you! :idea: And that although you now even have new social share buttons at fixed positions on the left and at the top of the screen. Have you noticed?

social share invitations

As you will know, items that are permanently in the same place the human eyes soon overlook. Thus the new fixed-position social share icons will not be used as much, that's clear. Similar to what's called "banner blindness". However if you continue to share content helpful to your circle of dog owners like we share the helpful content with you, then there would be no longer a need for the social share call-to-action inmidst the Periodicals. Okay?

oneoneThe best FIND (don't search) that "free" allows

Any conscious user realizes that MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG is more helpful than any other dog site on the net. In line with this constant ambition even our site "search" just became the crème de la crème: Here you FIND what you are looking for, elsewhere you have to search and often find nothing much.

Like with everything in life however, it helps to understand how to use FIND effectively. If you didn't click the link now to find out, note that you can always click the small "i" (info) icon right next to the FIND BOX at the top of any page. It links to the document that explains how to FIND what you are looking for.

Despite good reasons not to, we now even allow to FIND our much praised MYGERMANSHEPHERD PERIODICAL content. So, Periodical results should now be included as well when you want to FIND something?

onetwoDog Community Photo Albums

Our youngest addition! Now ALL MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG dogs can get to know each other... once their owners, once you share a photo of your dog!

Check this out :-)

Dog Community Photo Albums

- - -

Those are the things that seem worth pointing out. When I remember something else I will add it here. Other things are happening in the backend, you can't see them in the frontend but you benefit nonetheless.

Remember the footnote on every page: If you are unhappy with anything, we want to be the first to know, thanks.

  • 7

 Comments via our New Facebook Page Managed by Krystal! - Thank you xx

Just Note:

1. To fight SPAM anything with a link lands in SPAM
2. To go live any bark must be relevant to this page
3. Be polite, introduce yourself with what you found, not with a help request

 21 Site Comments , ZERO SPAM Add one


    The new layout is great, although I never had any problems with the old one either. The only problem I have had was getting back to the periodical after signing in. I have figured that out though, so no worries. I usually read the whole article and then go back and check out the links. It's just easier that way for me. You have done a good job with your site and I am sure everyone will love it.


    I really like this new web layout. It is organized, clear and no annoying advertisements. I really, really like this new site. I am sorry to say, but I did not like the old layout and stopped viewing this webpage when I needed information. It was a tad bit confusing to navigate, but I am not a computer wiz so may be others did not have this issue. I do not use Facebook, so I can not comment on that page. Good job! And, thank you for all information you give out to simple dog owners like me.


      Thanks for saying Andrea!
      I am sorry to have to tell you "and no annoying advertisements" these times are soon over: We NEED ads because NO ONE has donated, not even a peeeenny. You read that right, in case you are shocked.

      I have no idea if ads can save this place. I doubt it. But we got to try, right?


    Hi Tim&Krystal, Glad to see "Stryker"&I can get GSD on face book too! Stryker just turned 20mos old last week, and your site has been a great help to me and my wife Pat, over these many months, (and years to come)! I do like the new look, but have been very busy over the last few months to check it out. I will force myself "time" to do so soon! I would love to donate $$, but right now (tax season,car repairs,medical issues) have made it a can't do, but hopefully with a tax refund, will be able to donat a few USD'A? Take care&keep up the great job (and love) you have for our GSD'S! Jim&Stryker.


    :) :) I love my new gravatar! Thank you so much!! Kiera thanks you too


      Yes, Kiera is such a gorgeous German Shepherd, you are privileged :-)
      Her avatar will now follow you everywhere in the www, how cool!

      Tell others, how quick was it?
      And let me tell others: YOU can get one too. It's darn easy. It's free. And it's gorgeous.


    Yes! It was so quick, email, password, upload, done! Thank you for this! Now Kiera can follow me on the web and in the kitchen ha!


    Love the new layout! Much easier to navigate and read mobile. Clear structure; well organized. I have now found things that I was unaware you had. What's still missing is a forum? However I realize I am not nearly commenting enough myself to benefit from that, or be of benefit to others.


    As always, very well explained. Thank you Tim


    Great the new site is more helpful and clear. Plus myGermanShepherd.org has helped me a lot in dealing with my dear Rancho......


    Aloha! Immaculate conception! Congratulations to all involved! So user friendly! Keep up the great work! Rocket, 20 months of age, benefits from your site as I research it to raise him to be that canine he is meant to be. Mahalo!


    love your new page and all the dog-life tips you give!


    I want to receive weekly email but you are not recognizing my email

    Thank you


      Suzanne, what do you mean? Subscription is here. I just looked though and you are subscribed, and your last Periodical was on "Worms". It may take four weeks before the next one arrives as I was too busy: the later topics take many weeks of work...
      Thanks for your understanding :-)


    Hello, this site is well organise and beautifully structured. Kudos. I need your help on my GSD. She is 27 months. Kitara by name. She lost her pregnancy last year April. She was treated immediately by my vet. Since then, she hasn't come on heat or her normal period. What can I do?


    Good idea to cover this again, especially with your new format (which is great). I cant help but notice all the people who commented on this format when you started it, but yet, have not followed through and kept it going. Hopefully the trend will change.


    Great job! Layout is well organized & more user friendly than before. Chin up & pat yourself & everyone involved on the back. ?


      I really don't feel like patting anyone, with an empty stomach neither My German Shepherd nor I can be of value:

      Fits oh so well: despite the 6 (six, yes) CTAs there, 0 (zero, yes) book reviews were returned for the >100 downloaded free books. So neither the site situation nor our personal situation will be a surprise to anyone, right?

Bark away ... just note:

1. To fight SPAM anything with a link lands in SPAM
2. To go live any bark must be relevant to this page
3. Be polite, introduce yourself with what you found, not with a help request

 Say it

Jonathan: "Thank you for your period advice. It is excellent! My GSD puppy is now 8 months and we read your advice regularly."
Dwayne: "I love this site and the info you post onto it. Thanks again!!!!"
Penny: "Thanks for making your great articles available to all of us. it's nice to know that a recommended product is actually available in my country."

Stay with us and your dog will stay with you, both of you healthy and well-behaved.
If you are ever unhappy with anything we write, do or don't do, we want to be the first to know, thanks.

Disclaimer: Always apply your own common sense when you follow anyone's suggestions. As much as your dog is special (s)he may react different too.

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