The domain name Hereford Equestrian was first registered on 1st July 2003, but the first page of the website was uploaded on 23 July 2003. Admittedly it was a very small and rather amateurish website to begin with, but I was learning as I went along!
At the beginning of this year the website was professionally redesigned and built on a new platform which is enabling the continuing growth. Google analaytics show that in June there were 16,393 visitors and 106,099 page views. If you have a few minutes spare, please leave a birthday wish/testimonial on this page: www.herefordequestrian.co.uk/testimonials/ You’ll see a link in the top right corner to write your testimonial.
Want to know a little more……
So it was on 1st July 2003 while chatting to my now brother in law, Peter, over a glass of wine that I first mentioned an idea I had for a local equestrian website which could provide a one-stop shop resource for the local equestrian community. At the time I had my own yard at Warham, nr Hereford and was very busy teaching and training riders and horses. I told him that while teaching, I was constantly being asked questions such as where you could find this or that, what competitions were on, where to go schooling, who to use for saddle fitting or horses teeth, etc etc. Many questions every day. Peter listened carefully to my idea and said only about 2% of ideas come to fruition, so if I really believed it could work why not give it a try. After all, I wouldn’t need to stop doing any of the work I was already doing, just work in the evenings and in any spare time!
That was enough encouragement for me. I went home, instantly registered the domain name herefordequestrian.co.uk (not realising at that stage how big it would grow and that it would expand beyond Herefordshire) and next day went to PC World to buy a website building software package. Total expense at this stage, about £30. I used the software ‘wizard’ to build the site and 3 weeks later the first pages were uploaded. I then added pages as the directory and classifieds grew. I soon had to upgrade to the industry standard html software package Dreamweaver (another steep learning curve) and used that until the beginning of this year. I loved working with Dreamweaver, but had to accept that the site was growing too big and that it was difficult for me to maintain it manually in this way for much longer.
So a visit to ‘Naked Creative’ at Fownhope, with whom I had had a meeting 2 or 3 years previously, meant the beginning of the rebuild which began in November 2010. It was a mixture of emotions, lots of sadness losing the old site, lots of excitement re the new site and the possibilities that would bring and then there was the stress! So much to do, so many decisions to make and a lot to learn! But it is all settling down nicely and hopefully those used to the old site are now used to the new.
Next week will bring the new classified ads system, forced upon us as the developer of the classified plugin in the USA has not been able to resolve a few issues with the system. With all these decisions, there are advantages and disadvantages. The new system will be similar to that of the old site, so that will mean more scrolling and less clicking for you with more ads viewable on one page and no chance of getting lost!
Please continue to let me have your feedback, after-all this website is for you. Criticism is fine too as long as it is constructive. But most importantly, please keep on using the site!