For those interested we have provided an abbreviated history of Lord Goliath's Bulldog Domain.
Lord Goliath's Bulldog Domain got its start in March of 2001. The inspiration for the site was of course Lord Goliath, our Bulldog who we brought home on January 21, 2001. The site, in its entirety was designed and maintained by James. Initially the site was to be a personal page where we could share pictures and stories about Goliath with our friends and family. This quickly changed as we met more and more people on the Internet through Bulldog message forums and lists, who were just as Bullie crazy as we were.
It was hosted with Tripod's free hosting service - pop ups and banner ads - the whole nine yards. The pop up advertising was hurting site traffic, as people did not want to be inundated with this type of ad while visiting. Since we had very few visitors at that time anyway, we could scarcely afford to alienate those that did visit.
The look of the site was pretty rough at this time - very basic layout, essentially just a page full of links.
We decided that we would like to share our common interest with more and more people, but we needed to limit the pop up and banner advertising. Bulldog Domain was moved to Bizland hosting in June of 2001. This was a paid host who seemed to offer what we needed (no pop up ads and much more space). We were relatively happy with this host. We added contests and Bulldog information to help other Bulldog owners. We had our first Bulldog of the Month, Shelby. A message forum was added in July of 2001 using a free service from Network54. This turned out to be unacceptable, as the forum was full of pop up ads and banners. They did offer us a paid forum option that in my opinion is simply not worth the expense. I knew that with a little bit of knowledge and some hard work, there were much better alternatives out there.
Bulldog Domain continued to expand, adding Goliath's Journal, and Goliath's Friends Album, and various Holiday Albums along wiht a new look.
At this time the site looked like this:
It was decided that the message forum should be a major attraction. We envisioned or guests coming to post questions, stories, and pictures of their Bullies. With the current Network54 setup - this would not be possible. The search for a new web host that would offer the ability to manage and use a MySQL database and PHP began. MySQL and PHP support were essential to goals that were now established for Bulldog Domain.
To provide interactivity to the site without the need for third-party tools such as externally hosted polls and such, to eliminate pop up ads and banners, and to provide a sophisticated and updated message board system for our site visitors became the goal.
In October of 2002, Lord Goliath's Bulldog Domain moved to Powweb hosting. Powweb provided us with everything that we needed. A new design was created to enhance the overall look and usability of the site. Much more information was added including various health topics. Bullie Buddy Photo Albums were added to allow our site visitors to share their Bulldog photo albums with others.
We experimented with several message board systems including Ikonboard. We enlisted the help of some of our new Internet friends to test the message forum systems. Eventually we settled on the YABB SE forum system. To go along with the new forum we redesigned the site yet again.
At this time the site looked like this:
Around October 2003 Bulldog Domain began yet another transformation. By now the site was receiving 5000+ visits per month - mostly to participate in the monthly contests. We wanted people to visit the site and join the community and not just come to vote in our contests. Our forum traffic was increasing too however.
James decided that the site needed a major overhaul in look, usability, and content. This would hopefully draw people to the site. After all one of the top rules of web design (if not the number one rule) is "CONTENT". If you don't have anything worthwhile on the site, visitors will not return.
The goal was for the site to be released in January 2004. Unfortunately, several factors contributed to a delay. James decided that to release the site with an incomplete status would not be beneficial. He realized that to do this right he would need the help of other Bulldog owners.
On January 19, 2004, a post was made to the message board calling for volunteers to help with collecting content and generating ideas for the new release of the site. Several volunteered and pitched in ideas and suggestions.
After several months delay and lots of input and help from new online friends the new Bulldog Domain web site was lauched. This is the current version of the site as you see it now.
We hope you like it!
- James, Goliath, and the Bulldog Domain Team -