Fresh and Fruity into 2018

Sun, 12/31/2017 - 23:01
Eurodressage Layout from 29 July 2000 till 31 December 2017

The new year is upon us and with the start of 2018 I would love to present you the new, brushed up layout of Eurodressage.

It has been a slow and pain staking process updating the architecture of the website which hosts approximately 80,000 articles and photos that have been uploaded over the past 18 years!  With today's launch scheduled, my webmaster Remi Blot and I have been tweaking the site non-stop the past few days to ensure that the articles are readable, aesthetically pleasing and that the site is easy to navigate. I realize that all change is difficult and nobody likes to be confronted with a new order in their daily world, but I'm sure you will get used to this display in a matter of time.

Mobile devices are slowly taking over society and the desktop is disappearing to the background. Remi and I decided to present a layout that is dynamic for each screen size. Whether you are reading Eurodressage on your computer, tablet or cell phone, the website will resize to your screen.

The concept and structure of the website remain the same.The site thrives on its five main categories: dressage news, show reports, and scores alongside the auction directory and a commercial market place. I am incredibly grateful to those advertising their horses and ponies for sale, listing their stallions at stud, as well as promoting their business via the banners. Thanks to them you have been reading Eurodressage for free for the past 18 years!

The first Eurodressage article ever posted on 26 December 1999
While I was digging into the archives and looking for the oldest Eurodressage stories, I rediscovered the actual date of when "ED" (I refer to the website as Ed, an actual person) came to be. At the time I was 18 years old and had already been hosting Belgian Junior Riders Online for three years. That pioneering website, launched when Netscape and Yahoo controlled the internet at a time when hardly anyone had online access, featured Belgian dressage news. However, it was slowly expanding to European coverage and I felt Junior Riders was breaking out of its seams. The first Eurodressage article was published on Junior Riders on 26 December 1999, looking like a wannaba print magazine with a cover photo and then linking to one story about my childhood dressage idol, Nicole Uphoff and Rembrandt. The actual was established on 29 July 2000. 

Both Junior Riders and Eurodressage were originally designed by myself; first starting with hard-core HTML code for Junior Riders and then getting a bit more visual with Eurodressage. I'm not sure how many of you remember the first, old layout. I took me nine years to realize that I really had to step up and let go of my amateuristic design. Dutch freestyle composer Cees Slings recommended Remi Blot and I went onboard with him, a decision I have not regretted for a day. On 28 April 2010 the first professional layout for Eurodressage was posted and it has done its job admirably.

Eurodressage from 2000 till 2010
But time moves on: reader demographics change, online needs change and there is nothing more fun then getting to wear a new prom dress. For 2018 I'm looking forward to the World Cup Finals in Paris and the World Equestrian Games in Tryon. I absolutely love my job and wouldn't want to trade with anyone. I am traveling the world thanks to my job and since a few years I always attach an extra few days to my trip so that I explore the city or country I'm working in. Eurodressage has taken me to places beyond my wildest imagination and this is all thanks to my loyal readers who are instrumental in keeping the website the most read dressage platform on the internet with the largest Facebook community of any one-discipline equestrian sites!

Thank you and Happy New Year!

Astrid Appels