How to build a dog breeder website
Web Design For Pedigree Show Dogs
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If you have been looking for an easy to use website solution for your show dogs this is it.
Create your own website which you will have full control over. You will be able to easily add new dog show results into the news pages. Add a new dog to the website and be able to keep the website up to date
This is not WordPress, you don’t need to go looking for a WordPress dog breeder Theme, dog breeder website template a dog breeder website builder. Or any plugins to make this work.
All you need is my FREE GUIDE and SmugMug.
(Cat breeders can use this free guide as a website builder for their Cattery).
Everything you need is already set up for you to just start adding your photos and writing to.
Take a look at my dogs website if you like it the FREE GUIDE shows you how to make a website just like it.
I also have a SmugMug review, why I use SmugMug for the dogs website >
Looking at the dogs website on a desktop (a computer) the header. Which is the white part at the top, is a sticky header. This means it stays in place when you scroll up, pretty cool. It’s mobile responsive too which means, on a mobile phone the website looks just great and you see everything clearly.
FREE GUIDE How to build a dog breeder website
Click on the quick links below to take you straight to each step
Step 1. Getting Started
To get started you need to click below this will take you through to SmugMug.
You can start your free 14 day trial by signing up with your email address and a password.
Credit card details are not required don’t worry.
By starting the free trial you will get 14 days free to try out SmugMug and use my free guide to build a dog breeder website.
If you like it and want to use SmugMug for your dogs breeder website. By clicking through below now (start your free 14 day trial) you will save 15% off any new plan automatically if you wish to carry on.
You will be using the SmugMug Power plan on the free trial this all you need to make your website.
The Power plan costs just £1.19 per week paid annually for the first year after the 14 day free trial ends. After that it will cost £1.39 per week paid annually.
Step 2. Upload your photos into the SmugMug gallery
As soon as you sign up you will be asked to upload photos.
Upload a few of your dogs photos into the gallery.
You can have as many of these galleries as you like and store loads of photos. It is unlimited photo storage.
But for this guide we will use 2 SmugMug galleries
1 for the dogs
1 for the news page
Quick Tip –
If all your photos are on your mobile phone, download the FREE SmugMug mobile app. This way you will be able to get all your phone photos into the Organize area.
The video shows how to upload your photo’s into a SmugMug gallery. Also what most of the settings are for on the SmugMug gallery depending which plan you are using with SmugMug.
To build just a website for your dogs with SmugMug you only need to be using the Power plan.
New SmugMug Source, store RAW files and PSD’s (Photoshop documents) at SmugMug.
Add Source to your existing SmugMug plan.
You need to be in the ORGANIZE area to get started with the SmugMug photo galleries.
Double click on the photo gallery you have just upload photos to.
Then click SETTINGS at the top left
Follow these settings to get started with your dog breeder website.
Title – Dogs Photos
Description you can put a description of what photos are in the gallery but if you are just trying this out leave it if you like.
SECURITY & SHARING
Public this needs to be set to public for people to be able to see the photos on the website.
Download buttons off
Allow Comments off
Leave sharing options on
Visitor shopping cart off
At the bottom of the box will be a box
Save these settings as a gallery preset?
Call this preset something like dogs galleries.
Then click save
Click + Create
On the top left of the bar
and create another gallery
Give the gallery a title again
This time Dogs News
Then above title
Use the tiny arrow on the box to open up the drop down which should have your preset in. Click on the preset you just created. This has just added all the settings you did on the other gallery to this one. Then upload any photos you have for the dogs news pages into here.
To upload any photos into any of the galleries just hit upload. Choose INTO EXISTING GALLERY then choose either the dogs gallery or the news. To make a new gallery choose INTO NEW GALLERY
Step 3. Set up the contact form
SmugMug have already made the contact form. You just need to check the email address is correct.
From anywhere on the website when you are logged in.
Top right corner profile pic, or place for a profile pic.
Click on it and it will reveal a drop down menu.
Click on Edit My Profile
About me This where you add your contact email address. The profile photo if you click on the square it will take you to your photos in SmugMug galleries. Choose a photo to use or upload one.
The photo you choose will be the one used on the contact form.
Social is where you add in any social links you have like Facebook & Instagram pages.
I also have a full page how to customise a SmugMug contact form >>>
Step 4. Choose a free photographers website template
You need to be at the front of the website.
The Photo Site Homepage
At the top right again underneath your profile photo. There are 3 dots in a vertical line.
Click on those dots this will bring another dropdown menu up.
Click on New Site Design
This will take you through to all SmugMug’s free photographers portfolio website templates.
Preview the design
Then CHOOSE THIS DESIGN
Then click Publish
The Duke website template is the free template which I have made my dogs website Redhara Setters with.
Step 5. Choose a page type for your website
There are 10 different page templates to choose from for your dog breeder website.
The page templates are a page you can customise for any purpose.
You need to go back to ORGANIZE
In the top left corner click on +create
Choose Web Page
Choose a page type or choose custom which is a blank page
Give the page a Title
Check the security & sharing is set to Public so everyone will be able to see the page on the website.
Step 6. Create the dogs page
You don’t have to create a page for every dog. Try using 2 list pages for the dogs, one for the dogs and one for bitches. Or call the pages boys and girls or have a rainbow bridge page and then the dogs at present.
It is up to you how you would like the website to look that is what is great about building your own website.
If you have a lot of past winners or Show Champions the list page would work well for that too.
Create a page for all the dogs for your dog breeder website. The dogs page can be made from the template page type Pricing and then choose list.
The page type and layout pricing, list is for photographers to display all their products or services which they offer. It is amazing how many extra services a photographer can offer to make extra money from. The website page template pricing, list is perfect for photographers and works brilliant for the dogs and dog show news pages.
To create the page you need to be in ORGANIZE
In the top left corner click on +create
Choose Web Page
Choose the page type
Pricing then List
The page template list is made up of 10 photo places and text boxes. All you need to do is add your own photos and change the writing.
Delete any of the boxes you do not need and add any other content blocks you would like such as a title or contact button.
Step 7. Create an about page
The about page for a dog breeder or show dogs website should be about the dogs.
Your history within the breed. What you have achieved within the breed of dogs, are you a member of any breed clubs?. Why you own the breed of dogs which you do.
Talk about your affix (your kennel name).
The about page information can be used on the homepage instead of having an about page if you are stuck what to use on the homepage.
Then use the about page as History page, your kennels history.
If you are just starting your breeder website and have not been in dogs long you won’t have that much information. That is fine start small, by building the website yourself you can add to the website at any time as you have litters of puppies and gain more dogs.
Redhara Setters website is a 30 page website because it was first made in 2009 and has been added to over the years.
The same information has just been updated over the years. Extra dogs and news pages have been added along the way.
SmugMug works best as dog breeder website builder. This is because it is so easy to use and photos are easy to display with it being a photographers website platform.
SmugMug have the right set up for odd shaped photos or incorrectly cropped photos.
For example if you have a square and landscape sized photos they all work right in the slideshow feature. Which is brilliant for displaying the dogs photos.
To create the about page you need to be in ORGANIZE
In the top left corner click on +create
Choose Web Page
Choose the one of the 10 page types to create your page.
Step 8. Design the homepage for the website
The homepage of the free website template Duke is made up of a multiple photo content block. Either change the photos or delete the whole content block and start with a blank page.
Before you design the homepage for your dog breeder website or any website. You need to know what the goal of the website is.
Show dogs website
Most show dogs websites are information or reference websites. Puppies are sold through enquiries from the website. But puppies are not sold directly from the website, for example are not sold through a buy it now button.
This is because the correct way to sell puppies to the right owners. Is to have the potential puppy buyer come and meet you as the dog breeder and the adult dogs first.
For a show dog owner this can usually happen at a dog show. Then further arrangements are made. For example organise a visit to see the dogs at the breeders home. Then book a puppy, or get put on a puppy waiting list.
Once the new owner knows that the breed of dog is the right breed for them. And when they know exactly what they are taking on for what could be the next 15 years they can go the list.
Selling puppies online
That is why you don’t need a buy it now button or any CTA (call to action) to sell puppies. By using those methods buy it now or strong CTA’s you will not find the correct homes for puppies. Which means the puppy will come back to you as the breeder.
There is nothing harder to sell than a puppy older than 8 weeks old.
You don’t need to own show dogs to be able to sell puppies. Anyone can breed a litter of puppies and anyone can sell puppies.
Being able to sell puppies to right homes requires skill. As long as you know everything about the breed of dog which you are selling there shouldn’t be a problem.
Provide that information throughout your website and a contact button is all you need on the website to sell puppies successfully.
Have the answers to questions on the website
You don’t need expensive flashy dog breeder websites to sell puppies. You just need to be able to provide truthful answers to questions throughout your website about your dogs, or via email and or on the phone when asked.
Answer the questions for the visitors to your website like dog grooming for example.
If the dog requires a lot of grooming, or has an unmanageable coat type for a pet owner. Tell them and state that it could cost anywhere up to £100 a month at the dog groomers.
Don’t tell the puppy owner as they are leaving with the puppy that it requires grooming twice a year. If this is not true.
They need to be told twice a year for a shave off or £100 a month for a fluffy teddy bear style groom.
By doing this they will be fully aware of what they taking on. Also they will be prepared for the grooming bill what comes with a dog with this coat type.
Some dogs are a lot easier to lead train, be able to let off the lead and some require more exercise. Just make the owner aware of what they will be taking on.
The cost of routine dog grooming and dog training classes or the amount exercise required can make or break the decision over which breed to buy. This will save time wasters, impulse buyers and puppies returning back to you.
Build all your pages for the website first. Then design the homepage once you know what information you have throughout the rest of the website.
This will make designing the homepage much easier.
Building the homepage with SmugMug is exactly the same as building a page. Just drag and drop the simple content blocks. Add your photos and writing it’s dead easy to use.
Step 9. Add the pages of the website into the navigation menu
When you have made the pages for the website you can then easily add them into the navigation menu. Add in any other url’s to the menu too.
To start adding pages to the nav menu you need to be on the photo site then click
When you hover the page, the parts which turn red, when you customise these red parts they are applied to the entire website.
The navigation menu customise box will turn red click on the wrench.
The wrench will bring up the customise box with the nav menu settings in.
Basic & Links
In the Links section is all the links which are in your menu. To add links click the + button at the very bottom on the right.
Label your link (give it a name) and choose a page to connect to the link or put in a url.
You can reorder the links by dragging and dropping.
Step 10. Add a logo to the website
Easily add your own logo to the header of the website if you have one.
If you don’t have a logo don’t worry you can add a photo into the header where it say’s logo so it will appear as one.
Again on the photo site
When you hover over the page, the red box with site title in it. At the top of the page next to the navigation menu. Click the wrench icon this will bring up the settings box.
Here is where you can add a logo or change the name of the website, the site title.
Step 11. How to remove the SmugMug branding from the website
It is so easy to remove the SmugMug branding from the top of the website.
Simply go to PHOTO SITE
CUSTOMIZE in the top bar
Then in the top bar again DESIGN SETTINGS
Here is where you can remove the SmugMug branding by switching off the SmugMug header.
Note – While you are logged in to your SmugMug account the SmugMug branded header will always be there.
Log out to view your website without the SmugMug branding.
Step 12. Change the colours of the website
Easily change the colours of the website.
The accent colour of the website is the colour of the buttons and the links. This needs to be a bright colour really so that it stands out.
On the Duke free template from SmugMug the accent colour is a bit dull and flat. This can easily be changed. The hex code for the orange colour used on Redhara Setters is #dd9933 this can be changed by going to the PHOTO SITE
In the customise panel look for Theme
The Theme of the website is the look and style.
The colours can be easily changed by clicking on
the Active Theme
Click on the wrench
In the Basic section look for Accent Colour and change the colour to a colour of your choice.
Here is also where you can change the colours of the website template and the style of the font (the writing).
Step 13. Start a blog for your dog
Easily start a blog for your dog by adding more pages to the website.
Blog about the places you visit with your dogs.
You can blog about anything today.
The blog can also be an extension to the news pages if you have a lot to say about one dog show if it was a special day out.
Or write a blog post about a previous litter of puppies.
There will be a full video tutorial on how to build the blog for the dog breeder website coming soon.
Step 14. Add a custom domain name to SmugMug
You don’t need a domain name for your SmugMug website. SmugMug provide one for you.
But you can add your own custom domain name. If you would like to add a custom domain name to the website I have a full guide how to add a custom domain name to SmugMug >>>
Step 15. SmugMug SEO settings
Making a nice looking website is easy to do with SmugMug. To make sure your website will be found online by search engines you will need to fill in a few boxes.
The last important step with building the website is to add some information into the SEO settings. All the SEO boxes are provided by SmugMug for you to fill in.
Go to the top right corner and click on the profile picture.
Next you need Account Settings
Once in the account setting you will need
Here is where the SEO settings are. SEO means search engine optimisation.
In the boxes you are going to tell search engines what your website is all about.
Homepage Meta Description
Give a description of your website for search engines to rank your site.
Describe what your website is about in the box.
Homepage Meta Keywords
Put in the box the keywords relevant to your website.
For example the type or breed of dog, what you do with dogs, which area you are etc. Separate words that describe your website, separated by a comma.
Google Search Visibility
It’s a yes or no in here.
If you want your website to be found on the internet then YES
Site Meta Title
Whatever you put in here will be shown in the browser title and in bookmarks.
This will shown in the top search bar while visitors are on your website.
For example, I could put Redhara Setters in here as the Site meta title.
Verify Site Ownership
Here is where you can verify your website with google webmaster tools.