Site Update – Husbandry Notes by Species!

When I first started Tom’s Big Spiders, it was really only to share some of my cool experiences in the tarantula hobby. I honestly never expected anyone to discover or read what I was writing; instead, it was more to serve as a fun outlet (and to spare my family and friends from having to listen to prattle on about bugs). However, little by little, I actually developed an audience as the content evolved from fun molt and feeding posts to more informative husbandry and species notes. With folks actually reading what I was writing, I focused less on the fluff and more the informative and hopefully educational articles.

As a site that was basically created with no real audience in mind, I didn’t give a heck of a lot of thought on how to arrange it (or on the name, for that matter!). However, as I wrote more and more content, and saw what folks were reading and searching for, it quickly became apparent that I needed some way to organize information so it was easier to find. Therefore, some new pages evolved out of the mix: added were Resources, Vendor Reviews, and finally the most popular page, Beginner Guides. 

I also created the Topic Index page, which was supposed to act as a site map of sorts, but it quickly became outdated and was mostly ignored. Particularly, the species-specific husbandry articles were getting overlooked as there was no real clearly designated page for them.Folks were often asking if I could talk about species I had already covered because they couldn’t find the post.

Well, that’s finally been fixed…introducing the Species Husbandry Notes page.

Having done husbandry articles or videos on 40+ species , it was high time I created a page just for species care. I didn’t just want it to be a list of names though…it needed to have some visual flair and possibly a quick way for folks to identify the challenge level of each species. I spend a lot of time trying to get good photos of all my Ts, so I definitely had a lot of material to work with. After a few hours on Photoshop, I came up with what I hope will be a visually-appealing and useful system.

Each species’ name bar is color-coded to indicate the potential level of “challenge.” These designations are based on ease of husbandry, temperament, speed, and venom potency, and are only meant to serve as guidelines for those new to the hobby or species. Obviously, keeper experience and ability, as well as variations in individual specimens’ behavior can be hugely important as well (and can’t really be factored in). Bottom line, if the spider is labeled orange or red, spend a little more time researching its temperament and husbandry needs.


The colors work as follows:

  1. Green – Beginner
  2. Yellow– Intermediate
  3. Orange – Advanced
  4. Red – Expert

If I’ve done a husbandry blog on the species, just click on the photo to be sent to it. If there’s no article yet, you’ll be sent to the husbandry video on YouTube (my goal is to eventually get write-ups for all of the species).

Hopefully, this will make it easier for folks to find the info they need while affording them the opportunity to peruse all of the species husbandry notes if they feel so inclined. I have 33 of the spiders up as I write this, and my goal is to create guides for all of the 60+ species I keep. Also, I will continue to periodically update articles with the very latest observations, notes, and photos to ensure that all posts are current.

Again, thank you to all who currently use Tom’s Big Spiders as one of your sources for tarantula information!



7 thoughts on “Site Update – Husbandry Notes by Species!

  1. Heh. You beat me to the suggestion! I was thinking about this the other day, when hunting about for info. Up until now I’ve been using your site via google, which allows a search to a specific topic after you put in the web name, but it is kinda’ clunky. Excellent stuff Tom!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! I had been planning on doing something like this for a long time, but I wanted to use photos. I knew it was going to be a bit of a pain in the butt, so I kept putting it off. Then yesterday, I had someone ask me if I’d done a write up on the H. pulchripes. To find them the link…I basically Googled my own site. lol Clunky is right! That was all it took to light a fire under my butt, so yesterday I finally got it done. I’m glad I did, because now I really want to make sure I cover all the species I currently keep. That’ll keep me busy for quite some time. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. On my own site, which isn’t as “specific” to subjects, I ended up popping for the wordpress upgrade (99$/year) so I could get more fonts and choices in layout and such. Not trying to sell you on it, but it definitely gives more options to customize a site within the wordpress umbrella. (Plus the domain name….no more “” stuff, just what you want it to be.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I gave a lot of thought to picking that up, and I’m still considering it. My big worry is that I average about 650 views a day and already have a pretty good Google ranking. If I’m not mistaken, if I upgrade at this point, I have to pay them extra to have them redirect the traffic (at least that was what the rep said). Did you have to do that?

      I haven’t abandoned the idea (I really don’t want the wordpress at the end) but I’m afraid to muck with it. Plus, $99 gets me more spiders. Someday…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Everything your site “is” remains the same. The bump to “premium” (8$/month) adds 10gig of storage space, a domain name, no more ads cluttering for end users, the ability to really customize the site (fonts/colors/etc.), video press (think inlining the videos more than a youtube connection), and direct mail support for issues with wordpress.

    If you are using wordpress.COM, which I believe you are, then everything that is happening NOW continues to happen just like it is, just “more”.

    If you were on dot ORG, then yes, you would have to do redirects and such. [ is what you do when building your site and hosting it elsewhere.] I’m guessing whoever you talked to was thinking you were a dot org blogger for some reason.

    When I made the upgrade, it was painless. I took “” as the domain, and things just worked. I don’t get the hits you do, but then I’m more sporadic about posting, still using it as a personal journal…kinda’ like you did when you started out. I enjoy posting about T’s and fish and such, but it was set up at first for the writing side of things primarily, and eventually when I get books #2 and #3 out there and start pushing the marketing side a bit more, I’ll get more focused on it. For now I like the added benefits of premium.


    • This is fantastic information…thank you! I’ve been considering this for a long time, but I was REALLY worried about messing with my traffic. Apparently the guy I spoke to had NO idea what he was talking about, as I thought I made it clear that it was a .com. Oh, well. Perhaps this will become one of my summer projects. After laying out books for years, I’ve become a bit obsessed with fonts. Hahah

      Have you had anyone complain about the move to tarantulas and fish from writing? I’m just curious as I was always afraid to mix the tarantula stuff with my other hobbies.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are very welcome. 🙂

        Absolutely no issues regarding subject switch…but if you notice, my blog is the “overnight cafe” so having new subjects and entries hasn’t been an issue. I’ve always tried to make it clear in general posts that this was my “journal” as opposed to a “single focus” marketing tool. In fact one of the more popular entry items last year was my sporadic “last bits” entries which were shotgunning about interesting stuff all over the place. I set up tabs at the top of the blog for major subject headers, and let the words fly when I feel the urge at whatever is needing to be scratched. 😀


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