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March 17, 2007


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rick gregory

Tracy is 100% dead wrong. IN fact, that comment shows a misunderstanding of the purpose of a business's website. It is NOT the web shop's site - it's the WINERY's. It reflects on THEM and affects THEIR business. If they spent money to create it, presumably they had a reason for doing so - what was it? What business purpose do they want to achieve? Is it doing that? Are there new things that they could do now that they have a site? The WINERY should be thinking about this, not the web developer. In fact, it's very likely that the web developer does not know the winery's business that well.

Any business site should be built in such a way as to allow the business to update content easily and without coding. Use Wordpress or something to power the site and you're done with that aspect. As for layout, you simply don't need to redo a site very often - what you DO need is to understand your customers, what they are looking for in a site and how you can give it to them. That doesn't require web developers it requires a committed marketing person at the winery to actually spend some time thinking about the issue.

This, by the way, is an issue with most small business websites - the owners rarely think about WHY they have a site and what site visitors might be looking for. That's why we still have brochureware sites. it's sad, because a well-done, evolving website can significantly help most businesses. Go look at Marketingsherpa for dozens of case studies on how...


It sounds like Tracy wants someone to coach her through it and be a partner. In that sense, I think she's dead RIGHT. It's all about finding the right web person.

Paul Mabray

I agree a bit with Rick - the winery needs to prioritize the website and direct sales and marketing. I do not agree with anyone about blogs and these comments further support the case that wineries need to focus on their energies on their website site and direct sales and marketing tactics before starting a blog because it is "cool." However, it is the wineries job to do their work - their are many, many tools to help this (ours included). However, to treat a website as a "field of dreams" component of their business is wrong.

Wineries - build a plan, build metrics to measure your plan and execute on it against all your direct business - including your website.

I left other comments on the blog entry that started the meme.

Inertia - Powering the Wine Revolution

---Paul Mabray - CEO

rick gregory


A web designer or developer is rarely going to be the right person to coach Tracy (or anyone) about the issues surrounding conversion, analytics and visitor behavior. The right firm might, but be prepared to pay for those services over and above the actual design and development work.

You simply cannot treat a website, or any other marketing device, as an afterthought and expect it to perform. You have to know what you want from it, how you will generate traffic and be prepared to analyze what is working and what is not.

As for the mechanics of updating content, I strongly feel that site owners should insist that their site incorporate some kind of CMS. they should be able to edit and update the text on their own. If they want substantial site design changes that is very different... and it is not something that you can ask a web firm to do in an hour or two when you happen to think of an idea.

Tracy Hall

Rick, I don't know that you read my post on Lenn's Rants. I don't want a 'coach' or someone to tell me my business. I have my solution.

My point was there are a endless companies who are interested in "building you a site" and very few (if any) companies who will work on an hourly basis to update content on your site AFTER they have built it.

Go check the Comments on Lenn's Rants and you'll see a post that someone did specifically ask for a site they could update themselves. The website company did the opposite. (I've heard this over and over)

There is also a posted comment offering to build sites.

But alas, no offers to update sites on a reasonable hourly 'as needed' basis.

I know there is more money in building sites than maintaining them. That's the issue in my opinion, and what I was saying.

Some small wineries can't afford hundreds of dollars a month for a e-commerce solution/package. They are a one or two person operation with a very small production. (Brian Loring is mentioned on Lenn's rants, he keeps his site up to date, but someone thinks it should be better.) Small wineries are a one or two person operation in which Marketing, Sales, compliance, accounts receivable, accounts payable, distribution, winemaking, vineyard management, are all the same person. I see Brain everywhere I go on the road selling wine.

I found my solution, as I said on Lenn's rants. I was only giving my opinion on what is a big issue, based on the people I speak with, and my personal experience.

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