Lenn Thompson of Lenndevours asks the question, "Why do some restaurants and wineries even have Web sites?"
I know. I know. Many wineries and websites are short staffed and they just don't have the time or manpower to keep up with their websites. That's the easy excuse.
Fact is, people in my generation and younger use the Internet to plan trips to wine country, to buy wine, and to get their information.
Maybe these wineries and restaurants should stop spending thousands of dollars a year advertising in many of the marginal print publications locally and use a little bit of that money on their websites. My guess is that their return on investment would increase quickly
I sort-of agree with Lenn's last paragraph. Print advertising is easier than keeping a Web site up-to-date. But a winery Web site is just part of a well-conceived overall marketing plan. Done correctly, a Web site works for your winery hard 24/7. Done wrong , it does nothing, or worse (as Lenn pointedly observes), it damages your reputation.
The abundant comments on Lenn's post show that it strikes a nerve. I couldn't help but add my two cents:
...Probably the number one problem we observed with winery Web sites was "freshness" - they simply aren't kept up to date. There are two keys to success: a site which is easy to update (i.e. designed to be updated without costing a fortune), and a plan for regular updates...
In my opinion, the problem isn't the wineries, it's the lack of website companies/people who are willing to MAINTAIN a website on a monthly basis, rather than just sitting back waiting for the customer to call them to 'redo' their site. It's not an excuse, it's just the reason.
What do you think? Realistically, what should consumers expect from winery Web sites?