I recently met Shon MacDughlas, the owner of the Cask in West Seattle, which opened about a month ago (we reported it here). We talked about his plans to serve regional craft beers on tap alongside world beers in bottles and we talked about his vision for the Cask overall. His vision, especially the part about having a certain dedication to cask-conditioned beer, sounds delicious.
The Cask’s website, or lack thereof, quickly became the focus of our conversation. Shon recognized that beer lovers like you are online using websites and social media to stay informed. The fact that you are reading this is proof. The website situation for the Cask was not at all unusual. It is a dilemma faced by many bars, craft breweries and other small businesses. Shon was looking for a website that he could easily update himself and that would not cost an arm and a leg to have built and to maintain.
Beer Lovers Want Information
The Cask now has a lovely new website. It was very affordable to build (less than $500 total), has all of the basic features Shon wanted, and is easy to update. He can add new events, update his tap and bottle list, upload photos, and change content whenever he wants. All he needs is an Internet-connected computer. That’s important. These days, people are more interested in information than flash. A website is considered useless if the content is outdated or just plain wrong. The beer loving public consumes information at nearly the same rate they consume beer.
Shon can now update information on his website’s events page in about the same time it takes to send an email to one of his distributors. Changing basic content, like what’s currently on tap, is fast and easy. Uploading new pictures is as easy as posting photos on Facebook. Maybe easier.
This Aint Rocket Science
The Cask’s new website was built on a platform that allows it to be updated by anyone with a reasonable amount of basic computer skills. Seriously, this aint rocket science. Authorized users simply log on to the site, open the editor and change content, upload pictures, add events and so on. No more expensive calls to “the web guy” just to change a little bit of content. I should know. I’m the web guy who built the website and won’t be getting those calls.
The Washington Beer Blog is a product of First Draft Production, the company that my wife and I started when we decided to make the Washington Beer Blog a reality. You all know us as beer lovers, but we’re more than that. One of the things we do is build affordable websites for small businesses like the Cask. We are beer-loving, techno-geek marketing professionals at your service.
When Kim and I look around the beer community we see many businesses that need our help. It isn’t easy to go to a business owner and tell them that their website stinks. In many cases, these people are our friends. Truth is, if your website needs help, you already know it and you don’t need to hear about it from us. What you do need to hear from us is that we can help.
This post is different than most, I know. We just thought it was time to let you know that we do more than write about beer. We’d be happy to talk with you about your online presence or anything having to do with the marketing of your business. Websites, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and other stuff you probably haven’t heard of yet, it’s what we do.
We don’t bite and we don’t charge a lot either. Best of all, we are deeply entrenched in the beer scene.