Why I decided to learn how to build a Website?

Good Question! The Money Mechanic built this one, and it’s a good thing because I had no clue! It certainly was not quick or easy, but it was rewarding. You can find it at tastingBC.com if you want to have a look.

The Foundation

Last summer The Lawyer and I took a 4 day trip to Osoyoos and Penticton to get some sun and see Michael Kaeshammer.

We happened to stop in at a handful of wineries (okay, maybe more than a handful), and had a great time sipping, sampling and purchasing wine.

We were interested to see that there seemed to be two different pricing models: free tastings or $5 tastings where the tasting fee was waived if you purchased a bottle. We wondered how the wineries came to the decision on which model to follow.

We thought that maybe the free tasting model was preferred by wineries who wanted to get lots of people in to taste their wine, but since none of the wineries seem to advertise that they offered free tastings this didn’t make much sense. Another thought was that these wineries were extremely confident that people would like their wine. Were they just assuming that charging a tasting fee wasn’t worth the hassle for the small number of people who didn’t buy wine?

When we visited a winery with a $5 tasting fee, we tried to view the $5 as a sunk cost and not let it influence our decision to buy or not buy. I think we did a pretty good job of that, but we did come back with more bottles than would fit in our wine fridge (note: we do not have a wine fridge).

The Motivation

We found ourselves in Penticton again about a month ago and stopped in at Painted Rock Estate Winery on the recommendation of one of The Lawyers coworkers. I was very surprised to see a new pricing model: the $10 tasting! Well, we’d driven about 15 minutes to get there, so we were having a sample even though it seemed to me that this was a bit high for a tasting fee. When we didn’t enjoy any of the wines they were offering that day I was very sure that we’d paid too much for the tasting (especially since if we had arrived about an hour later the tasting would have been free!)

When we were walking back to the car I tried to search the internet for a winery offering free tastings near us, but was surprised to find that that information was not readily available on the google machine. Naturally, I thought this was a hole that needed to be filled – I couldn’t be the only one that wants this information.

The Process

Having had the Money Mechanic bringing us up to speed with our website here, I was now somewhat familiar with how WordPress works. So I thought – why shouldn’t it be me who makes that information available?!?

So I started to make a list of wineries. I thought this would be the worst part, but I happened across BC Wine Lover early on and that made compiling the list quite a lot easier. However, I’m still not sure I have all the wineries in BC on my list and I know I don’t have complete information on all the wineries (It’s amazing how many wineries have not responded to my inquiry for tasting room information).

Next, I brainstormed some information that I thought would be useful to people who might use the site. As I am want to do, I jumped in and kept adding pieces of information as I went, having to go back and fill in additional information that I came up with too late for wineries that I had already researched – that added a lot of time to the project.

Then I fired up the old google machine and bought myself some domain names: tastingBC.com, tastingBC.ca, and tastingBC.wine. Why did I buy ‘.wine’? I don’t know, hopefully, I’ll find out it was a good idea and not just a waste of $20 sometime in the near future.

Next, I jumped into WordPress and researched directory plugins (I used Advanced Classified and Directory Pro) and import tools (WP All Import) which did some of the heavy lifting, but it was still quite a bit of work (okay, A LOT of work – but I learned that the wp.org forums are very helpful) to tweak things to look sort of like I wanted them to look.

The Result

I finished the build-out in a few weeks and I am excited to launch it. I’m also excited that I will be able to use the map tool this weekend when the Lawyer and I head back up to Penticton to see Michael Kaeshammer (you should see this guy if you can).

The Future

I would like this website to be collaborative with users sending in information when they visit wineries to help keep things up to date. I’m also hoping to populate each listing with pictures from users so if you have some nice pictures of a BC winery that you have visited I’d love to be able to use your photos on the site; if you’re interested please email  images@TastingBC.com. However, it is still going to be a significant amount of upkeep for me and I hope that I continue to want to put in that work.

Maybe I’ll even make some money with it, maybe even before the FI Garage makes money (oops, the Accountant just informed us we got a single-digit payout from Amazon, so there goes that idea)!

If you’re headed on vacation in B.C. or looking for something to do close to home, I hope you check out tastingBC.com and that it provides you a little bit of help in planning your adventure. If you want to keep the cost of your trip down check out the directory of free (or $1 to $5) tastings.

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About the Author: The Economist

2 Comments

    1. Thanks Chrissy, a few people have said it looks great but I’m still a bit hesitant…I don’t have much faith in my artistic skills. It was nice to use the site this weekend as we toured around; I have a couple more features I’d like to add to make it more user-friendly so I think my work is not yet over!

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