We had the pleasure of talking to Jamie Knop, who co-owns Eat Drink Seek along with Mike Payton. Eat Drink Seek is a beautiful event directory of UK that helps people find food and drink festivals near them. The co-owner of the website, Jamie Knop was kind enough to take some time out to share his experience on creating a food and drink festivals’ directory.
The website is based on the Events WordPress theme by Templatic and is a good example of how you can use it to get creative and craft a website of your dreams.
Eat Drink Seek has a great design – with cheerful colors and thoughtful positioning of the screen elements to maximize user interaction with the website. Moreover, it is user friendly so that the visitors can find the place of their interest without wasting their precious time.
We asked some questions to Jamie, and here are his answers and views as he tells us about his journey to create the food and drink directory website for UK.
Meet Jamie Knop, the co-owner of Eat Drink Seek
My name is Jamie Knop, creator of Eat Drink Seek along with Mike Payton. My background is in online marketing having worked at a number of agencies in the past and for the last few years for myself.
When an opportunity arises such as there being no easy answer to a question I have online, I go about seeing if I could make a resource to answer the question, Eat Drink Seek being one that fits that criteria.
What is Eat Drink Seek about?
Eat Drink Seek enables people to find local food and drink festivals near them in the UK.
There are various ways people can find local festivals on the website including festival category pages such a food and beer, via the search form at the top of each page where people can search via location, category and radius, and also by viewing the map page which has all of the events are listed over an interactive map of the UK.
On each festival events page, we provide all of the key information people will need such as dates, location, opening times and ticket prices.
I was looking for a local food festival to attend my self but was finding it difficult to find any.
After a lot of research and time, I did find food festival happening and thought it would be really handy for other people to have a website where they can find festivals themselves without having to spend so much time researching and so Eat Drink Seek was born.
Tell us about the purpose and audience of your website
It was built in order to help people save time finding food and drink festivals in the UK. Having one website where people can find all of the festivals taking place makes it easier for people to find the events taking place near them.
Many of the people that use Eat Drink Seek are food and drink enthusiasts, but a large audience of food and drink festivals are also families, couples and groups of friends. Everybody loves good day out which involve food and drink!
How difficult/easy it was to start your food and drink festival Directory?
We used the Templatic events theme as the base for entire website. After a lot of research into WordPress themes that cater to events websites we settled on Templatic.
It had a lot of functionality we were after such as being able to easily add and update events, event categorization and being able to display all of the events on Google Maps so people can easily see all of the festivals on one page.
As we had a solid base, expanding on this wasn’t very difficult. We integrated some custom fields with the use of Advanced Custom Fields WordPress plugin and used the GEO my WP plugin to have a more detailed search around location.
Tell us something about the Events theme that made your life easier
I mentioned in the previous question that we used Templatic events theme as the base for Eat Drink Seek. By choosing this theme it saved us a lot of time in custom development that would have otherwise been required.
The support provided by the team at Templatic is also very good and very quick, something that is very important to stop bottle necks when building the website.
Any suggestions for the theme?
Areas I think the Templatic events theme could be improved is adding more sophisticated search functionality so we wouldn’t need to use an additional plugin such as GEO my WP plugin.
I am fairly technically savvy so modifying the theme wasn’t too difficult. For someone less savvy adding more functionality for customisation to the layout / design might be helpful.
How did you got traction on your website initially?
We have built up relationships with a lot of the food and drink festivals already which has helped a lot as they are happy to promote us, as we are promoting them.
Once we started getting our first visitors we concentrated on user feedback and making the website as user-friendly as possible so they can find the information they need.
With this, I believe it has helped us grow organically as our bounce rate is low and visitors spend a few minutes on average on our website without leaving.
If our website is providing the answers to queries, Google rewards us for that.
Do you make money out of this website?
We do make some money, but initially, our goal is to build up the website to be as thorough as possible in the information it offers. Currently, we make a small commission on ticket sales and accommodation that is booked for when people want to stay local to the festival.
What would you advise other users who are planning to create similar website?
Before launching make sure you have the basics covered so people can find the information they need easily when on your website and also that people can find your website through search, primarily Google.
So people can find your website easily through Google, make sure your websites architecture is set up well and people aren’t having to make too many clicks in order to find what they want. Make sure your URL structure is short and concise, each page has a unique title and meta description around what people would search for. You’ll also want to create a sitemap and submit to Google Search Console so your websites page’s can easily be crawled and indexed.
Creating an Online Events Directory happens to be a little complicated yet interesting thing to do. It’s good to own a website that servers useful data for the people at large, as well as lets the business advertise themselves and reach more people. However, good things take time. And therefore, patience and continuous efforts can be a base for a successful online business.
Thanks Jamie for your answers and taking your time out to inspire people who want to create their own directories but are too hesitant to get started. Your tips will surely help new business owners to make the best efforts for their websites.