The idea of having a site to promote tourism in Winnsboro and feature the arts, music, great shopping, dining and history was first discussed in 2008 by the Main Street Partnership, Inc. (now the Winnsboro Four Corners Foundation).
In early 2009, the idea was presented to the Winnsboro Economic Development Corporation, which funded the initial development cost of the site.
It was a mad dash through the summer to get the initial site together and we officially launched on August 1, 2009.
The Guide was proposed as a 25 page site with a blog.
Today, three years later, the site has almost 200 live pages (some appearing only seasonally) and over 360 blog posts.
The Weekend Planner is emailed every Tuesday to
subscribers both in town and the Dallas area. We also maintain a
facebook page for last minute event information and announcements.
From Day 1, we included information provided by City Hall, and recently developed a City Info section to consolidate all the city-related information for easier access.
Earlier in 2012, the WEDC information was moved from a freestanding site to become a special section on the Guide.
The number of unique visitors has increased steadily since we began, as illustrated in the chart below. Our newcomers generally find us online, often through a search engine or a blog post, or by word of mouth.
The WEDC approved city funding to underwrite the Guide through the last months of the fiscal year 2012-12 and further funding for the fiscal year 2012-2013, which begins October 1. This replaces the advertising revenue used previously to support the Guide and allows all local businesses to promote on the site without charge.
In 2010, The Winnsboro Online Guide was a finalist in the Texas Downtown Association awards for Best Marketing at their conference in El Paso.
The strategy has always been to make the site warm and welcoming with a true reflection of the city and all it offers. Our site is updated weekly, and sometimes multiple times during the week, to keep fresh information on the site. This gives visitors up-to-date information about events, but also conveys the distinctive personality of Winnsboro.
We are grateful for the support provided by Mayor Jones, Joe Dan Coe, the WEDC board, Nina Browning and countless others who have championed the Winnsboro Online Guide from the beginning. Barbara Hums has done a terrific job of handling the tech side and bringing her expertise in online promotion to the project.
But we wouldn't be anywhere as successful as we are without you, the visitors and faithful fans of the Guide. Thank you!
Please leave your comments below.