If you have looked at one of our walks recently you may have noticed that we are now selling the GPX routes of our walks which you can put on your GPS to help you find your way and also the PDF versions of the walks suitable for printing or storing on your mobile phone or tablet and I thought it was worth explaining why.
This site costs us a lot of money to run. For Beth it's now her full time job: researching each walk, going out on the fells to check it out and take all the photos she needs to illustrate it, then coming back to write it up, categorize it, edit her track on the map if she's taken detours while investigating it, creating the GPX route, and selecting the right photos from the ones she's taken. All of that takes time.
On top of that there's our costs in equipment, both walking and logistical - fuel, servicing and deprecation on our vehicle.
Meanwhile we've also got the costs of the web site itself: my time updating the site and also the cost of the server on which it's hosted.
All of this has to be paid for somehow. As you know we do carry adverts but, sadly, very few of our users click through and purchase anything (which is the only time we make any money). And even our T-shirts, which we sell at cost, are seldom purchased.
So, if we are to continue bringing you the best walks in the Lake District then we need to look at other ways of making money. The first of these is asking you to pay if you want a GPX route file or PDF version of the walk.
It's only £1 - less than the price of a cup of coffee or a half of bitter. Is that too much to ask to help keep WalkLakes going?
Hi, I use your site from time to time and its been a great resource for the novice walker. I don't mind paying for the gpx or the pdf's but in the past I have used both together. Can you give a discounted option to buy both at the same time? This may generate more income for you and would be easier for me as I would only need one transaction not two.
Please let me know if I can do this already and have just missed it. Regards wpm
Thanks for the feedback.
No, you can't do that already: at the moment you have to purchase every walk and GPX file individually ... which is a bit tedious.
When I wrote this code and we turned it on we said we would see how it worked out. We weren't even sure people would buy anything at all. But people are. And in many cases they are making multiple purchases despite having to purchase each item separately.
So that's very encouraging.
Now, to make it easier for people making multiple purchases, I'm working flat out on adding a "shopping basket" facility, so that, as you're asking for, you will be able to purchase a GPX and the PDFs for a walk in one transaction. Or indeed files for several walks, as quite a lot of people are doing already.
To give you an idea of how it's likely to look here's an sample screenshot taken from our test system at the moment:
Once I've got that rolled out, which I'm hoping to do by the end of this week, we will then be talking about where we go from there and one of the things we will be considering is the possibility of discounts for multiple purchases.
I've just rolled out the shopping basket to the live site so people can now use that to make their purchases more easily.
I've just moved to the lakes and find your site absolutely excellent in both format and content. I have used a couple of your walk guides and they are spot on.
My thoughts are that you should have a more general 'if you like my website then please donate' button. (A bit like Wikipedia use for funding) I happily pay a pound for the PDFs, but I think people might also be willing to make small donations just for the work that goes into maintaining the web site. (What have you got to loose?)
Hello Ejuk, Thanks for the feedback on our walks, glad you like them.
We have been thinking about taking donations, this may appear with some other updates but it isn't finished yet.
We've just registered with your site, specifically to buy GPX files of your walks, and are happy to pay £1. Saves so much time logging and downloading our own routes.
I agree with Ejuk above. I use a photography website "kenrockwell.com" who uses a similar donation system and appears to do very well from it.
Good luck, and carry on the good work,