What’s Whatpub.com all about?
For a number of years, people have been asking why CAMRA, as the UK’s largest and most influential pub-going consumer organisation, doesn’t have its own online pub guide. Well now it does.
You can use whatpub.com to search for pubs across the UK and then look up opening times, descriptions, facilities and of course details of the real ale and cider on offer. Being an online guide means that extra functions such as additional text for descriptions, photos and live map data are also available.
Isn’t this just the Good Beer Guide online?
Lots of people have been asking this. The answer is no, but it does naturally complement the Guide.
When you search for pubs on Whatpub.com you will not see just Good Beer Guide pubs. There is no way of searching specifically for Good Beer Guide pubs – so you will still need the book or Mobile App to find the very best real ale pubs.
How it all started…
CAMRA’s online pub guide is the result of an immense amount of work by volunteers and staff.
A decision was made at the start to acknowledge the local expertise of CAMRA members, which is why the pub details and descriptions that appear on whatpub.com come from CAMRA branches. Over 170,000 volunteers have an input into the guide and this is what makes CAMRA’s pub guide so different (and we would say better) from other online pub guides.
CAMRA volunteers are key in finding out the all important things we need to know about pubs. This would include opening hours, location and real ales served, as well as other information that goes beyond what we use for the CAMRA Good Beer Guide
But we’re not there yet…
Our aim is to get every pub in the UK listed and regularly updated on whatpub.com with all entries complete with up to date information such as descriptions and photos.
To help us on our way, we would like to invite you to help us improve our site. You can do this in a number of ways, from rating beer quality to carrying out a survey for your local CAMRA branch. However, your first step is to become a CAMRA member!
The site went live in September 2013, and by early April 2015 it had been visited by over 2.8 million different people. By early April 2015 it was being visited by over 11,000 different people every day, and that number is projected to rise to 15,000 per day by the end of 2015.
WhatPub has, in a short period, become established as the best online pub guide. That is largely down to the quality of the information, which is modeled on the information in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.
WhatPub is a key element in CAMRA’s Key Campaign 4. This is to “raise the profile of pub-going and increase the number of people using pubs regularly“. Undoubtedly WhatPub has been a great success in encouraging pub going. It will make a major contribution to ensuring that more pubs remain economically viable, and that will keep more pubs open.
However, WhatPub will only continue to be a success, and attract even more visitors, if the pub information is complete and accurate. The primary responsibility for updating the site lies with branches, but all users can help by using the “Submit Update” tab appearing on each pub page. This brings up an online form for submitting updated details by email to the branch who keep WhatPub up to date. We really would appreciate any help you can give us to make the Guide better for the public
We seem to have been doing pretty well! Having started work on creating our pub database in 2010, it took us about two years to survey the 280+ pubs. And crucially, we’re managing to keep the entries reasonably up to date. We aim to get round the lot in 2 years, but in reality we bettered that. In 2014 we surveyed over 80% of them, and in 2015 we did 91%, so we’re doing well!
It’s also pleasing to see that our part of the site is attracting good viewing numbers. In January 2016 the figure was 20728 views for the month, which placed us 15th out of 213 CAMRA branches nationwide
But we can’t rest on our laurels, and we want to improve! Much as our survey units enjoy the toil of visiting pubs, the Branch welcomes extra toilers. In essence, more surveyors means more contemporary entries, which in turn leads to increased value for our public. And in truth, it’s a not unpleasant job!
So, if you fancy helping out please use the Contact Form to get in touch with us