Developing Farm Websites Guidebook and Videos

developing farm websites

Developing Farm Websites: Using Farm and Market Websites as a Tool to Develop New Marketing Opportunities for Farmers Program Draws to A Close, Guidebook and Videos Now Available for Public Use – See Links Below

Websites are a powerful marketing tool used by many different types of businesses to gain customers and increase sales. Yet a lack of time, funding, or the knowledge needed to create websites often leaves farmers markets and small-scale direct marketing farmers without this valuable tool.  In 2014, the Farmers Market Federation of NY was given a two-year grant through FMPP to create 100 websites and accompanying trainings for farmers and farmers markets that would help them grow their customer base and engage new audiences online to expand their producer-to-consumer sales. The project is now drawing to a close. We really enjoyed working with all the farms and markets in the program! These new websites will continue to help farms and markets stay connected with their existing consumers and encourage them to visit the farm/market more often as well as help reach and engage new consumer populations.

We received some great qualitative and quantitative feedback about the program. Here are a few of the comments we received:

“Thank you so much!  NEVER thought I would say I am actually having fun doing this – working with websites has always been such a struggle before.” ~ Market Website Participant

“Loving the website your group designed. Wow! Slick, professional.” ~ Farm Website Participant

“I want you to know I really feel like I have the tools to make this website work and update it on a regular basis.  I am going to start small and work on it and may send you e-mails from time to time but this has been a FABULOUS project.  Thank you again.” ~ Farm Website Participant

We also did a survey to assess the level of success of the program. For the farm websites, here were the results in terms of benefits that the sites provided, in order from most selected to least:

  • Advertising your business to potential customers – 100%
  • Providing existing customers with information about your business – 100%
  • Increasing your income – 87%
  • Increasing your customer base – 75%
  • Providing information to the community as a whole (press, partners etc.) – 55%
  • Gaining followers for your social media channels – 50%
  • Providing information to potential employees – 25%

For the market sites:

  • Increasing your customer base – 100%
  • Recruiting new vendors – 100%
  • Advertising the market to potential customers – 76%
  • Increasing your vendor base – 68%
  • Gaining visits/traffic for your vendors on their websites and social media channels – 60%
  • Providing existing customers with information about the market and vendors – 57%
  • Providing information to the community as a whole (press, partners etc.) – 55 %
  • Gaining followers for your social media channels – 54%
  • Providing information to potential employees and volunteers – 52%

We are very pleased the websites were able to help so many people in so many ways. Now that the project is complete, this doesn’t mean the resources created need to fall into disuse, however. The 26-page Guidebook that was created to help participants understand how to edit, update, and maintain their websites and the 8 accompanying how-to videos can still be reviewed by participants as they continue to use their sites in the years that follow. We would also like to make them available for CCE instructors to use in their training of market managers or farms and for anyone else who is maintaining or creating a website on WordPress for a farm or farmers market.

Developing Farm Websites Resources – You can view and use these resources here:

Developing Farm Websites Guidebook: http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com/websites-guidebook

Developing Farm Websites Instructional Videos: http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com/instructional-videos

For any questions about developing farm websites, about the program or the results, or about how you can use these resources to teach farmers or market managers to use a WordPress website to improve their online presence and grow their customer base, please contact Galena Ojiem using the contact information above.

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