WebKite Lets Publishers Turn Data Into Web Directories
WebKite is a new service that wants to help you build a better web directory. The directories or Kite’s (what WebKite calls them) are designed to have a number of use cases, including traditional directory listings, product comparisons, buying guides, new ways to display content, and even catalogues. Every Kite is completely customizable, you can add your own images (e.g. logo), change the colors, adjust the font type, and more. Kite’s can even be designed to match an existing web design.
Building A Kite
The easiest way to build a Kite is to have an existing data set, such as a spreadsheet. If you have a spreadsheet, you can upload it to WebKite and it will automatically build the Kite with everything in the document. I was told by the WebKite team that having a spreadsheet is definitely a recommended first step for building a Kite, as it makes it a much easier process. That being said, if you plan to make a Kite with under 10 items, it most likely will not be a problem to add things by hand, however, anything more than that may get cumbersome.
In terms of formatting your spreadsheet so it correctly imports into your Kite, essentially, you will want to have each column be its own attribute. So for example, in my tests with WebKite, I created a product comparison Kite for computer mice. Column A in my spreadsheet was the name of the mouse, Column B was the price, Column C said whether it had a scroll wheel, etc. If you want to add an image for each item being included in your Kite, just add a column called “image” and put the URL of the image you want to appear for that particular listing.
Additionally, WebKite recently released a Kite updater tool that allows users to add new items in bulk via a spreadsheet uploader.
There’s no doubt that creating the spreadsheet is the most tedious part of the entire Kite building process, but thankfully, once that part is done it’s smooth sailing.
Theming Your Kite
Theming your Kite is super simple. The theme manager gives you the ability to customize just about every aspect of the Kite in an easy to use interface. One of the things I liked was how you could select from the Google fonts catalogue for your headlines. This was key for me because I use Google fonts here on BestTechie and having matching fonts is always a huge plus as it makes transitioning from one part of the site to another more seamless.
Every Kite has the ability to do side-by-side comparisons and more advanced filtering based on things that are or are not important to what you’re looking for. For example, if you were looking for a new computer mouse and it absolutely had to be wired (because you’re a hardcore gamer who cares about latency), then you could filter the Kite to only show you those types of mice. Plus, you could make the filter even more specific and tell it the mouse had to be wired and have at least three buttons — which is pretty cool and useful.
Each item in a Kite gets its own page with a search engine friendly URL, which is a huge benefit for publishers. On each item’s page, you can see a breakdown of the features or whatever information you inputted from your spreadsheet. Additionally, people can leave reviews on each item within a Kite.
Kite’s [paid only] also allow publishers to monetize their traffic with affiliate links and other lead generation tools.
The company offers a free version of the product that is limited and mostly intended for people to use as a way to test it out to see if they want to pay for it. The paid version of WebKite starts at $79/month, which allows for one Kite with up to 20 items in it. If you’re interested in more Kites and the ability to add more items, WebKite also offers a $99/month, a $449/month version, and an enterprise version if you require even more than that. We’ve included the pricing chart below.
WebKite In Action
If you’re interested in seeing WebKite in action, check out these two Kite’s that other sites have created: Top Ranked Spirit Brands in Social Media and The Best Juicers.
Overall, WebKite is a great solution for publishers to turn data into monetized content.