Searching for a restaurant online generally brings up four things on the results page, before the fold: their website, their Yelp page, their Facebook page, their Twitter page and on the right side of the screen a little box with all the most relevant information as distilled by Google.
The link users click on depends on a variety of factors but this much is clear—restaurants and companies who depend on the web to disseminate information (read: ALL) need to ensure that sites customers land on have the latest information. For restaurants and other businesses that publish highly dynamic information such as menus and listings, ensuring that all these sites are updated is difficult.
This is the problem Pittsburgh-based WebKite aims to solve. Originally founded as a content management system for company websites, WebKite has pivoted to a platform that simplifies the process by allowing companies to publish and update information anywhere by updating a Google spreadsheet. The result is users can update their website from anywhere.
“The web has transitioned from people publishing pages to people publishing facts. These facts then generate pages: search result pages, calendar pages, menu pages and product pages. And yet, there’s no easy way for businesses to publish this information online on multiple sites and keep it up-to-date online without writing custom code,” says WebKite founder and CEO, Eric Silver.
“WebKite makes the direct connection between the data stores that people already use (like spreadsheets) to publish their inventory to their site, their Facebook page, and in open data formats that make the web tick,” he adds.
WebKite’s service is free and there are a number of templates available that users can choose from. The company currently provides plug-ins for WordPress and Facebook, with more sites like Yelp and Urbanspoon in the works. WebKite currently has over 1,000 users and is growing 50% month over month, according to the company. Many of its clients are restaurants and directories such as real estate and business listings.
WebKite recently moved to StartUptown’s newly opened Paramount Film Exchange building. The company has 23 employees and expects to grow as its product portfolio evolves.