We didn’t win, but…

Royal Institution of Great Britain
Royal Institution of Great Britain

Visit Nunney didn’t win any Good Web Guide Awards in the end, but what an amazing journey it has been!

Royal Institution of Great Britain
The awards ceremony was held at the Royal Institution of Great Britain in Mayfair.

The Good Web Guide is the online guide to the best sites on the internet. The annual awards are given for innovation and online excellence, and aim to showcase that outstanding websites don’t need a large team or budget.

website of the yearShortlisted out of 1,500 entries, Visit Nunney was pitched against just two other websites in the category Information/News Website of the Year 2014: beauty product review website Get the Gloss and global news amalgamator The World Weekly.

The judging for each of the 19 categories was done by industry experts, who were briefed to judge each of the contending sites on its merits – how good is it for its relative status? In addition, there was an award for the overall winner and a People’s Choice Award.

People’s Choice

Shortlisted sites, judges, sponsors, internet entrepreneurs gathered at The Royal Institution in London’s Mayfair on Monday 17 November to hear the results of this year’s Awards.

We were also in the running for the People’s Choice Award, voted for by the public. Although we did incredibly well for a village website, it quickly became clear that we were no match for established corporate websites with 85,000 subscribers or more.

In the end we finished in a very honourable 7th place out of 47 finalists – with huge thanks to everyone who voted for us.

Royal Institution of Great Britain
The awards ceremony was held in the library of the Royal Institution of Great Britain.

To cut a long story short: the judges gave ‘our’ award to The World Weekly, a website that collates published articles from all over the world to give readers an easy-to-digest summary of world news.

Although we have yet to see the detailed feedback from the judges, early discussions indicate that it was felt that this website “had more of a global reach” (hey, we’re a rural village website!).

Our impression is that whoever was charged with comparing apples to oranges in our category simply didn’t “get” the fact that this not a corporate site with a full-time team but a village website with only original content and run by one person in his spare time (even if creating corporate and government websites is what he does for a living).


GWG AwardsThe Visit Nunney team did get a special mention in a welcome speech from Arabella Dymoke, Managing Director of the Good Web Guide, and we had a very useful conversation with her afterwards.

Arabella said about Visit Nunney:

“There are websites with limitless resources and access to the best digital brains but small websites can make waves too. As the founder, Adrie van der Luijt said about our Awards, ‘It’s been a real eye opener. Even if we don’t win, the Awards have already been really useful for us.’ It’s not only about winning, it’s about the journey.”

For a little village website to end up in the Top 3 Information/News Websites of the Year and be considered for an award alongside websites of Dragon’s Den’s multimillionaire interior designer Kelly Hoppen, financial services firm Hargreaves Lansdown and other major corporates is amazing.

We have been overwhelmed by the support we have have received throughout the competition, with thousands of people voting, sending testimonials to the organisers and wishing us luck around the village and on social media.

If we are lucky enough to be shortlisted next year (we don’t give up that easily), we would definitely do some things differently. There’s no point competing with much bigger sites for the People’s Choice, for example.


Most of all, we have learned that competitions come and go but the real reason we do what we do is because there are people out there who genuinely love what we do – even if they don’t always say so.

It’s not about whether you publish an award-winning article a day, but about whether you tell the true story of your local community and its people, over time as and when it reveals itself. Because without this, many of their stories of hardship and dedication would never be told.

So although we came away empty-handed on Monday, we will continue to run Visit Nunney the best we can because until this competition we never knew anyone cared and now we know better.

A full list of all winners is available on the Good Web Guide’s website: