We have been so busy fine tuning our site and building our team that we have neglected one rather important aspect of it: how much membership of our Purple Pages costs, even though some members have been telling us it is too cheap.
As you can see from the graph, 12 months’ unlimited access to our completely independent panoply of information and opinion we think no wine lover can do without has remained at £69 (about $99 or €86 at today’s rates) for more than 11 years, while inflation in the UK has been 30% and the price of wine has soared.
During that time we have reformulated the site four times (see The story of JancisRobinson.com), including ensuring that it works well on smartphones and tablets as one has to do today. As you may well know, the costs of developing, maintaining and designing websites are currently considerable.
When the £69 fee was introduced in April 2005 JancisRobinson.com had precisely one employee: me, plus our blessed subscriptions supremo Rachel Shaughnessy part time. At the end of that year, Julia Harding came on board, but today the team includes not just us three but nine major contributors, all of them lauded experts in their field. Our team now includes no fewer than four Masters of Wine. And as well as the dozen below whose pictures appear at the bottom of the non-members’ home page, we depend heavily on several more people behind the scenes who ensure that everything works and that all those thousands of tasting notes are uploaded efficiently and accurately, including Camilla Sellars, who won the WSET Vintners’ Scholarship in 2012 when she was the top student overall, and Emily Percival, who is currently working hard at her WSET Diploma.
And then there is our development team overseeing our stream of Friday emails and the myriad things that need polishing and can go wrong with a website as rich as this one. It is precisely because of the current shortage of developers (I’m sure many of you have experienced this in your own fields) that we have neglected to put a long-overdue price rise in place, prioritising instead improvements to how the site works.
We don’t want to keep on increasing the price of membership of Purple Pages so we are imposing one substantial increase across the board. But we do want to give you notice of this increase, and we have decided to apply more straightforward pricing than sums that end in a nine. One month from today, on 27 May, the cost of a year’s membership will rise from £69 to £85 (about $122 or €109 at today’s rates) – and a month’s membership will also rise on 27 May from £6.99 to £8.50 (about $12.20 or €10.90). We have applied a similar proportional increase to all the associated memberships such as the Professional membership (which gives a 48-hour preview of what we publish) and the heavily discounted Student membership, which will rise from £49 to £60 for a year’s access to our Purple Pages.
We still think JancisRobinson.com is a unique resource for wine lovers and offers fantastic value. Here’s why:
- Members have exclusive access to the most up-to-date, only fully corrected and most-revised, fully clickable version of the latest, 4th edition of The Oxford Companion to Wine (RRP £40/$65). No heavy lifting!
- Membership includes all the maps from the latest, 7th edition of The World Atlas of Wine (RRP £35/$60).
- Completely independent – no ads, no sponsorship, no promotions. See our ethical policy.
- An average of two new substantial, literate articles published every day, totalling about 10,000 articles in all on all aspects of wine and all corners of the wine world.
- Straightforward, honest, impartial, easily searchable, promptly published tasting notes designed for consumers – more than 125,000 of them, on a huge range of wines from Aalto to Azelia, Yquem to Ycoden, Zapallar to Zorah.
- A courteous, genuinely informative, truly international members’ forum (we have unusually engaged members in more than 100 countries).
- Winner of the first-ever International Wine Website of the Year in 2010.
- Members are offered discounts on many special wine events and tastings, including some organised by the JancisRobinson.com team.
- See what other people say about JancisRobinson.com.
Please note that these new prices will come into play only when the time comes for you to renew your membership. So, for instance, if your membership runs from 26 May 2016, you would pay £69 on 26 May 2016 and £85 on 26 May 2017.
We are delighted to say that we are in the process of improving the mechanics of membership so that you can cancel your membership yourself much more easily, without having to send an email to Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can already see your renewal date, and the plan is for you also to be able to see your personal payment history, change your credit card details and upgrade your membership – say from monthly to annual – yourself. Credit card details are held not by us but, securely, by our payment provider Stripe.
We’re convinced you can save the cost of membership by following our wine-buying advice.