The Yum List blog is a “get around Malaysia and the world” food and travel blog, covering places to eat and stay, trying the food personally and publishing the articles about the experience, if it is worth writing about. This blog is written and maintained by 15 contributors with Monica Tindall as head editor. This brings diversity and lots of unique and different type of articles as well as different types of voices.
After some time spent with this blog, let’s see how did it go on our grading system.
Visual Appeal – 84%
The first impression when landing on this blog and going through some articles, is a repeating background image which doesn’t look that professional. Also, the free blogger platform is not your place to go when you’re serious in building a successful blog in any niche, especially food/travel one.
You get greeted by a nice logo, and a quote about life and experiences. Total page views counter shows over 5 million, and for a domain this old (42 months, according to domain check tool) this brings an average page views of ~110,000 a month. With an audience this big, there is a definite reason (and possibility) to upgrade to self-hosted blog with some design/platform change.
Taking this out of the picture, photography looks good. No oversampled pictures, solid focus range, and good picture optimization for web services. One can tell that people writing and taking photos for The Yum List have good experiences. If the composition elements in photos and exposure issue can be tackled, the blog will be more enticing to read.
Originality – 85%
By getting through some articles (publications seem like a better name), I could tell people behind this blog really enjoy beautiful food at great locations. Definitely would love to be in their position sometimes. The article is well balanced with pictures, and doesn’t takes that much space. So this gives a warm feeling while browsing. Because of the old saying, “One picture speaks a thousand words”, this blog scores on attractiveness, and not on uniqueness & creativeness. After some browsing, you can get a feeling that there are two categories on this blog: Food/restaurant reviews, and “Best of”.
Practical Tips – 85%
Lovely experiences that the contributors have and record in the various restaurants, bakeries and sweet houses are the main source of content for this blog. The readers seem to enjoy it as the blog is popular and have won several awards in the travel industry. The info provided on the places is useful because you can see what type of signature food the restaurant serves, and how it looks like, what services they provide and overall experience. The Yum List will give you info on hundreds of places to eat in Malaysia, info on location and directions, lovely experiences, and some interviews with owners as well.
Web Usability – 81%
Readability of this site is fine. Dimmed white/light grey color feels easy and good for eyes. The background keeps on repeating, which is not good, definitely, and links are colored red, usually at the end of the article. The mobile version responsive but too simplified.
Navigation-wise, this site is well developed and the links are put together nicely. There aren’t too much categories here to choose from, which would lead to confusion of the readers and possible bounce. The sidebar, on the other hand, is loaded with a lot of stuff. Some rearrangements like grouping them together in a few tabs would fit them nicely.
The Yum List blog is a popular blog, has been online for a long time and with lots of readers coming back to check out some interesting stuff they publish. With some technical and design improvements, this blog can improve, move up in ranks, and receive more success. The writers and photographers are doing a good job and they need a good web developer.
Overall, the reviews are good. I have to If there are less grammar mistakes and need to go through each article to correct some grammar mistakes and some