Out of Town Blog is from the Philippines which is magazine oriented, covering traveling, food, and lifestyle. It’s written and maintained by Melo Vilareal, an ex-accountant who turned into freelance travel photo journalist for many travel publications online. His specialty is travel photography, and Out of Town blog showcase beautiful photography for 230,000 average visitors.
With lots of awards received, numerous publications featured, and great amount of partnerships, this site is widely popular and attractive. The menu gives readers insights and helpful advice on travel related topics, reviews of the hotels, attractions and food providing interesting places for consuming on a daily basis. This blog went one step further, making a community of travel lovers who can contribute, review and grade publicized pieces and localities, and have the “inner club” feeling.
Here’s the analysis of the blog:
Visual Appeal – 82%
When you land on Out of Town blog, a professional design with unique logo and nice slider welcomes you. First impression one gets looking at this blog is professionalism and premium experience. The site covers vast number of categories, and they are showcased by two main buttons, “Destinations” and “Travel Tips”. Alongside, you have other categories bookmarked in colors. Interesting and useful design, well placed and optimized for functionality, a job well done. WordPress platform is powering this setup, and GabfireThemes takes care of everything web design related, to make sure all the visitors get premium experience.
Photography on this website is done professionally, and images represent locations and attraction the best way. With wide focus, low distortion rate and retouched coloring to bring up the details to give readers staggering feeling.
Featured article photos are large and optimized with carousel/collage set up, looking interesting.
Originality – 79%
Out of Town blogger Melo Villareal surely must have a team of creative writers behind him, since this site has so much to offer to the vast readership. Featured boxes, community pop-out box, integrated smiley mood grades about article, and interesting writing among other put visitors well glued to the screen. Average visit time of 3 minutes is amazing. Again, job well done.
However, quite a number of articles are republished in other online media sites, making this site not so unique.
Practical Tips – 84%
You can find information on festivals, travel gear, food events, food in particular, hotel reviews, photography related articles, tons of travel advice, info on insurance, guides, travel jobs, historical sites, theme parks, events, airplane tours, motoring, Visa requirements, and more. Talking about usefulness, one can’t even count down all of the stuff Melo and his team publish on a daily bases on this exquisite site.
Out of Town blog covers huge count of destinations, covering lots of aspects and interesting articles about those. If you’re up for a Europe trip, you have lots of articles showing you the best destinations and trips in this continent. Looking for West? No problem. All of the Americas are covered, and one can definitely find something interesting here. You’ll get inspired to travel, try new things, and enjoy the new experiences.
Web Usability – 73%
Dimmed white background, with dynamic boxes, huge headlines and colored sections, beautiful images and orange colored links are easy, and enjoyable for the desktop version. The mobile version is done using a standard plugin and the look is not impressive at all. Also, there are just too many ads on the site that distract the focus.
Navigation solution is implemented perfectly to give readers a huge list of possibilities and are well sorted and separated in their columns and are really easy to navigate. Again, that’s just for the desktop version. The mobile version is too simplified.
Out of Town blog is a well-developed and professionally made web magazine, with great design, excellent optimization, loads of useful and interesting stuff to show to the visitors.
With developed community, this travel portal (Yes, it deserves this name) will be a better destination to visit, if only the advertising spaces could be reduced.