As we've reported in a post on our Europe for Visitors Blog, all of our travel-planning sites under the Europeforvisitors.com umbrella--including Venice for Visitors--have a new look for 2013. We've also made some changes under the hood to make the site faster and more useful to readers on desktop PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
First: We've switched from a three-column layout to a two-column design, with the editorial content on the left side of the page. Most navigation links are now in menus that you can reach via top links with headings such as "Transportation," "Planning," and "Hotels." You'll find this design especially convenient if you're using a smartphone or a small tablet, because you'll be able to read articles with a minimum of zooming and (on most devices) without horizontal scrolling.
Second: We've ditched our personal photo at the top of each page, replacing the page heading with a streamlined logo. (See enlarged sample above.) This change isn't likely to inspire headlines in The New York Times or The Guardian, but we mention it because it will put more visual emphasis on our editorial content while reducing the number of objects that your Web browser needs to download from our server.
Third: We're now serving all of our pages at Venice for Visitors, Europe for Visitors, and our related sites from a CDN (Content Delivery Network) with 23 data centers around the world. This already has reduced our average page-loading time by 60 per cent, according to Google Analytics, and other tests are showing that we're now among the fastest 10 percent of all Web sites.
But wait, there's more! In the next few weeks, we'll be launching a new mobile version of Venice for Visitors. It will contain our most popular and useful travel-planning articles (150 to 200 pages at launch), in a format that's designed for optimum viewing and navigation on iPhones, Android phones, and other smartphones. You can see an unofficial preview at m.veniceforvisitors.com, but be warned: The mobile site is still under construction, so don't be surpirised if many of the internal links don't work.