America’s Top 10 Tech-Savviest Cities – How Do Their Websites Compare?

According to TravelAndLeisure.com the 10 cities below are America’s Tech-Savviest. But are their tourist websites up to par?

Dhanesh Shelat investigates…

1. SEATTLE

seattle-600x469

Thumbs Up:

  • Content is useful, and there is plenty of it

Thumbs Down:

  • Too much content on one page to take in
  • No links to social media channels
  • Outdated look to the website
OVERALL: THUMBS DOWN

2. SAN FRANCISCO

san-francisco-600x378

Thumbs Up:

  • Clean, simple visually-appealing aesthetics and captivating design that allude to San Francisco as a cultural capitol
  • Easy-to-navigate menu
  • Meta-tags appear to be keyword-optimized

Thumbs Down:

  • Page speed of 79/100 is a little off the generally accepted minimum score of 80/100
OVERALL: THUMBS UP

3. AUSTIN

austin-600x489

Thumbs Up:

  • Design captures the personality of the city and its music heritage
  • Interactive with great visuals and sound

Thumbs Down:

  • Entire site made in flash which makes it difficult for the search engines to index
  • Slow load speed, again due to major flash use
OVERALL: THUMBS DOWN (ONLY BECAUSE THE SITE IS ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY CREATED IN FLASH)

4. PORTLAND, OR

portland-600x451

Thumbs Up:

  • The navigation bar contains the major pages that tourists would be looking for when visiting a city

Thumbs Down:

  • The design lacks personality when compared with Austin and San Francisco. The site well designed in terms of structure, but the visuals could be cranked up a notch to dazzle consumers and keep them on the page.
  • Page seems a little text heavy, lacking focus on where you want the user’s attention to go
OVERALL: THUMBS DOWN

5. BOSTON

boston-600x513

Thumbs Up:

  • There is a focus on deals as well as historical and tourist information
  • Title Meta Tag appears to have been keyword optimized

Thumbs Down:

  • The site seems less bi-partisan than the other cities as there is a heavy emphasis on advertising. This can create a credibility issue.
  • The design is slightly outdated with its heavy reliance on boxes
  • Use of many different fonts appears to break the design and appear text heavy
OVERALL: THUMBS DOWN

6. SAN DIEGO

san-diego-600x435

Thumbs Up:

  • Colorful and youthful design appeals to families
  • Title Meta Tag appears to have been keyword optimized

Thumbs Down:

  • Loading time is very slow. It has a Page Speed score of 67/100, which is poor. Generally Websites should aim to have a Page Speed score of at least 80/100.
  • The design is outdated
  • The left navigation is not use friendly and hides many of the sites useful pages
OVERALL: THUMBS DOWN

7. NEW YORK

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Thumbs Up:

  • Language selector (with huge selection of language options) is useful for visitors whose native language is not English
  • Vibrant and energetic design is in keeping with New York’s personality
  • Design and offering is appealing to many cohorts
  • Meta tags appear to have been keyword optimized
  • Navigation menu links to main subpages that new visitors to the city would find useful

Thumbs Down:

  • Page speed of 78/100 is a little off the generally accepted minimum score of 80/100
OVERALL: THUMBS UP

8. WASHINGTON, D.C.

washington-600x381

Thumbs Up:

  • Main banners show the city’s most popular attractions
  • Has links to website’s very popular and active social media channels
  • Offers free downloadable Visitor’s Guide

Thumbs Down:

  • Meta title tag doesn’t appear to be keyword optimized
  • Overall design them is outdated
  • Link to free downloadable Visitor’s Guide is at the bottom of the page
  • Website loading time is extremely slow, this represented by the homepage’s Page Speed of 55/100.
OVERALL: THUMBS DOWN

9. SAN JUAN, P.R.

san-juan-600x475

Thumbs Up:

  • An abundance of useful text content

Thumbs Down:

  • Bland theme, just a large article of text with a few photographs. An island that calls itself “the island of enchantment” should show us why!
  • No link anchors to easily navigate the long page
  • Page Speed of 65/100, very poor considering the visual simplicity of the site
OVERALL: THUMBS DOWN

10. MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL

minneapolis-600x444

Thumbs Up:

  • Modern and clean site design
  • Twitter updates on the side panel
  • Relatively fast loading site loading time, Page Speed of 88/100 is good.

Thumbs Down:

  • Meta tags don’t appear to be keyword optimized.
  • Color and size of font makes it difficult to read.
OVERALL: THUMBS UP

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