A few months ago I took this site offline to give me space to work on a big relaunch. I originally planned to relaunch at the start of March, however due to work commitments and my volunteer activities helping with the COVID-19 vaccine programme in the UK, it has taken a bit longer than expected.
The rebranding and relaunch was initiated to make the site work better, to give me a chance to share more content that can help people decide on trips as the world begins to open up post-COVID, and to give the site a cleaner look.
Some of the planned updates are still under construction, but I have got the site to the point where I feel comfortable re-launching it. It was relaunched today to coincide with the 35th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster since visiting Chernobyl in 2013 was one of my most memorable trips that people are fascinated by.
What has already changed?
Already finished as part of the big 2021 relaunch are:
- The site has been given a new brand. No longer “Scott’s Travel Blog” or “The Get Happy Travel Blog” the site is now known as Scott Of The World. The reason for the rebranding can be found on the about page.
- To go alongside the rebranding the domain of the site is now www.scottofthe.world, with previous domains redirecting to it.
- The purpose of the site has transitioned from merely being a record of my travels to now also having the aim of making you curious about travel, and about the world that we live in.
- Photos are now bigger and better, and there is a lightbox feature to make the user experience even better
- The site has been given a brand new template to make it faster, more functional, and more appealing. It now looks and works a lot better than before.
- I’ve created a MyFlightRadar24 map so you can see the flights that I have been on as well as the trips.
- Some missing trips have been added to the site.
- I’ve added interactive maps showing the countries that I have visited, and those that are on my to-do list.
- The contact form has been changed, and now works a lot more smoothly with a reduced chance of messages going into my junkmail folder.
- I’ve removed some irrelevant or unimportant pages.
- I’ve moved the “Travels of Charlie” section to its own page and it no longer has its own blog section.
- I’ve added more plugins, such as one to improve the SEO of the site.
- I have finally booked another epic trip, after a few years away from the road due to both work and COVID.
What is still to come?
And there are a few updates that I have started working on, which will be finished soon.
- I’m adding a reviews section to help share my opinions of hotels, cities, countries, tour operators, etc that I have experienced as part of my travels.
- Most of the 1500+ photos on here are in the process of being re-uploaded. This is to both improve the quality of the photos and remove watermarks. This is what has been taking most of my time since the site was taken offline, and it’s why I’ve decided to relaunch before it’s finished.
- Some previous trips that are missing will be uploaded. My 2008 trip to New York and Boston was added at the time of launch, but additional trips will be added in the coming weeks.
- I will be adding a new article a minimum of once per month, as opposed to just randomly as was the case previously. To begin with I’ll be creating 5 brand new articles, and will launch the new section at the end of April.
- There will be a brand new photo gallery which will contain highlights of my favourite travel photos, some of which may not appear in the blog itself. It will no longer just be a copy of what’s in the blog.
- I will be relaunching a new newsletter feature. This will no longer just be an automatic weekly / monthly summary of my posts but will be thought out in greater detail. Initially it will be sent out quarterly, outlining new articles on the site, and after a new trip is posted here but this may change in the future.
I estimate that all of the above will be finished in the next few weeks, after which time I will start work on the future developments I have planned for the site.
Keeping the identity of the site
Throughout all of the changes that I am making, and that have already been made, to the site I have tried to keep the same feeling as we had previously, since this is a project that has been close to my heart for years.
- The background image of the site is still the same
- The site will still contain the same writing style, and the same information, as you are used to
- Travels of Charlie will remain on the site – he’s my faithful travel mascot after all
- This is still my personal travel blog, just expanded to make it better and to generate curiosity in travelling around our world even more.
Notice any problems, or want to get in touch?
As the site has changed a lot for the relaunch, including photos being replaced, plugins being changed, a new domain name, and more, there is a chance that some things may be broken.
If you notice a missing photo, a dead link, some random WordPress code being displayed where a plugin once was, or some other sort of problem then please let me know via the contact page.
Similarly, if you want to get in touch to say hi then reach out via the contact page too.