I have a confession to make.
When I designed travelwithbender.com in 2012 I didn’t expect it would still be around a decade later.
I was running a successful web development and marketing agency that took up all my time and energy, and this blog was just a side hobby. I only spent a whole 2 minutes designing the TWB logo.
It’s kinda embarrassing thinking about it now.
Over the years, as this blog grew, bits and pieces were bolted on, and the blog evolved into a full-fledged business. And as my pace of travel picked up, I never put aside the time to sit down and re-evaluate the entire site.
I’d like to give a special shoutout to the COVID-19 pandemic for giving me the extra time to mull over the future of TWB.
May 2022 marked 10 years since the foundation of this blog, and it also happened to be a major inflection point in the long-awaited recovery of the travel industry.
Now was the time to breathe fresh, new life into this pile of text and photos.
So, I set aside a couple of days last month and whipped up a fresh new look that takes advantage of changes in web design standards and browsers over the last decade. My goal was to make the site load faster, improve readability, simplify navigation, and look more beautiful, so readers can focus on what matters most… the content.
I also wanted the design to better represent who I was as a blogger and an individual, with a fun playfulness, that doesn’t hesitate to get straight to the point. A brightness and optimism that believes the best in humanity.
The new branding now provides a clear idea of what the site is about, international travel. Elements of mountains speak to my love for nature while the map-style pin is a reflection of the practical guidance found in each article.
But it’s not all about me. Travel With Bender needed to represent the millions of readers that trust in it, with more accessible-friendly features for the vision impaired, and elegant responsive layouts that look gorgeous on any sized device.
I threw in a few under-the-hood improvements such as a revamped search tool that is more accurate and intuitive, and a stunning new streamlined lightbox design that better highlights photos, banners, and galleries.
The new design went live on 27 May 2022, and it took a few more days to squash any lingering bugs and minor formatting gaffes from older content.
Here’s a snapshot of the old design compared to the new one:
This is the first major redesign in 10 years and represents an exciting new chapter for one of the world’s most influential and iconic travel blogs.
I’ll admit, it’s been a bit quiet on here over the last few years as I focused more time on my newer website, foreverbreak.com. But now that I’m pushing my creative energies back into TWB, you’ll see new travel articles being published in the second half of 2022.
Travel With Bender wouldn’t be where it is today without you. Just by reading this article, you’re showing support (yay for banner ads!).
I want to thank you for being part of my journey, and I look forward to exploring this next chapter as it unfolds.
Onward and upward!