Yelp is a website that gives users a place to find and create review of local businesses. The site covers a wide range of businesses. Business categories include restaurants, food, event planning, arts and entertainment, nightlife, shopping, local services, automotive, beauty, hotels, public services, religious organizations, financial services and real estate as well as many others. The homepage automatically selects the user’s city (if that data is available) and reveals current best businesses as well as a collection of neighborhoods. Users can view activity feeds to see what the user community is up to as well as popular events for the week. A search tool is built into the site and lets the user find businesses by name, keyword and location.
Yelp was founded in July of 2004 by former Paypal employees Jeremy Stoppelman and Russel Simmons. The website began in the San Francisco area but quickly expanded. Yelp is available in many countries today, including the United States, Spain, Germany, France, Austria, the Netherlands, Australia and the United Kingdom. The site currently sees over 61 million unique visitors each month that hail from 13 different countries. It is easily one of the most popular local business review websites on the web.
Yelp offers a great deal of information to its users, however so do many other review websites. Part of the draw to Yelp is the site’s reach. Users from many regions can find reviews for local businesses already established on the site. Yelp also covers a diverse collection of categories, so the user isn’t restricted to eateries or shops. Users can review religious organizations, pet services, activities, public services and many others that are often overlooked by other review resources.
Yelp maintains a minimalist design that features a red header to match the stylish Yelp logo. The white background prevents the page from becoming too busy, especially with the quantity of links and information presented. Search results are presented with a brief overview, image, star rating, address, category and neighborhood name. Yelp listings include most of the basic details the user could want neatly organized for easy viewing.
Visitors are welcome to explore Yelp’s reviews and listings as much as they like. Those who would like to utilize all features can click the blue “Sign Up for Yelp” link in the upper, right hand corner (over the red header). The registration form appears along the left side of the next page. The form asks for a first and last name, email address, password, zip code, country location and optional gender and date of birth. After submitting the form, the user is logged in and can begin building their profile or import contacts from Facebook.
Yelp is available to everyone for free. There are no subscription fees or other charges required to set up and use an account. This is definitely a good thing because the site relies entirely on user reviews. Without the content added by its user community, Yelp would only offer basic information for local businesses. The free price is right where it should be to keep Yelp as useful and attractive to internet users as possible.
Yelp is available to everyone for free. There are no subscription fees or other charges required to set up and use an account. This is definitely a good thing because the site relies entirely on user reviews. Without the content added by its user community, Yelp would only offer basic information for local businesses. The free price is right where it should be to keep internet users coming back to contribute and search for businesses.