Prior to update 7.3.5 it was far too easy to level up a new character. The experience needed to advance from one level to the next was too low, resulting in players out-leveling the story quests in each zone, moving on before getting the full experience. With low monster health and high player power (especially when players were outfitted in ridiculously powerful heirloom gear), creatures dropped like flies. Combined with easy experience gained by joining parties in the dungeon finder, the first 60 levels in the game flew by.
The zone you start in isn't under your control, in as much as it's pre-selected for you based on your race. But for leveling purposes we want to make scaling work for us as much as possible. That means sticking to the lower level zones. Even though scaling will increase the level of the quests and mobs in those zones, the layout and design of them is built for a player with no mount. So you'll blaze through them and gain more exp/hour than higher level zones which assume you DO have a mount.
There are various upsides to this imbalance. Max level players are able to complete lower level content with ease, allowing them to swiftly complete missed quests and achievements in earlier zones, and can travel through zones without being constantly attacked, since mobs will only attack players several levels higher than them if walked directly into. Max level also makes it possible to solo earlier group content such as dungeons and even raids, making farming loot such as mounts far easier, and for those interested in a challenge opening up a new subtype of play at slightly higher levels.
Leveling from 58-80: Outland and Northrend Recommended leveling paths for level 60-80 players in WoW. Includes best zones in Outland and Northrend, as well as notable quests and rewards. Leveling from 80-90: Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria Recommended leveling paths for level 80-90 players in WoW. Includes best zones in Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria, as well as notable quests and rewards. Leveling from 100-110 in Legion How to level quickly in World of Warcraft Legion from 100 to 110. Includes heirlooms, assaults, useful items, and experience boosts. The Big Bag Guide This guide covers bags from drops, quests rewards, vendors, and professions. Additionally it also covers item type specific containers.