Food52 Site Updates

The New Food52

October 11, 2011 • 204 Comments

Cornucopia

Wondering why things look different? We gave Food52 a little facelift!

After two years of our wonky but lovable site, we thought we (you and us, but especially you) all deserved a more well-furnished home, a place that better reflects who we are now: a busy hive of a food community. We hope you’ll be as happy with our new site as we are – so go forth and explore!

Now, it’s easier to find just the right recipe, get inspired, see more of the activity of other members all over the site, and follow great cooks, all in a spiffy new wrapping.

We love the great experiment that Food52 has been so far. This is another big experiment -- nothing is final, and we'll be working continuously to fine-tune the new bits and bobs. We hope you love it as much as we do. And we’d love to hear what you think.

Here are some of the things we're most excited about:

Along with all the site changes, we’re also expanding our Shop! Starting this week, we’ll debut our new Food52 Shop with special offers that we hand pick and curate for you. We’ve put together an exciting lineup of exclusive packages we think you’ll love – seasonal ingredients, tools, farm excursions, and tabletop must-haves – can’t wait for you to see!

We hope you'll bear with us as we settle into our new digs (there are bound to be a few hiccups along the way), but of course please let us know about any major bugs you find on our special site questions arena of the new Food52 Hotline.

Welcome to our new hive!

Amanda & Merrill

Photo by James Ransom


Comments (204)

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over 2 years ago eternalgradstudent

Love the new look! Much cleaner, but still beautiful and stylish. :)

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over 2 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

NEW LOOK TODAY!! Looks great!!

Mrs._larkin_370

over 2 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Yup, i noticed too! looks really good.

Dscn2212

over 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

It does. It makes better use of space, and is much more comfortable to read while scrolling down.

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over 2 years ago Winn Jewett

I love the new design, but those ads are way too aggressive. It's hard to navigate the website without unintentionally hovering over the landmines on the site for more than 3 seconds, which triggers a full-page video advertisement. It was so distracting that I even wrote up a more verbose commentary. http://sandstonemedia.com...

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 2 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Thanks for letting us know. We've reported this to our ad network.

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over 2 years ago erspo2000

I am wondering how I can see a list of all the contests. You have the choices available to view lists of all of your other sections (menus, community picks, etc) but there is nothing that has "View All Contests." Please help me find that! Thanks!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 2 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

We don't have that available right now but we'll add it back soon.

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over 2 years ago Weezythecat

How to print recipes with the pictures??

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 2 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

We don't include photos with the recipe printing format because photos use up a lot of ink and this annoys many people (because printer ink is so expensive). Hope this makes sense!

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over 2 years ago LobsterBrieAvocadoBreath

arg and why do my posts happen in guadruplicate? sorry! I would remove the extra, but there seems to be no way.

Sg_headshot_oct_2007

over 2 years ago LobsterBrieAvocadoBreath

While visually appealing, for some reason, the utility of the site has diminished for me. Wholesale change is very confusing. A piece at a time might have fared better. Food52 has been such a joy---absolutely reignited my interested in cooking, baking, and broadening my interest in trying new recipes, mainly because it was clean, simple and entertainingly original. Why not foodpickle? why hotline (zzzzzz). I will figure it out, because I know Amanda and Merrill are at the heart of the matter, but why all things on line need to be fixed when they aren't broken is a mystery to me.

Sg_headshot_oct_2007

over 2 years ago LobsterBrieAvocadoBreath

While visually appealing, for some reason, the utility of the site has diminished for me. Wholesale change is very confusing. A piece at a time might have fared better. Food52 has been such a joy---absolutely reignited my interested in cooking, baking, and broadening my interest in trying new recipes, mainly because it was clean, simple and entertainingly original. Why not foodpickle? why hotline (zzzzzz). I will figure it out, because I know Amanda and Merrill are at the heart of the matter, but why all things on line need to be fixed when they aren't broken is a mystery to me.

Sg_headshot_oct_2007

over 2 years ago LobsterBrieAvocadoBreath

While visually appealing, for some reason, the utility of the site has diminished for me. Wholesale change is very confusing. A piece at a time might have fared better. Food52 has been such a joy---absolutely reignited my interested in cooking, baking, and broadening my interest in trying new recipes, mainly because it was clean, simple and entertainingly original. Why not foodpickle? why hotline (zzzzzz). I will figure it out, because I know Amanda and Merrill are at the heart of the matter, but why all things on line need to be fixed when they aren't broken is a mystery to me.

Sg_headshot_oct_2007

over 2 years ago LobsterBrieAvocadoBreath

While visually appealing, for some reason, the utility of the site has diminished for me. Wholesale change is very confusing. A piece at a time might have fared better. Food52 has been such a joy---absolutely reignited my interested in cooking, baking, and broadening my interest in trying new recipes, mainly because it was clean, simple and entertainingly original. Why not foodpickle? why hotline (zzzzzz). I will figure it out, because I know Amanda and Merrill are at the heart of the matter, but why all things on line need to be fixed when they aren't broken is a mystery to me.

Sg_headshot_oct_2007

over 2 years ago LobsterBrieAvocadoBreath

While visually appealing, for some reason, the utility of the site has diminished for me. Wholesale change is very confusing. A piece at a time might have fared better. Food52 has been such a joy---absolutely reignited my interested in cooking, baking, and broadening my interest in trying new recipes, mainly because it was clean, simple and entertainingly original. Why not foodpickle? why hotline (zzzzzz). I will figure it out, because I know Amanda and Merrill are at the heart of the matter, but why all things on line need to be fixed when they aren't broken is a mystery to me.

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over 2 years ago oldkitcheninflatbush

Okay. I am just giving up for now. I'll be back and see if it works.

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over 2 years ago oldkitcheninflatbush

I often have a hard time just getting to the recipes link. It takes way to long to load, if it loads at all. I am here now looking for inspiration for a dinner party I'm having on Friday and can not get to any good searches. I hit the recipes link and nothing came up. I then tried cream of mushroom soup it loaded quickly...but that is not what I wanted to do. I want to just peruse recipes for appetizers, side dishes or whatever and it is not working. This is not the first time this has happened. I hope that you can fix the glitches. I really loved the old site. I don't think the recipe search is easier.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 2 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

We are indeed having issues with recipe search -- we tried a new system that would bring a greater variety of recipes to the surface (rather than just those with most buzz, which is the way the old system worked). We don't like the new system either! Plus it's buggy and slow. We're actually working to fix this issue right now. Should have something released by the end of next week. Thanks for your thoughts -- always good to get feedback -- and apologies for the issues.

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over 2 years ago Will

I don't like change, especially change with complexity. The new site is very discouraging to me.

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over 2 years ago WileyP

Okay, so slowly but surely I am getting familiarized with how this new site operates. It's still really "busy", nearly too much for this old mind to cope with, but at least I've figured out how to see the new recipes. Now on to the color of text in those nice e-mails about "Someone has commented on a thread you contributed to". As I see it on my monitor, the background is black and the text is dark gray. Surely that can't be the way it was designed, can it? I have to move in to less than a foot from the screen to differentiate the text from the background enough to make sense of the posting! Methinks a little more contrast would be appreciated by many of us with eyes whose odometers are on their second or third trip around. Also, there is (as we speak) an advertisement for Charter set of Canal House Cooking: Volumes 1, 2 &3 that is blocking part of this text entry box.

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over 2 years ago susan g

WileyP, I have the same age premium, and the same hard-to-read issues. My solution is to hightligh the answers so that they turn into blue background with white text -- lots of contrast, easy to read (I just read yours). I'm sure this isn't at the top of the editors of FOOD52 "Fix" list, but they'll get there while we hold on with makeshift fixes. Thank goodness the hard core users like us are hanging in -- because the content is still so wonderful!

2007-09-11e-s4

over 2 years ago WileyP

Wow! Why didn't I think of that?! Well, they say that two things happen as you age: First, you start forgetting things that used to be so simple to remember (like that highlighting text changes the color). Second...second...aw crap, I can't remember what that was. Anyway, It works just great, Susan G. Thanks!

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over 2 years ago PAFriedman

The design is nice and clean but the flippin photos make us dizzy! No animation or changing images. Just use a different one each day.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 2 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Thanks for your thoughts -- can you give me more detail on the photo issue? Do you mean on the home page up top?

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over 2 years ago erspo2000

I am wondering how I can see a list of all the contests. You have the choices available to view lists of all of your other sections (menus, community picks, etc) but there is nothing that has "View All Contests." Please help me find that! Thanks!

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over 2 years ago mcatherinep

Adding my thoughts about the new website....I agree with the other comments about the page being too busy, and about my personal lack of interest in whether someone else is looking at a recipe or saving it. (Perhaps you could make that information optional?) I also miss the editors' picks --are the community picks intended to replace the editors' picks? I'm thrown off when a recipe shows up as a Community Pick but has zero views. My favorite items are the contests (especially the winners), and the ability to search for a recipe that might come recommended by others. And I dearly loved the editors' comments in the Editor Picks. I've had no problem with speed in loading, at all, at any time. Please keep up the good work.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 2 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Thanks for your comments -- we are working on a re-thinking of the home page now. Stay tuned. To answer your question about editors' picks -- yes, they are now called community picks, because while we still select the recipes, many people from the community test the recipes. The issue of the views is simply a bug that we haven't had a chance to fix yet. All of the community picks have views, they're just displaying as 0. In the meantime, perhaps more telling is the number of times the recipe has been saved.

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over 2 years ago Austro-Kat

It has been extremely slow for me for a few weeks, and doesn't show nicely on my iPad, but I' m not too discourage yet ( but did want to say that it is not just a Thanksgiving- related issue for me!)

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over 2 years ago deanna1001

The speed has been steadily decreasing in my experience. Yesterday it took a full 90 seconds for the page to load. This morning was better, but still took about 30 seconds. Being impatient, I usually give up after about ten...(I have a fast cable connection and fast computer.) It's a bit discouraging and I find I spend much less time here than I used to. Hope it improves...

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over 2 years ago deanna1001

And yesterday I tried to look at the hotline and it wouldn't load at all! I know you're working on all of this...launching new websites can take a while...I still love the site when I can get it to load.

Barbara_davilman

over 2 years ago DAVILCHICK

Still sooooooo slowwwwwwwwwwwww....is it me or you?

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 2 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

If you're talking about today, yes, it's slow because we're having a ton of traffic. But have you seen improvements on other days? You should have because we've made some changes. If not, please let me know!

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over 2 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

WOOT! I just uplaoded a photo and I didn't have to do one single thing to it first - progress! I know you guys are working your rear ends off, and it shows - better speed, easy uploads, etc. Keep at it - you are doing great stuff!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 2 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

That's great to hear -- And thank you!

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over 2 years ago Mrs. B

I love Food52 and have gotten so many great recipes from this site that I make over and over. So far, I have found the new website hard to use - mainly just the home page. I love seeing what contests are going on and have a difficult time finding them on the home page. There is so much information on the home page that I get overwhelmed. I am sure overtime you will work out this out!!! Thanks for creating a great community of cooks and recipes.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 2 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Mrs. B, thanks for your thoughts and generous note. We appreciate your trust. We agree with you (and others) about the home page and are going to make changes to it in 2 phases. First, we're going to reduce the amount of content. And second, we're going to completely re-do the page. This will take time so hopefully in the meantime, the reduced content will help. Thanks again!

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over 2 years ago Abra Bennett

Sadly, I find that I seldom come to Food 52 anymore because of the "new look." For me it's very busy, and things are hard to locate. Also, I used to visit here in part to escape the FaceBook style "constant contact" effect, and now the site is full of the "who likes what, who saved what" kind of information that I find really irrelevant to the mission of Food52 as I understand it. When everything and everyone is flashed across the screen, nothing really stands out, and putting so much emphasis on the people really detracts from the emphasis on the food, in my humble opinion.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 2 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

WedgeMom, your comment does not fit with the spirit of generosity that defines our site. I'm sure you can find another site that pleases you more, and we wish you the best.

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over 2 years ago WedgeMom

Okay - Can longer hold it in - This new site stinks - actually it - same meaning four letters more vulgar. I could care less who is downloading what - Just looking for good content. Yuck Yuck Yuck

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over 2 years ago lyncha00

There is too much going on on the homepage to absorb, visually. I do love the richer and bigger pictures. There needs to be 1 click access to my saved recipes from the homepage, the "recipes" button on the top left goes to the ones I've submitted, I'd rather it go to the ones I've saved.

Phoenix

over 2 years ago Phoenix Helix

Oooooh! Website pages are loading fast today. I know that took a lot of work behind the scenes. Thank you!

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over 2 years ago aimeebama

Woah. Some nice ideas, but I'd love to see the contests up a bit higher on homepage (that's why I visit), and (like so many people) I'm finding everything way too big on the screen. Good luck with the changes. . .

Masqurade

over 2 years ago Marlin Darlin

New format is so fractured I might need a script for strattera to get through it. A prime example of contributing factors of short attention span problems. Seems frenetic, too much on the page. I'm 55 and very active but this is not what I'm looking for on a foodie site.

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over 2 years ago lazychef

One minor thing I find bothersome about the new home page is that the featured contest is buried halfway down the page. I know the contests are not the end-all be-all important feature of the site, but I quite like seeing what's going on at the moment without having to comb through the whole page! I thought the old placement in the upper right corner, with tabs for open contest/finalist/winner, was nicer. Just a thought!

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over 2 years ago Aimless

I'm trying to get comfortable with the new format but it's not working too well so far. It has lost the neighborhoody look and feel that I liked. It's much too big for my browser window. I tried shrinking the display but my middle aged eyes complained. I've loved the site a lot and have gotten some outstanding recipes here. Not feeling at home yet though. One thing hasn't changed: slow and hanging up when I click on links.

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over 2 years ago masapas

I love food52 but I cannot get the full page to fit my browser unless I reduce it to 75% :-(

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 2 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Are you on a Mac or a Pc?

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over 2 years ago LFL

This has been my favorite site. Your new look is so complicated, so confusing, so very commercial that I no longer want to visit. There is no point of view. It is now just a hodgepodge of stuff. It seems to me you've lost your focus.

I dearly hope you simplify

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over 2 years ago kaytye

I've been a lurker here for a while and the only thing I object to, is the sense of entitlement that a couple of the more seasoned contributors seem to have. There's been a lot of whining and complaining about the site. This site is a community based one and bigger than just one person. I love the new look and feel. The wrinkles will be ironed out in due time. Thanks!

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over 2 years ago lloreen

I use food52 all the time and refer friends to it. I am sure that you will work out some of the design issues over time. Like others, I am really confused by the overwhelming visual information on the home page.
You must be aware of this issue by now, so I have a comment specific to the community-building aspect. I have enjoyed getting to know other cooks and following their recipes, but that doesn't mean I want to know every time someone saves a recipe. Why do I care that Cook123 saved a recipe? I don't know this person, and even if I did, it doesn't give me very useful information. It is just distracting and taking up space on the page. Perhaps you can find a way to edit this rolling scroll of activity down to more interesting posts. I wouldn't mind an update off to the side everytime someone posted a new recipe. I just don't want to know every click of every user (let alone the daily activities of facebook friends!)
Good luck with the redesign - these things all seem to get worked out in the end.

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over 2 years ago chromatikos

I know you've been working hard on this, but I have to add my voice to those who find the new layout cluttered and chaotic. When it comes up on my screen, I don't know where to look or where to go.I don't visit one-tenth as much as I used to before the redesign.

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over 2 years ago betty888

Just cruising through the new site and taking it all in. Some of my thoughts are already reflected in the comments by other users but one thing I don't think has been mentioned is the "live" bar at the bottom of the page. Is there a way to close that or have it expand only when you mouse over it? It is just adding another visual element to the page and covering content. I work on a small laptop so will take all the screen space I can get! Thx!

Stringio

over 2 years ago crazyblues

I think there are a lot of bugs in firefox. I keep getting an error page - that happened when I was trying to log in tnoght. love the look, but not the workability! I'm sure these details will work themselves out...

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over 2 years ago Ms. T

Congrats on a beautiful and fresh new design and some cool new features/functionality! Overall I think it looks gorgeous and I love the way it really shines the spotlight on the cooks and the recipes. Still on my wish list (in order of priority--the top 2 are most important by a long shot. The rest are small potatoes):
1. The ability to sort my saved recipes into categories and to search within my saved recipes
2. A mobile-optimized site
3. Links from a cook's profile page to their Winner's Q&A and Cook Spotlight
4. When it lists "community picks" under a cook's name, I wish I could click on that link to see which recipes were community picks

I'm also experiencing some of the bugs that others have mentioned, such as not getting emails when my Food Hotline question was answered (even though I didn't check the box.) Also, in the "Cooks" section right now, I'm featured twice under "Winner's Q&A" (but it says "Christine" above my photo??? Not sure why!), and once in the "Cook Spotlight"--right next to eachother. Even though I can be a ham sometimes, this is a little too much limelight even for me--and I'm assuming it's not intentional.

I know y'all are working out the kinks--much appreciated!

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over 2 years ago Ms. T

Oh, I forgot one thing: does it mean anything when you are "following" a cook? It doesn't seem like it. It would be nice to get some notification when a cook you are following adds a recipe, or is selected as a finalist, etc.

Phoenix

over 2 years ago Phoenix Helix

You are working so hard on this site & we all appreciate it! I know the email notifications are your priority this week, but you also mentioned openness to evolving the home page design. My understanding is that you want to feature more content (which is great) but many viewers (including me) find the homepage overwhelming. I have a couple of recommendations: (1) The photos are too large. You have amazing photographers on this website, and I understand your desire to feature them, but the majority of home page photos are better left "bite size" with the larger photos featured when people click to that article or recipe. That would be much easier on the eyes. The exception is your slideshow box on the top left, which is eye-catching in the larger size (and would be more eye-catching if it was the only large photo display on the home page). Please consider thumbnails for the subsections. (2) I think you need more color to define the headings of those subsections. Right now they're a dim top-lined black & white, making them hard to find/read/notice. Martha Stewart's website is a great example of easy to see subsections (shadowboxed in blue). (3) Have some of your columns/modules be text lists instead of photos. People love text lists. They're easy to scan & easy to click. These changes would allow you to show more content in a way that's easier to see and navigate. That's my opinion anyway & don't I always have one?!

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over 2 years ago skittle

I can't answer any questions in hotline....not since launch. What felt like a warm community now feels like I am being shut out. :(

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 2 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

skittle -- thanks for letting us know. Do you mean that you enter an answer and then it doesn't show up? A few people have experienced this -- they answer a question and it appears not to show up. But if you refresh the page, it should show up. I know this is not the answer you want to hear -- it should NOT work this way, but we are working on it. Would you mind going back to a question you've answered and seeing if your answer has shown up? Please let me know if it has or hasn't -- this would be helpful info for us as we try to track down the bug. Thanks!

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over 2 years ago skittle

It will not even allow me to answer at all. I see on this screen, there is an add" button. When I try to answer anything on the hotline, there is no add button on my screen. It's puzzling. Even now as I type, the answer box has appeared over your response to me....and I cannot even see what I'm typing...please forgive any typos!

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over 2 years ago skittle

Ah! It actually allowed me to answer a question today. Don't know what changed, but something did. :)

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 2 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

I'm actually having the sam problem. Are you still having the response box appearing over the previous respons? I've upgraded this problem to urgent on our list. Thank you.

Barbara_davilman

over 2 years ago DAVILCHICK

Hi, it's me again. I know I've been nagging/complaining for a couple of weeks now but I'm really panicked about the speed (actually lack of speed) that we can go from window to window. I wanted to pu