Changes Are Coming To Tested.com

We're getting a redesign later this month--here's what to expect.

Hey, Everyone!

If you read our previous posts regarding changes to our premium membership model, you may have noticed we mentioned some big updates coming to Tested.com. Well, that time is almost here, as a newly redesigned Tested will be launching in the next week or two! The new site is undergoing some QA and last-minute fixes, so a final launch plan is still being approved. That said, the earliest launch date will be Wednesday, Oct. 21, so we wanted to let you know as soon as we started to zero in on a target timeframe.

The primary focus of the new Tested.com is a better content experience and more logical content discovery. We’ll be making our pages easier to navigate, updating our search and changing our category structure so it makes more sense for the content we’re currently creating. We hope you will find it generally more intuitive and useful.

Aside from some pretty dramatic visual changes, the main reason we’re undertaking this effort is to move away from a proprietary CMS and an underlying site infrastructure that was no longer viable. This major infrastructure change will ultimately save us time and budget to focus on what you expect most from Tested — content.

However, these changes do come with some other adjustments that may seem abrupt. We know the changes are big, but they are in the best interest of pressing the reset button and establishing a new baseline for an adaptable future.

First and foremost, we will be deleting all user profile data. This means that after the “launch” you will no longer have a Tested account to sign in to. It also means that your site data will be removed. We will no longer be storing your email address and other personal data on the site (except for premium members’ email addresses in Mailchimp.) This includes your transaction history if you were a Tested premium member now or in the past.

Because user profile data is being removed, this also means that we are closing the forums and deleting all old posts. If you have information in forum posts you’d like to retain, we recommend copying that information before Oct. 21. We know this may be really tough for some of you to hear, but we also know the forum hasn’t received the love and attention required to really make it a worthwhile destination. We’ve found that our Discord community operates similarly to our forums of old (without the spam!), so please join us over there if so inclined. (It’ll also be the place we’ll solicit community contributions like podcast themes and outro pieces).

While forum posts will be removed and deleted, we are retaining old comments on posts. Since usernames and profiles are being deleted, old comments on the site will be posted as “anonymous” but the information contained within the comment will be retained.

If you are a current premium member, the way you access premium content is changing. Since there will no longer be a user account to log into to check your premium status, premium videos will have a password that is stored as browser cookie (so you won’t have to enter it every time you watch a video). We will be distributing this password via the Premium membership newsletter, so please stay tuned for a newsletter on launch day. If you have unsubscribed from the newsletter, our support team can help. After site launch, write to support@tested.com and ask for the password. They will verify your eligibility and send you a password.

These decisions didn’t come easily, but we think it’s best that we rip the band-aid off now. Just know that the initial update will be considered a “soft launch,” so expect to see minor content and UI tweaks as the weeks progress. We thank you in advance for your patience. In the end, please trust that our choices are only focused on continuing to do what we do best—bringing you the content you love.

-Team Tested

Comments (14)

14 thoughts on “Changes Are Coming To Tested.com

  1. Let this be the last comment I post on the official Tested webpage before you shut them off:

    The Tested team varies each year
    But Adam and Norm still appear
    There’s toys, tools, and props
    Being built in workshops
    And checking out new VR gear

    Plus Book Nooks, well-crafted by Jen
    One-Day Builds, again and again
    And Norm’s dioramas
    You made Lockdown calmer
    With Tested, we’re basking in Zen

  2. The end of an era, truly. My Windows Phone fanboy musings on the forums and comments eventually developed enough for me to land a small writing gig for the site. As much as I enjoyed it, I don’t think I’ll ever return to writing in any professional way (being an engineer is far more lucrative). But I’m glad I was able to do something I like for one of my favorite sites. Tested has gone through some transformations over the years, understandably so. Unfortunately, I do think losing the forums/blogs/comments is a massive blow. I’m not opposed to official Discord servers, but it’s not a substitute for website comments/forums. The former is effectively an IRC, while the later is completely asynchronous. Oh well. :/

  3. So authentication credentials will be distributed as a cookie in a newsletter? I really hope this is someone paraphrasing a misinterpretation of a document that went over their head.

  4. Hurray! That extra account I accidentally created when I tried logging in with the wrong email will finally be deleted!

    Looking forward to the new site!

  5. As much as I realize that this is probably the only way to fix the site, I wish the accounts (even if now inactive) or at least names of comment authors wouldn’t be lost. Without the context of who said what to who, the value is greatly diminished.

  6. Don’t worry, it’s not a misinterpretation of a document going over someone’s head. No auth creds will be stored as a cookie in a newsletter. The premium access is a simplified auth gate on premium video pages. So you enter a password for access and that password will be stored as a browser cookie, so you don’t have to worry about entering the password every time you watch a new premium video. It’s not a set of user based auth creds per se, because user accounts will no longer exist. Rather, it’s a set of simple passwords which get distributed to a list of known members. You’ll see when it’s rolled out. Should be simple, but we’ll be here to help if needed.

  7. Totally understand it’s better if the names of users are attached to comments, but this is truly the best we can do given the situation. We looked at a few different possibilities, but this made the most sense in the current environment. When we say we want to eliminate user level data, usernames on comments are a part of that system. Like the team said above… This is really about setting a new baseline for creating something that hopefully works much better in the future. So we’ll see where the feedback and data takes us.

  8. Better late than never! All changes you’ve described make perfect sense, and are in keeping with what we all ultimately know needed to happen.

    Spilled milk being the handling of this changeover, I for one am done crying about it. It still kinda feels like our little club is being split up, but your reasoning is sound.

    Dang it Norm, now I’ve gotta go and give some of my $ to Youtube! This would have been unthinkable for me a few weeks ago, but I ultimately have faith in you. Lead on boldly!!

  9. Looking forward to the new site and also hope the player for legacy premium content will work better. Time to rewatch some of the Lego with friends videos I think.

    -copperchef
    10/2020

  10. I like the idea of signing off since the accounts are going away, thanks for the idea :),

    Here it goes…

    kim_a
    March 2012 – October 2020

  11. Maybe consider a background or at the very least a different colour for the header? This new site is incredibly plain and boring, especially compared to the old design.

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