As Mediavine develops new products for publishers, we often need beta testers to use it and help us improve it.
Here's what you need to know about beta testing and what we are looking for in our beta testers.
What is the difference between a beta test and an early release?
There's a big difference! A beta test is definitely NOT the same as an early release.
An early release would mean a finished product available early, but with a beta test, the product is just mostly finished.
We would never ask you to try a product that isn't safe to use on your site, but once we have tested it at length on our end, the Mediavine engineering team will need beta testers to help identify bugs so we can eliminate them.
What's a beta tester?
Beta testers are real users who are willing to try out new software products and give valuable feedback to our team.
It's not unlike having a taste-tester for any recipe. Are the muffins too salty? Not fluffy enough? Too dry? A bit flavorless? All of this is important feedback to help a cook make better food.
It's the same for software, and we need Beta Testers who won't hold anything back when it comes to feedback.
If I sign up to be a beta tester, what should I expect?
- There may be bugs. You're trying something before it's available to the public, so it's important to remember that there will be kinks to iron out. Your experience with the beta might not be 100% perfect, and that's normal.
- We want your feedback. If you find a bug, we want to know. We hope that you'll be honest and transparent with our team about what is working, and what isn't. If you have ideas, we're all ears.
How do I know if I would be a good beta tester?
A good beta tester will be level-headed and patient when they run into issues. Our team built our software from scratch, and it might take a while to fix each and every bug.
We're looking for folks who will offer clear, concise, and detailed feedback, and who will be responsive to messages so we can help get to the bottom of any issues, ASAP.
It can help to be somewhat technology savvy, but that's definitely not a requirement — we want our products to be easy to figure out, no matter your skill level.
What are the best practices?
- Back up your website often. It's always a good idea to make frequent copies of your site. Your host or tech help might be able to recommend a plugin that can do this for you automatically, or you can follow these instructions from WordPress.
- Take lots of notes and screenshots or screen recordings. Something not working? Record all the steps you took to get to the bug, and show us what is happening with a screenshot or a screen recording. Our team likes Skitch and Gyazo for screenshots, and Loom for screen recordings, but use whatever you're comfortable with.
- Don't test on your most popular content. We understand why you'd want to try something new on your most popular content, but we'd actually recommend testing on something that your readers don't frequent — just in case.
If I find a bug, what should I do?
Excellent question. Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
- Check that you're on the latest release of the plugin or theme that you're testing. In your WordPress dashboard, go to Plugins. Next to Mediavine Create, click the 'Check for updates' link. It's possible that by the time you've noticed a bug, we've already put out a fix!
- What device are you using? e.g. Macbook Pro, PC, iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy S8, etc.
- What browser are you using? e.g. Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.
What steps did you take to get the bug? Keep this part short yet detailed.
Example feedback: "Earlier I was on the Settings page, changed the layout of the recipe card, then clicked Save. When I returned to the Settings page, my setting hadn't saved."
- Any attachments? If you were able to take screenshots or get a screen recording, please send those as well!
Interested in being a beta tester?
Great! We'd love to have you.
If you are interested in being involved in the beta for Create or any of our upcoming plugin releases, please email us at email@example.com.
If you are interested in being involved in the beta testing for Trellis, our upcoming framework for WordPress, fill out this form.