As a Typepad subscriber, if you've ever had a question about blogging, chances are you've either perused our handy Knowledge Base, browsed the archives here at Everything Typepad, or opened a Help Ticket in your Dashboard. Our Community and Support team receives many of these every day, and in this special series, we'll be answering some of our best, most Frequently Asked Questions.
What is beta testing?
Beta testing is a way of testing new software features. A group of users of the application are given access to the new features on the condition that they will look for and report any bugs. Software developers use beta testing to see how new features work in a variety of different situations and real-life use cases.
What is the Typepad Beta team and what do they do?
The Typepad Beta team is a group of Typepad bloggers who have indicated via an account setting that they are willing to engage in beta testing of new features.
There are no obligations associated with joining the Beta team; you are not required to test any particular feature, or even to do any beta testing at all. However, we do hope that you will help out from time to time.
As a member of the Beta team, you will be notified via email or the Everything Typepad blog of new features that are available for testing. You are encouraged to experiment with these features while blogging and to report any bugs or issues that you find.
How does switching to Beta affect my blog?
Joining the Beta team in and of itself does not have any effect on your blog. However, you may run into issues while testing new features, especially if you encounter a bug. We recommend that you set up a test blog for your initial testing of any new feature and only make use of the feature on your main blog or blogs when you feel comfortable with how it affects your blog.
Possible issues that could occur during beta testing include design elements not displaying as expected, blog readers being unable to access a new feature (for instance, if you are testing a new comments system and that system is malfunctioning), or errors in the Typepad application when configuring the new feature.
Beta testers need to be a bit adventurous and willing to work with experimental features and deal with bugs and blog problems.
How can I join the Beta team?
To join the Beta team, go to Account > Summary in your Typepad account and scroll down to the bottom of the page where there is a checkbox for "Join the Typepad Beta Team". Be sure to read through the explanatory text then, if you'd like to go ahead, put a check in the box and click the Save Changes button.
What kinds of features can I beta test?
I'm on the Beta team. How can I submit a bug report?
You can submit a bug report to Typepad Support through our help ticket system. Go to Help > New Ticket in your account and describe the issue that you're seeing. If you have more than one blog on your account, such as a test blog and a main blog, be sure to include the name of the blog where the problem occurs. Your ticket will automatically be flagged as from a Beta team member so Typepad Support knows what to expect.