It's The End of Recipezaar As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

Scripps changed the name of Recipezaar to Food.com. People have been contacting us for weeks wondering what we think. So here’s what we think, but first, a suggestion to the people upset about the change…

Make lemonade from these lemons: build a competitor to food.com. Do what you would do if you owned Recipezaar/food.com. This is what America and capitalism are all about. Go chase the American Dream. We are proof that even idiots can do it and be successful. You don’t need to be a genius, you just need to be willing to work hard and to keep getting up when you fall down. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it. Best of all, you have the blueprint that we never had and proof that the formula works.

Now, what we think of the change…

I named the site “Recipezaar” but I never liked the name; I just didn’t have a better idea for a name. Scripps didn’t either because the new name is stupid. Whoever thought that name was good is stuck in 1999 and needs to wake up. At least “Recipezaar” was unique and interesting. “Food.com” is boring. Worse, it’s inaccurate — it’s a recipe site, not a food site. They owned the food.com domain when we came on board and they were planning to introduce a 3rd site on that domain that took content from both foodnetwork.com and recipezaar.com. They would have three sites: one site for celebrity chefs, one for amateur chefs and one to bridge the gap between the two. It was a great idea. But killing off one site and being stuck with two sites, one just renamed, was a bad idea.

Scripps pretends that the site was inaccessible because “Recipezaar” was hard to spell. It is hard to spell, but so is Epicurious.com and not many people argue they should change that name. And the likelihood for typos and misspellings is why we had 30+ domain name misspellings of it to catch the mistakes and typos. People clearly had no trouble finding the site due to lack of spelling ability or typos. So it’s not a legitimate reason. And because they changed the URLs, I hope they did a good job of redirecting old links to the new site or they will lose a ton of “link love” from other sites accumulated over the last 10 years.

Other than the dumb name, does it matter? All the recipes are there, you can still post your recipes and the database is growing. If you like the site, use it. If you don’t, don’t. You can argue whether they’re doing the right things or the wrong things, but don’t pretend it’s anything other than your opinion. I’m somewhat sympathetic to them. People told us for years how wrong we were whenever we changed anything. The tired anti-progress chant of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” was always bandied about. Again, take this opportunity to build your own site and prove them wrong.

The true judge of whether they’re doing it right or not is whether the site is getting more or less popular. Time will tell. Unfortunately, it seems they’re getting less popular. They’re losing even more to our most direct competitor AllRecipes. That’s a travesty and a missed opportunity because AllRecipes should have been easy to beat given that Scripps owned FoodNetwork.com too. It was Scripps’ game to lose and they are definitely losing it. It just goes to show that big companies usually succeed in spite of themselves rather than because of themselves.

I do think this new site is an improvement over their old site. They redesigned the site the first year after they bought it and, yikes, that was a sloppy mess. The woman who was in charge hired her buddies, designers that Yahoo let go (for good reason!), to design it. This new version seems to be an improvement over that, at least.

26 thoughts on “It's The End of Recipezaar As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

  1. We can’t stop change! As you said either stay with it or leave those are our options. It has been 4 days since the launch and the forums are still not accessible. I hope that they figure it out soon.

  2. I’ll keep using it because I’m a creature of habit and it already bookmarked on the tool bar. Although, if they harsh my ingredient search too much I’ll be looking for an alternative pretty soon.

  3. Change is hard! There have been lots of changes since Scripps took over. Some not so positive. The new site design is something I will have to live with or move on. What I have seen so far is the changes are pretty good. There are lots of “bugs” With the biggest being that the forums are down. I continue to hang out there because of the community and the people I have gotten to know and care about. Recipezaar was the first site that I became active with and continues to be the one that I use over and over. The change and problems are sad. As with Bergy I hope the issues resolved soon. I for one miss you guys but and glad that you are doing well.

  4. I hate the new name. I am sure, being Scripps, it was more a politcal move and not wanting to add to the long list of current zaars.

    I loved the name recipe zaar, it was unique. food.com sounds boring and doesn’t imply recipes.

  5. I don’t like the new name. The good news is that I find AllRecipes really hard to navigate, so I’m sticking with food.com or whatever they call it.

  6. It looks as if they messed up the links. I google tofu or tempeh or seitan recipes and there use to be zaar recipes out the ears on the first page. Food.com doesn’t show at all when allrecipes pops right up. tsk tsk. Bad move.

  7. The Valentines Day massacre did my head in last year. This year’s change to food.com is incredibly uninspiring and its harder to find my own recipes. Now I’ll get used to it but they better keep the Zaar URL linked up because I just can’t make myself type in food.com . I like Zaar as a name, I’ll miss it but I will survive.
    But they have lost a lot of my internet surfing time. I have been spending a lot of time on the BBC Good Foods site lately.

  8. HEY long time no see Missy Wombat. Yeah I know what you mean. I really like the BBC site. I just got off of the BBC before I checked here to see if Troy saw my bathtub post. Some great holiday recipes for Vegetarian. I saw a couple that I’m trying the next family get together.

  9. I’m a web designer and what they’ve done is horrible. Yes, on first glance it looks much more streamlined and up to date, but the most important thing about a website is usability. The old site was easy to use, really well layed out and fun. The new site has non of the usability or fun. Recipezaar is an odd name, but it’s memorable and fun to say.

    I love the sift function, and that’s what making it hard to find a replacement site. Any suggestions? I just can’t spend hours on this new site like I could on the old one.

  10. it’s more than the name that changed. before the site was intuitive to use. I can easy search by the ingredients i have in my fridge, and then by ratings.. now.. when I get onto the site I just feel lost. The way you were able to search for recipe by ingredient or prep time or vegetarian was one of the best things about it, and now it’s gone.

  11. Hi Folks,
    So you changed your name and I tried to access some recipes and it would not happen as luck would have it I have about 100 or so bookmarked.
    So I will find another web site offering what we had and go there If I try stay with you I will loose my obesity and would not require recipes eh.
    Thanks for the memories
    Stan Fleming

  12. I am all for change, provided the change goes in a forward direction. This change is not. The name change is no big deal, less letters to type if you don’t have it bookmarked no biggie. However finding/searching for what you want has definitely gone in reverse. It was so great before, put in ingredients you had or wanted to search for and then by ratings and you found great I mean GREAT recipes. Now half the time I don’t even find the right course (dessert instead of ! It’s ridiculous. I have had to go to other sites because I couldn’t find anything I wanted quickly enough. I’ve tried more than once, same result, had to go to a different site to quickly find what I wanted. I hope the search engine is retweaked to go back to how we have all enjoyed and loved to patronize this site. If it doesn’t I fear a lot of us will go elsewhere.

  13. Well. I must say that I am disappointed. Gay and Troy ran this website from a small island a stone’s throw from my house and did it very well. Now we have a HUGE company that can’t even come close. I just don’t understand this.
    I go to one of my cookbooks and click on “search this set,” and every time it says, “Sorry, no results were found.” This is even when I enter “chicken” in my Poultry cookbook! I don’t know what I’m going to do as yet, but unless they can get their you-know-what together, I will go elsewhere also.
    They don’t seem to give a care about the site, so why did they buy it?

  14. To say I have been frustrated is putting it mildly. I thought I would give this “change” a chance, but I have not been able to access my cookbook, submit a recipe, etc…..I must get a new password because it “doesn’t match the email address”…so I went through the process of trying to change it. what a nightmare…I’m soooo ready to just say forget it. Just today I tried to change the password. They want my “old” password. I type it in, and they said “since we have joined forces with yadda yadda…we show a conflict with your password. Period. So I must be happy with just looking at recipes, because that’s all the site will let me do. This is crazy. And for whatever it’s worth…..the look of the site is so dated and blah. Surely someone can do better than this. I MISS THE OLD ZAAR!!!!!!!

  15. They can fix the problems they are having with the new website, but they cannot recreate that comforting feeling of wanting to spend time searching for the best recipes among friends. Now it feels like a cold place. I hope they saved the old format, and wish they would bring it back. SOON.

  16. I loved Recipezaar just the way it was. I can’t use this food.com site—can’t post a recipe, can’t access things that used to be so easy, etc. I’ll probably change to a different community.

    I feel I’ve lost a friend!

  17. I hate the new site and hardly ever click on it..Before the change, I used recipezaar everyday searching for recipes and reading the forums….now,I have a hard time now finding my own personal cookbook…the new site is not user friendly…I am looking for a new recipe website…..so sad that the old zaar is gone…:(

  18. Argh! I liked the name. It was fun. It had authority over all “recipe land”. 🙂 I’d tell everyone I knew about recipezaar with a smile. It out-shined all other recipe sites for usefulness and time savings. Their search was awesome. Oven on the fritz and you needed to use up those expiring ingredients. No worry, search by equipment, than ingredients. I loved recipezaar’s search! It now called … food what? Barf. It’s boring. It has no pizazz. My eye glazed over and it blends into a sea of Internet nothingness. Nothing special there, next. Not to mention, all my saved recipes in my well organized bookmarks will have to change. Decision time. Will I take the time, or just go some place else. Oh no! I couldn’t find the fabulous recipezaar search either. Oh well 😉
    C’est la vie…

  19. It hasn’t loaded in two days… was trying to be patient but they have royally &$^@!* up the transition… can’t stand the new site….. am thinking about just printing up the recipes I love in my cookbooks and just posting them elsewhere(if I can ever get the page to load)… so I don’t have to deal with the stupidity of what they have done to the site…. it used to feel like a bunch of friends exchanging recipes… now it’s just cold corporate dung……….

  20. Argh. This is just awful. Every time I click on “sign in” up pops a page that says “Ooops. We’re having issues.” Well, isn’t that cutesy-poo. I’m having an issue, too. I can’t get to my recipe books. What used to be a great, useful site is now a POS. If I can ever get signed in again, I’m out.

  21. I used recipezaar because I loved all the sub-categorization possible on a search. I could look for a recipe that was low in several things, and eliminating ingredients AND equipment I didn’t have or want.

    They took all that away, and with sooo any recipes the overall categories it just don’t work for me anymore. So I’m moving on, too bad but oh well.

    As for the name I keep putting food.net or food.co for some reason, and yet I could find recipezaar quite easily. I don’t like how it looks now either. Maybe I’ll get my fiance create help me make a replacement…

  22. I am so sad – at least they couls have kept my cookbooks! All the work and great recipes I ahd book marked are gone. My husband even liked RecipeZaar and now hates the new site…It was great and simplistic as it was. Sometime bigger is not better – glamorous is not better, they forget. We are busy cooks, and we want meat and potato’s – good recipes, easy to find so we can get off to fedding our hungry family and friends. If I wanted a magazine – I’d buy a paper one. I wanted a research tool… sad to see recipezaar go! And I loved the name!

  23. I don’t know if anyone can help, but i can no longer narrow recipes by ingredients, which was a great thing i could do on Recipezaar. It’s sad, and the new site is downright boring. i will move on to Allrecipes or some other site.

  24. I would have gladly paid a fee to belong to recipezaar if they were just interested in generating revenue. Recipezaar was simple but genius. I lived on the site and now I cannot even utter the words food.com … I hate it!!!! I am actually going to contemplate creating my own recipezaar as suggested because I believe there are millions of people out there feeling as lost as I am without its spendor.

    1. Cathy
      I was taken by complete surprise when I tried to enter the zaar site and it wasn’t there, I used that site on numerous occasions as it was easy to navigate and very helpful. Should you create a site please allow me to be a member

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