Martha Stewart is a celebrity best known for her party planning, decorating and cooking tips. MarthaStewart.com was launched in 1997. It serves as a companion site to the Martha Stewart Living magazine, which features all things food, home decorating, gardening, crafts, beauty, parties, and family. The site is part of the Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia umbrella of companies that includes various television, print, and merchandising ventures related to the Martha Stewart brand.
- Tested recipes
- Free membership
- FAQ page
All recipes featured on MarthaStewart.com are tested to ensure that only the highest quality recipes are offered. There are no member-submitted recipes, which helps to ensure a consistent level of quality in both the recipes and the accompanying photography. All recipes are rated on a scale of 1-5, so users can quickly see how other users liked the recipes. The layout of the recipe pages has the ingredients and directions side-by-side for easy viewing while cooking.
Users can browse recipe categories like Classic Recipes, Key Ingredient, or Basic Technique. Each of these categories also has multiple subcategories to help users further narrow their search results. If users click the Cook page, they can also browse recipes organized by Meal, Dessert, Hors d'Oeuvres, and Cocktails.
MarthaStewart.com offers a free membership that gives members access to the site's discussion boards, workshops and contests. Members are also able to favorite recipes, mark when they've made a recipe, rate it, and leave reviews.
MarthaStewart.com does include ads throughout the site, however they are typically relevant to the site's content and don't distract from the browsing experience.
Since MarthaStewart.com is not exclusively a food site, much of the navigation applies to other topics like home decorating, gardening, crafts, beauty, parties and pets. This may provide additional appeal for users who are interested in these topics because they'll be able to utilize the site for multiple purposes.
There is an FAQ page that has answers to technical questions, membership questions, digital magazine support, and television questions. If users can't find answers there, they can also go to the Contact Us page to submit a question.
- Third-party websites
Since MarthaStewart.com is not exclusively for recipes, it can sometimes be difficult for users to find what they are looking for. For example, users get completely different results if they select Cook or Food in the header. Cook would be the obvious choice for a listing of recipes, but those are housed under Food. This may be frustrating or confusing for users who prefer to browse or don't have a specific recipe in mind to search for.
In addition, some of the recipes featured on MarthaStewart.com are not hosted on the site, so users are often sent to other websites to view a recipe. This may be a hassle and will limit the ability to easily save recipes for later use, since the user may be prompted to create memberships with other sites in addition to MarthaStewart.com.
The Bottom Line
MarthaStewart.com is a sensible choice for fans of Martha Stewart or users who prefer to join a site that offers more than just recipe-related content. There are ample articles, tips and videos featuring information about home, gardening, family and beauty.
However, recipe enthusiasts may feel underwhelmed by MarthaStewart.com's lack of tools for organizing or sharing recipes, or creating shopping lists or menus. While the site does offer quality recipes, they may be difficult to find due to the site's unintuitive navigation, and saving or organizing recipes will be limited because some of them are housed on other sites.