Archive for the ‘WordPress’ Category

Comments working again

Sunday, June 14th, 2009 by Thomas Watson Steen

Thanks to one of our dear readers we just discovered a bug in our commenting system that basically meant that you could not leave a comment on any of our posts. This has now been fixed and you can now again tell us your thoughts. Of cause we should have noticed, since the amount of […]

Make WordPress Editor Less Evil

Sunday, January 6th, 2008 by Thomas Watson Steen

This Friday, Jesper and I had a chat about things we don’t like about the current WordPress WYSIWYG editor. In particular when trying to write code examples in our posts: Jesper: One change I really would appreciate in the next WordPress would be the ability to shift wysiwyg/code editor directly on the edit page (Now […]

Cleanup Time — Spam Filter Free Day

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007 by Jesper Rønn-Jensen

1111 spam comments in the last 24 hours have been published on Just for the record, all of them are now deleted.


137 new conversations in my mailbox telling me that 137 articles I wrote were hit by spam comments the last 24 hours.

Today is Spam Filter Free Day

Saturday, December 15th, 2007 by Thomas Watson Steen

Saturday the 15th is Spam Filter Free Day here at Why would we ever want to do something like that you ask? Well up until recently we received about 2-3000 spam comments each day so we thought we would draw attention to the wasted bandwidth, time and energy that all these spam comments consume. […]

Spam Comments Dropped 95% Overnight

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007 by Jesper Rønn-Jensen

It’s no secret that we will keep this blog spam filter free on December 15th. For some strange reason we only had 127 spam comments in the last 27 hours. This is a drop to just above 100 a day (as opposed to the previous level 2,000-3,000 per day), which translates to a 95% drop […]

Letting Spam In For A Day Questions and Answers

Thursday, November 29th, 2007 by Jesper Rønn-Jensen

Note that our spam experiment scheduled for December 15th got mentioned by the Akismet Blog, Blogherald, and many other blogs. Akismet Blog: Letting Spam In For A Day Blogherald: Will you turn off Akismet? Follow along in Technorati blog reactions for Also to answer some of the comments we got: Binh Nguyen: How about […]

Announcement: Spam Filter Free Day

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007 by Jesper Rønn-Jensen

Get ready for a suicide mission: On this blog, we will remove our spam filter completely for one day, December 15th. Today we got our spam comment number 500,000. Pretty scary to think how much energy, computer power, network traffic is wasted on a completely useless activity: To spoil the content with irrelevant comments. Currently […] hacked

Thursday, November 15th, 2007 by Thomas Watson Steen

The non-technical version: Last Thursday we unfortunately had an intruder on The cracker used a flaw in our blogging software to gain administrative access to it. With this access the cracker placed a secret backdoor on the server. It seems that the intention of the cracker where to use our server to host illegal […]

Blog Usability: Spam Comments Irritate Subscribers

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007 by Jesper Rønn-Jensen

I am back from vacation and saw that Akismet has caught more than 22,000 spam comments over a two week period. That is roughly one spam comment every minute (65 comments each hour). Since February when we passed 100,000 spam comments, we have now passed a quarter million spam comments. (277,421 when I made the […]

Ruby on Rails Checklist Now Public Available

Friday, May 11th, 2007 by Jesper Rønn-Jensen

Today I’ve removed password protection on the article “Prototyping Ruby on Rails Checklist to Get Started“. Sorry to have you waiting. There are two main reasons why I have kept it private: I wanted to check that the description worked well for me. And today I got my new laptop. It surprised me that a […]

Spam Blog Posted 182 Articles in One Day

Monday, April 2nd, 2007 by Jesper Rønn-Jensen

We just got a trackback link from a spam blog linking to Thomas’ latest blog post. At first sight, the trackback looked fairly real. Se screenshot below. Just one thing caught my eye: Who’s Jeremy? I went to the site — it looked reasonable at a glance. A look at the categories (oh, it’s called […]

100,000 Blog Spam Comments

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007 by Thomas Watson Steen

Today got spam comment number 100,000. But actually the real number is much higher since we have incorporated a couple of measures to catch the spam even before it reaches WordPress or Akismet. We have for example been blocking certain keywords that we found where common in spam that slipped through Akismet, or we […]

Blog Usability: Avoid Spam Comments (Part 2)

Wednesday, June 28th, 2006 by Thomas Watson Steen

WordPress uses /wp-comments-post.php as the receiving URL when posting new comments. Spammers exploit this and automatically send their spam directly to that URL (without actually filling out the comment form on the blog).

Here I explain how to deal with this kind of spam attacs.

Blog Usability: Avoid Spam Comments

Saturday, June 24th, 2006 by Jesper Rønn-Jensen

Since yesterday, the volume of spam comments has gone up even more. Now we get 150 spam comments every 12 hours. (Yesterday it was 21 hours). I promised to tell about what countermeasures we have taken against spam comments. What has that to do with usability? Well, in my opinion, irrelevant comments removes focus from […]

Blog Usability: Too many RSS feeds

Wednesday, June 14th, 2006 by Thomas Watson Steen

After reading “Pick a Format (Any Format)” by Nick Bradbury (tip by: Jeremy Voorhis on Octoblog) we must say that we totally agree. The point in the post is simple: I keep running across sites that offer the same exact content as an RSS feed and an Atom feed. What’s the point of this? Making […] WordPress Plugins

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006 by Thomas Watson Steen

I’ve created a bunch of WordPress plugins for our blog. In the spirit of sharing I’ve made a couple of them available for download. My plan is to make all of them available as soon as they are ready for the public. I’ve created a page called “WordPress Plugins” under where you always […]

Mullet Layout: A user-friendly front page

Sunday, March 12th, 2006 by Thomas Watson Steen

If you are a frequent reader and take a look at the front page sometimes, you might have noticed that we updated the layout quite a bit. The new layout is the first of many steps we will take to make the life easier for blog readers.

Blog Usability Improvements: What we’ll Change to make this blog better

Thursday, January 19th, 2006 by Jesper Rønn-Jensen

To follow up on Thomas’ post from yesterday about how to improve usability on out-of-the-box wordpress blog, we decided to prioritize the 23 20 point list that we’ll work on. (Three items are already done since we started the list).

We prioritize improvements so that we get the low hanging fruit done right away.

Blog Usability Improvements

Wednesday, January 18th, 2006 by Thomas Watson Steen

Many blogs today use common blogging software like WordPress or Movable Type. Tools like these are very easy to set up and you will probably get your blog up and running with the default design within 10-15 minutes. This speed comes at a price though… Very bad usability. Help us fix the birth defects.

Weblog usability followup

Tuesday, January 17th, 2006 by Jesper Rønn-Jensen

In the previous “Mullet-style blog layout and complete archive page” we had a look on the Mullet-style blog page that makes more content available on the fronpage, and also argued for replacing monthly archives with a single archive page.Danish “” pointed me to a research document from July 2005: Blog Mainstream Market Penetration Likely Limited […]

WordPress Dashboard improvements: Five things I’d like my blog software to do

Thursday, January 12th, 2006 by Jesper Rønn-Jensen

I like Wordpress Dashboard. The name suggests that it’s an overview of whats relevant to your blog. What’s happening. What’s popular. Who comments. What important updates are available. The Dashboard should work like in a car. The most important and relevant information should be visible at a glance. Lets have a brief look at the dashboard.
I suggest you only take a brief look to judge for your self whether you think the main objectives of the Dashboard page are met.

Wordpress Dashboard for

Click on the screenshot above for and look for 5 seconds only. Then ask yourself what you could remember from the page. Yup you just tried a 5 second usability test.