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Wings Over Scotland

Archive for the ‘housekeeping’

Dealing with the deluge 35

Posted on December 10, 2013 by

As you can probably imagine, with over 140,000 readers a month we get quite a lot of emails. Unfortunately the contact form plugin we’ve used until now to avoid being swamped in spam (which is what tends to happen if you just give out your direct email address) is a bit rubbish, and results in an inbox that looks like this:


Having 95% of your email listed as being from “Contact” or “Contact form” is, we can reveal, a major pain in the backside when it comes to keeping track of conversations.

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You don’t know what you’ve got 40

Posted on November 28, 2013 by

…until it’s gone. Wings Over Scotland is normally protected by a brilliant spam filter called Akismet, which blocks the constant flood of fake comments that assails every website on the internet. Akismet has filtered out 1,496,404 of these attempts to sell you counterfeit fashion, hardcore porn sites and attempts to steal your bank details since we started, in amongst the 120,297 real comments we’ve published in that time.


Last night it suffered a temporary outage, with the result that the four or five “pending” comments we usually wake up to in the morning – ones Akismet thinks are spam but isn’t 100% certain about, and so puts in a queue for us to look at manually – have been replaced today by 1,877 (and rising – an hour ago it was just over 1,000).

Here’s what this means for you.

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Some tweaking 90

Posted on May 10, 2013 by

We've been doing a little minor smartening-up around the place this afternoon, mostly (though not exclusively) for the benefit of people using the site via mobile phones or tablets. There's a new comment box that should work for both iOS and Android devices (and will enable you to italicise, bold or underline things, as well as embed images), and there are now a couple of little orange buttons at the bottom right of the screen that'll take you directly to the top or bottom of a page. (Replicating the effect of the Home and End buttons on a PC keyboard.)

Hopefully they'll make the site a little more user-friendly. If you have any problems with them, give us a shout and we'll see what we can do.

Moving in 41

Posted on March 06, 2013 by

So, we’ve moved. We’ve done it a couple of hours early as it was getting VERY confusing with two versions of the site live at once and people posting to the new one even though we’d EXPRESSLY TOLD THEM NOT TO 😀

Unfortunately this does mean a small handful of comments have been lost, and may not be coming back. Sorry about that. (We took a backup of them in the hopes we might be able to somehow resurrect them from the XML, but we’re promising nothing.)

Anyway, this is WingsLand’s new home (new RSS feed here). It should hopefully be more stable than the old one, better able to cope with higher volumes of traffic, and more resistant to malicious attacks and threats. There MAY be the odd hiccup as we iron out wrinkles that don’t become apparent until you’re up and running, but hopefully not. If there are, please bear with us over the next 24 hours or so.

(We especially hope Google Analytics doesn’t get screwed up. We simply can’t tell you how impenetrable and horrible Google Analytics is, and if we live to be a billion we hope we never have to try to make it do anything again.)

One bonus is that a number of people who previously couldn’t access the site because work filters blocked it for having the word “game” in the address should no longer have problems. The old site will stay in place for the forseeable future so that people’s old links will still work, but will no longer be updated and comments will be closed.

But anyway, there it is. We’re here, we’re having a beer, get used to it.

We are several 3

Posted on January 29, 2013 by

Just a quick bit of infrastructure, folks. We’ve been meaning for a while to get round to sorting out proper author tags, as the WordPress theme the site uses annoyingly doesn’t link from bylines. However, as the sidebar “tag cloud” isn’t big enough to include all our tags at once, even that didn’t quite do the job.

So now in the black tab bar at the top of the screen there’s a handy Contributors page, from which you can immediately and easily locate articles by your favourite WingsLand writers who aren’t me. Want to feature in it? We want to hear from you.

The listening blog 21

Posted on April 26, 2012 by

Regular readers may have noticed that our comments system has been prone to random brainstorms for a while, leading to some awkwardly-formatted comments that can be a bit of a pain to read. Ever alert to customer concerns, we’ve installed some new plugins that should smarten things up somewhat, and which also provide a five-minute editing window so you can go back and fix any embarrassing clangers that may have slipped into the first draft.

Um, that’s it. Nothing more to see here. Move along, now.

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