Tag Archives: Wordpress.com

A WordPress.com theme can’t be this cool

Image representing WordPress.com as depicted i...
Image via CrunchBase

WordPress.com just announced an old feature that most of its longtime users should have known already. It’s the so-called “Custom CSS” thing (you can read it here). “Infinite Theme Styles with Custom CSS”? My ass! Google doesn’t charge Blogger (Blogspot.com) users any cent for offering complete theme customization, yet WordPress.com, however, make this ‘tiny’ feature available only as a paid upgrade? I said it’s ‘tiny’ because it doesn’t involve any uploads that might be a better reason for them to charge people. They could have just offer stuff like that absolutely free!

Seriously I think WordPress.com should learn more from Google. No, I’m not saying Google’s Blogger platform is better where in fact WordPress.com do offer more features but definitely there are a few things WordPress.com should learn from the Blogger platform. First, like what I’ve said above, they should not charge users for little thing as simple as customizing the theme. Seriously why make users pay when they are actually make your place looks more beautiful? Even if it’s free bot users and you will benefit from the freedom.

Second, domain name mapping also requires a user to pay for such feature, where in Google’s Blogger, again, the custom domain mapping comes free of all costs. While it’s nearly impossible to scientifically say that this feature is more advanced than customizing CSS, it’s still a very simple thing that doesn’t require you to have a hi-school diploma to use it. It may be cheap but it’s still expensive if we consider that it’s not doing much other than redirecting your blog from a 3rd party host to your own domain without worrying too much about getting a dedicated host.

The third one is you can only add up to 35 authors per blog. 35 might be overkill for most people but I’m expecting it to be at least half of what the Blogger platform is offering, which is up to 100 authors. It’s true that I as the author of this article don’t use such feature (as well as other two features mentioned above) but it doesn’t mean my points are unjustified. I think for a blogfarm like this, WordPress.com should at least have the “follow” feature in order to compensate this,  just like the Google’s Blogger has (though this can be added via Google widget).

Last but not least, as I’ve mentioned about Google Widget, I’m not really sure whether that would be possible or not because there are very limited HTML/Javascript support in the widget. Simply embedding Javascript code from external services in the HTML widget may or may not work at all, and the worse part of it is I heard that Javascript support in HTML widget is completely disabled. Not sure whether this is available in the premium features but as far as I know there is no mention about it.

Seriously WordPress.com is just charging its users too much, well not in terms of the amount we need to pay for upgrades but the numbers of upgrades that we need to pay for. They already charging people for getting larger hosting space as part of their premium features, not to mention their VIP hosting too (the rest of WordPress.com premium features are available here) so why must they be greedy to charge users for almost half of the features. Maybe there are people who think I should not complain too much since I’m using the service right now. I’d say it’s lame. It’s because I’m the user that I have the right to complain. Think again.

I know business thing is a business thing and there are things that can’t be offered for free, but the point is, if there are people who can offer them for free, why can’t us? If it’s me I’d rather not say selfish things like “If you don’t like it then go elsewhere” or “it’s our way or the high way”. As far as I know all WordPress.com users are given 1GB storage for media. My idea is, if it’s too much to offer the above free for all users I’d prefer them to cut the storage capacity into half and make the above features free. Besides it’s not like we can’t do hotlinking to images or other multimedia content.


SPAM comments are funneh (Part II)

no spam!
Image via Wikipedia

I received average 1 spam comments for every article I posted here. Although Akismet spam catcher did a good job of capturing them all, it is still annoying to have to manually delete them. I know it is designed to work like that to reduce false positives but I still wish for wordpress.com to have a setting to auto-delete those spam comments because I don’t really mind even if they are legitimate comments thought to be a spam by the Akismet system. For me in false positive cases like this I’d not blame the system but rather the person who send comments that have spam characteristics. Actually having your ‘legitimate’ comments treated as spam is not a big deal. If you see the comments you posted before never appear, just post them again but with some difference. You know, when your comments got caught that way usually there are only 3 reasons behind it; the website owner are not professional enough and took offense of your comments and deleted it, or your comments are just deserved to be deleted because you said nothing but trolling, or it’s caught by the anti-spam system (either because it is an intended spam or you don’t know what you were doing is spamming). I believe I’ve seen this auto-delete spam feature in WordPress before (in the form of Akismet settings) but I can’t find the setting in wordpress.com. WordPress.com should really consider to make the option available to users if they can’t implement what I’m going to suggest below.

Now I think wordpress.com should take their spam prevention system to one step further. The existing system only catch spam only after they arrived at the comment inbox. I think the spam prevention should be done even before comments could be sent. Some websites use CAPTCHA/reCAPTCHA or similar system for this, which require the commenter to prove him/herself is a human first. So I think if Akismet could scan comments once they arrived at comment inbox, why can’t it try scanning the comments even before it was posted? Alright, I understand this might be hard to implement regardless what system is being used (CAPTCHA or Akismet). For example, wordpress.com allows comment to be posted via email which the system have no control at all. But still it’s better to have Akismet work before any spam is sent to prevent more spam rather than just working passively like it is right now, or at least eliminate them even before they could reach the comment inbox.