Thanks for the update and all you’re doing to clean up the site and keep it running! It’s been a relief to be able to log in/post again the past week or so and it’s great to click to the discussion board and not be confronted with a wall of spam. Excited for the mobile-friendly site as well!
As others have mentioned, the site is still running quite slowly for me and I sometimes have trouble getting the “notices” to load on my dashboard. Assuming that these issues will be dealt with as you continue to clean things up. :)
Some tea websites lead to ERROR 404, while it is apparently not spam “tea”.
Thanks. I think this happens when the website gets swamped with traffic.
I’ve been trying to log teas all day, and every single tea page I’ve tried to log has landed on the same ERROR 404 page – nearly a dozen different teas at this point.
Yea, I was having this happen to me a lot since yesterday. When I did manage to post the note, it went to the 404 error again, but the note at least saved to the site.
The server’s cpu has been running at 100% for the last 2 days. We’ve been cleaning out a lot of spam accounts so once that work is done, we hope it improves.
It’s been the same for me, Roswell. I get a 404 on any tea page I try to access. Additionally, I haven’t been able to view my Notices in days.
I’ve been trying for days now to post a tea review to https://steepster.com/teas/various-artists/30627-random-steepings and always get the 404 error. I see new tea reviews going up by others on my Dashboard, so supposedly other people are able to access tea pages… am I the only one having this issue still? (I also still can’t access my Notices…)
Mastress Alita, I can’t access my notices, either and the slowness of the site makes me want to quit bothering to even try to use it. Not that I ever write reviews, more that I come here to read them (well, some of them) to relax and recharge. Frustrating to say the least and while I feel like a bit of a pillock for complaining, I think it’s a legitimate complaint.
404 errors happen to me in the afternoon times (CEST). I imagine it is indeed “busy times”; notices work for me, but they need lots of time.
I am lucky that I live in different time zone, so I am using Steepster in times, where most of you sleeps I guess.
Well, it’s been 4 days now and I still get a 404 error on the Random Steepings tea page that I need to post a review to, and it doesn’t matter what hour I try, including around 1 or 2 am MST here in the US. It’s always a “404 Not Found”.
That’s just wierd. Hopefully they haven’t decided to delete this non-tea page.
But maybe because there were lots of tasting notes it just takes long to open and loading aborts after some “long” time?
The site is extremely slow for me and has been consistently so all week. I don’t believe time of day aka ‘traffic’ has any bearing on this at all.
I’m having difficulty posting tea reviews. Sometimes it just will not pot, other times it takes upwards of 5 minutes.
I’m brand new to Steepster and was disappointed to see what was happening to the community that others had spoke of so highly, I’m excited to see this resuscitation of the site. Thank you for the update!
Wanted to share an update on our Steepster progress.
- We’ve continued cleaning up the spam accounts and are feeling good about the number that have been removed. Except for a few accounts we run into once in a while, we think that the legacy users are mostly purged.
- We continue to receive several hundred new spam accounts daily, but these are fairly easy to identify and remove.
- We think we have identified the primary reason for the website’s sluggishness and have taken steps to minimize the enormous amount of bot traffic that was causing it. We are not out of the woods yet, but the last few days have been much better.
- We are starting to purge the teas and tea companies of obvious spam as well as consolidate duplicate info when we can. Example would be consolidating ‘Allegro’, ‘Allegro Fine Tea’ & ‘Allegro Tea’ into a single company.
- One area where we are unsure of how to proceed is for the dozens of entries that have recently been created for the Adagio Custom blends. We have 138,000+ unique blends created by our customers and several hundred of these have been added to Steepster over the years. The current format of creating a new tea company for each tea blender seems unfair as this would overwhelm all other tea companies by the shear numbers. However, putting these all under a single Adagio Teas Custom Blends company will make it nearly impossible to navigate. Perhaps there is a middle ground the Steepster community could suggest. We’re looking for feedback.
Thank you for the update, Ilya! I appreciate all that you’re doing. The site does seem to be running a bit faster for me, which is encouraging!
Ilya, I was actually one of the members working on the Steepster Cleanup Iniative, and was in the middle of the Adagio Teas when the takeover took place and the site became too unstable for me to continue, so I had to abandon halfway through (it was a large part of the database, around 83 pages total). We talked about the issue you are describing here:
I was actually on team “use one single company name for all of them” (Adagio Custom Blends), but was over-ruled because others wanted to be able to “search” by the blender name, and there are no search fields with the way the current database is set up to allow for this to happen, as the only “searchable” fields in the database are Tea Name and Company Name. Ergo, we decided on the format “Adagio Custom Blends, [blender name]” just so that data could be searchable. So my suggestion is we need more searchable datapoints. I was even putting the blender names ADDITIONALLY into the tea information field, but that text is not searchable and would not bring up the entries on its own. Only if the data was in “Tea Name” or “Company Name” would the entries come up.
In regards to Mastress Alita’s wish for more searchable data, this kind of ties into my wish for some sort of searchable ‘alternate name’ field, for when teas come with a name that isn’t English. I know of at least one instance where there is a duplicate tea because one has the original Danish name and the other has a translated English name and I can’t figure out which way around is the smartest. (I’m leaning towards keeping the original Danish because that’s its name, but being NNES myself I might be biased here)
Just weighing in because I was firmly in the camp of wanting the blender name in the company name (for search ability). However, if there was a way for that to be searchable WITHOUT the blender in the name I would be all for that!
Ilya: Thank you a lot for your report. I noticed that it is indeed faster; spam is reduced, but now and then something appears. I understand it is long run ahead.
It is good and nice tosee that you are able to consolidate different tea “companies” while they are actually same.
I agree with Mastress Alita as long there is no other way to search more in detail. I understand it is not easy to change whole search engine, but I believe it won’t be impossible.
I think, and while adding new teas I did, the original name should be used as the name of the tea. We need some alternative name (probably in English), so we can search it as translated as well. For example Damman Freres tea: Jardin Bleu is Blue Garden, but nobody know that tea below that name. Everybody knows and will search “Jardin Bleu” and not Blue Garden. Same when it is language you don’t understand (as for example me, being from Czech Republic, adding Czech blends; I will write the official name on the bag while swapping, but it would be nice to see how it is called in English) I understand it is another big issue to add in database another collumn, but it is indeed necessary in my opinion.
As well search in own cupboard by ingredients would be nice. For example I am craving for tea with apples in. It is not always called “Apple (something)” but can be called for example “Autumn fun” and apples would be in as it is certainly autumn flavor.
Well, that’s all for now I have in my mind. Of course, it can (and will change) :) — keep up good work.
I’ve taken to putting it in the info section. Something like ‘Name in English: [Translated name]. It’s just so that the information is there, but I’m aware that most people aren’t likely to ever see it. Likewise, if I’ve translated the shop’s information, I’ve also started adding a ‘translated by Angrboda’ note on it, just in case I’ve got something wrong.
My main issue with the “Tea Information” section (which I use a lot!) is the text within it isn’t indexed/searchable by the database. For example, even though I put the blender names for the Adagio Custom Blends in that field, searching their names WON’T bring those items up if they are ONLY in that field (they have to be in the Tea Name or Company Name to turn up as a result). So the same is the case for a “formerly known” tea name (in the case of renamed tea blends) or translated tea names: if BOTH aren’t listed in the “Tea Name” field, it isn’t searchable data. I also list all the names/companies of blends under a main “wholesaler” listing in the Tea Info section, but again, they won’t bring that wholesaler listing up if someone searches one of those other teas/companies.
I agree with both of you ladies, but as long it is not searchable (I think it needs remodelling the search engine) it should be written in the name and using original name. When it will be searchable, I think it should be searchable in some advanced search for example. Basic search as “name, comapany name” and advanced with those alternative names (e. g. it is called Blue garden, how it is in French? I don’t remember, let’s try “Blue garden”) or blender name, or anything like that.
I am sorry if something was lost in translation.
I feel like tea names get so unwieldy, though, if all of it is in the one name field. I do also tend to write it in the beginning when writing a post about it. I feel like if you’re in possession of, I don’t know, something called ‘Jordbær og Rabarber’ then that’s probably the name you’re going to search for, isn’t it? And if you don’t know that this means ‘Strawberry and Rhubarb’ then you’re more likely to bother looking at the info section.
Years ago I would automatically translate everything because I was trying to do other users a favour, but I’ve come over on the other side of that particular fence now and would rather like to have both available from the beginning.
Oh my… Nice migration. My previous account was deleted I guess. Though haven’t used it lately so no wonder.
The problem is every time I open the site a captcha welcomes me. If I don’t close the page then about 20-30 minutes later another captcha awaits for me, even if I did use the site, not just left it open for no reason.
It’s quite annoying to play a damn puzzle, searching for vans and airplanes everytime I would like to look up a tea.
What country are you located in? Perhaps we can loosen the captcha requirements.
Hungary. If it happened once a day I wouldn’t be mad. I stopped counting how many times I had to “play” before looking up a tea the past hours. I’m about to buy a few cakes/tuos that’s why I’ve been browsing steepster for hours.
I didn’t close the browser either nor deleted cookies or anything. Maybe the site could remember my IP or some kind of info for 24 hours or even 6 would be enough.
As I can see Adagio took over Steepster so I’d like to mention I never had to pass captcha on Teachat (maybe once) so this problem only affects me here.
Ilya, what’s the prognosis on unblocking Poland? I don’t even have captcha, i’m completely blocked out. I’m tired and annoyed of using the US VPN server. And denying access for the whole countries actually seems both discriminating and exaggerated.