Ilya Kreymerman admin said

Steepster Migration

So we are a few weeks into the steepster migration and are finally making some substantive progress which we wanted to share with you:

- We were able to clean up about 1 million spam user accounts that had accumulated over the past 10 years. We think this was partly the reason that the site was running slowly and also the reason some accounts were unable to post throughout the site.

- We upgraded the speed and memory of the server.

- We are actively purging new spam accounts as they are created. Our initial assumption was that these were being created by bots but have since learned that they are actually being created by humans. We hope that as the spammers see their efforts thwarted, they will eventually relent and move elsewhere.

- We are starting to clean up other parts of Steepster which includes removing spam from teas, tea companies, tear rooms, etc. We have also begun to consolidate tea companies wherever we see duplicates or misspellings.

- We are still experiencing a large amount of spam web traffic from certain countries and are experimenting with either outright blocking or creating a captcha roadblock to minimize the flow. We hope this is temporary and once the spammers go away, we will be able to lift these restrictions.

- We have started to work on creating a mobile browser friendly version of the website and are hoping to have that complete in the next few weeks.

- Much of the site should have improved in the last few days, but there might be broken functionality we are yet unaware of. If you are unable to do something on the site, please let us know.

388 Replies
AJ said

Human spammers doesn’t surprise me. Many were smart enough to wait a while after creating accounts before posting, protecting them from the initial ban. Others also revived dead but tangentially relevant threads, or straight up copied others’ replies. It was peculiar.

I can already see several improvements (the Places tab is working again as it should and also I can browse without being inundated with spam locations!).

Hopefully our own efforts to consolidate and clearly mark spam and duplicates streamlined things. I look forward to a mobile friendly version (I know many people are), and wasn’t expecting to see one so soon. But glad for it.

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Oh-this is wonderful! I can post in Discussions again! Thank you, Ilya!

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MandyJS said

Thank you so much for your efforts on making this site work like it should! Things are working so much better than before (from my end anyway) and though I’m sure there’s still some bumps in the road to come, it’s great to see things finally coming together!

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I have definitely noticed an improvement (I wasn’t able to post in the forums recently and had to use a “dup account” just to post, and now this account is able to post again, which is huge for me!) I am still getting some 504s trying to access tea pages to post reviews (at least I was yesterday) so I’m still being pretty cautious with that (only attempting to post one review a day from my backlog). Been pretty smooth so far accessing the user pages from my Following list and reading their reviews, accessing my Dashboard, etc.

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Arby said

Thank you so much for this update!

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mrmopar said

Mine has been working better for a while now. Thanks for the efforts.

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MandyJS said

In case it’s not just me and someone wants to look into it: I’m unable to get to page 2 in the recent tasting notes. It just shows an error.

Someone forgot to turn off the kettle. Check back later or try one of these:
Go back to the previous page
Drop us a note”

The rest of the first 5 pages work fine, just 2 is broken for some reason.

Confirmed that this happens for me as well. Went to a totally random page (Lucky #17!) and that worked fine. But #2 was borked.

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Dustin said

I super appreciate someone giving the site some love and attention! Now onto complaints… :D

The site has been running super slow for me. Dial up speeds every time I try to move to another page or search for anything. I’ve been trying to find a specific tea to make a tasting note (J E Milky Oolong by Theodor) and it will come up in the search bar, but when I click on it and wait 20 seconds or so for it to load, it comes up with an error page. Other efforts to try to pull up the company to then search for the tea resulted in a 60 second wait for the list of “T” companies to be pulled up. After that I gave up.

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