website updates 2020 | website updates 2020

Website updates for new and existing user accounts, and more, for a more sage community experience.

Dandelion held out over water
Image credits : 

Seth Kenlon, CC BY-SA 4.0


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We've made some recent updates to that impact account registration, user profiles, and how readers comment on articles. These new and modified processes should ensure a more secure and safe website and experience for you.

Over the last few weeks, we've been really busy updating and testing these new features. One is our new account creation process to reduce spam. We deployed these changes to our production environment earlier today.

Here is a more detailed account of all of the changes we've made.

User account login

For those of you with an existing account, you will need to agree to the site Terms & Conditions the next time you log in. On the backend, we only made changes to the formatting, we did not make any material changes to the Terms & Conditions. Fun fact: The Drupal "legal" module is responsible for this behavior.

User account creation

Readers and visitors to the site will now only need to provide their username and email, accept the community Terms & Conditions, and then pass the "I'm not a robot" CAPTCHA process (fire hydrants, crosswalks, and traffic lights, oh my!). After completing that process, you will then get an email with a one-time login link that is valid for 24-hours. Once you click the one-time login link and confirm your email address, you will be able to set a password and complete the rest of your profile.

Account profiles

Profiles will still be visible and searchable, however, the biography (bio) portion (named the About section in the user profile) will only display for our community authors and Correspondents.

The bio section is now limited to 1,000 characters. If an existing bio is more than 1,000 characters, the bio is trimmed and includes an ellipsis... at the end. Please check your profile to make sure it displays how you expect it to, particularly if you are an author on the site. 

Commenting on articles

We made the decision to remove anonymous comments. In the early days of, we felt it was important to have them for increased engagement, but as we've grown, we are seeing a heavy increase in bots and malicious attempts to promote unwanted content and messages on our site (spam). Starting today, a reader must log in or register to comment.

In addition to this, we will only allow plain text comments, which means no markup or clickable links. Be creative and know that any links you want to share will be plain text and not indexable by search bots.

If there are any questions, I'd be happy to try and address them in the comments. We hope you appreciate these changes for a better and safer community experience

About the author

Jason Hibbets
Jason Hibbets - Jason Hibbets is a Principal Program Manager at Red Hat with the Digital Communities team. He works with the Enable Architect, Enable Sysadmin, Enterprisers Project, and community publications. He is the author of The foundation for an open source city and has been with Red Hat since 2003. Follow him on Twitter: @jhibbets for a fun and shareable feed of his open source (and...