I have a habit of moving the Shrine from one service/platform to another every few years, when something better comes along. So…a few years ago I moved the site to a self-hosted WordPress blog, which has been awesome, except for something I’d never really had to worry about before: spammers and malicious bots. WordPress blogs attract spammers like crazy. It’s gotten got really bad, and over time I’ve ended up having to install spam filters, hack blockers, IP bans, captchas, and extra passwords just to keep them out. And all that still doesn’t stop them completely. Here’s a snippet about it from my personal blog in 2013 at the height of a spam attack:
The spam levels had been steadily rising over the past few months, from 10,000 in July to double that in October. Then in November it exploded at nearly 40,000! Once I began banning China and some other IP ranges in Brazil, it dropped dramatically in December as you can see below.
I think I know why spambots are so attracted to that site. I have a couple of pages on there which contain my old guestbooks from ages past, and those contain email addresses. Old ones, but still…a spambot sniffs out email addresses like Toronto mayor Rob Ford sniffs out dime bags.
That Rob Ford thing really dates it, right? Anyway, I finally got fed up with dealing with all that crap. Now the site is hosted on WordPress.com, which eliminates the need for constant battles against spambots trying to gain control of the site. However, I’m now having to use a free site theme which isn’t nearly as nice or customizable as the one I had when hosting it myself. I could get a paid account and do whatever I want with the design, but that’s $99/year and I’m already paying that for my personal website, so…this will have to do. And since the Shrine has been more or less in “archive mode” for the past few years, this should work fine.
I did have to give up the Jukebox since WordPress doesn’t let you host your own music files on the free tier, but all the other stuff is still here. There’s also an “About” page which tells a few of my personal Nina stories, for anyone who might be interested and/or bored.