Let’s Marie Kondo this Place

This past August, onMason celebrated it’s 10th anniversary. On one hand, it is quite the accomplishment to serve the Mason community for so long. On the other hand, it means that parts of onMason are a decade old. It’s time for some spring cleaning!

We took a look at some of the oldest parts of onMason and asked ourselves, does it still bring us joy? In many cases, the answer was no.

The first thing you might notice is that revamped the login. To prevent brute force password attacks, we have long limited how many incorrect logins you can attempt. While this has kept onMason safe, it resulted in a lot of password reset requests, probably because most people did not realize that we were limiting logins until too late. To reduce this, we added a warning about how many more login attempts are remaining before the system locks you out. Also, the system will automatically release the lock out after a certain amount of time. Yay! Not that I didn’t enjoy all the support requests …

We also ditched CAPTCHA. It has been more annoying than useful for a couple of years now. Not to worry, we employ a number of different, less intrusive methods of keeping your site safe and spam free(ish).

When we first set up onMason over a decade ago, we installed a theme pack that gave us more than 100 different themes – giving our users lots of good options. Fast forward to today, we have more than 100 themes that don’t meet modern coding standards and look very dated – giving our users lots of bad choices. Therefore, we whittled down the number of theme choices. Don’t worry, we didn’t suddenly change themes on existing sites, we just made it so you can’t choose obsolete themes if you change themes.

Along the same lines, we changed the default theme from TwentyTwelve to TwentySixteen. This doesn’t affect existing sites, only new ones.

Finally, we removed a bunch of old, seldom used plugins. This shouldn’t affect too many people since the plugins are seldom used after all.

The hope is that these changes make onMason easier to use and, ultimately, more satisfying.

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