Recent Site & Theme Issues

November 21, 2014 at 2:31 PM

UPDATE: So, it’s pretty clear now that the bugs were caused by the theme change AND the age gate plugin. I expect that the age gate plugin was responsible for some of the lag and inability to completely load a page, as I was starting to get similar complaints about Crappypasta – which hasn’t had a theme change in well over a year. I disabled the age gate there and the people reporting the issue told me that the site now loads normally, so that seems like a smoking gun to me. The rest of the issues seem to be unique to the red-and-black theme, which is a bummer because I really liked how it looked!

I’d like to get the age gate activated again eventually, both for my peace of mind (it does make me uncomfortable when someone talks about being 10 and reading a site that is so obviously meant for adults) and because we’ve had a massive uptick in spammy and low-effort submissions since it was disabled. While I’m sure that I’ll ruffle some feathers by making this connection, on the surface it does seem that there is a link between disabling the age gate and an upswing in things like Jeff fanfics and copycat pastas, troll submissions, one or two line pastas, vague “this is my character idea, please make her a creepypasta” ideas that belong on the Prompts page rather than the submission form, and stories that are just massive run-on sentences without any punctuation or capitalization. The obvious assumption would be that these submissions are sourced to younger people who were previously obeying the age gate’s guideline. This absolute tsunami of low-quality submissions has made it really hard for me to get ahead with finding postable stories – I’m frequently having to schedule a day’s pasta only a few hours before it goes live, simply because I’m having to wade through 300+ submissions before I can find anything workable. It’s pretty stressful having to constantly be worried that I won’t have a new story to post in time for each new day, so if re-enabling the age gate can spare me that anxiety, it’s clearly the most appealing option. However, I don’t want to re-enable a plugin that’s obviously bugged, so it may take me some time to get this sorted.

Once the age gate is live again, I’ll create a new post where people can leave any bugs or errors that may arise. Stay tuned, and please – if you think that you may be responsible for some of the types of problematic submissions that I’ve detailed here, please consider working on them a bit more before you try to send them in. I will say flat-out that when you send in a story without any punctuation, every other word misspelled, all lowercase and one big run-on sentence, I won’t even read it past the first few lines before rejecting it. You are literally wasting my time and your own if you can’t bother to put even a smidgen of effort into editing your story. For those of you sending in nebulous ideas with the misconception that I’ll write a story for you based on your character outline, please familiarize yourself with how this site works by reading the FAQ. You may find the Creepypasta Prompts page more useful than the submission page.

Thanks, everyone.

Hey, everyone.

As I’m sure that you’ve all noticed, we’ve reverted to our older theme and a few plugins (most obviously, the age gate) are temporarily disabled. Since many of the same issues were reported across both the Halloween and the recent Red/Black themes, I’m trying to figure out if said glitches were solely married to those themes or if there’s another underlying cause.

Last month, I upgraded to a more powerful server plan, which in theory should have vastly improved website performance. This also required a server move, and during the process a few things got corrupted and some settings were changed that caused other site functions to break (most were back-end issues that you guys would never have seen, but a front-end example would be how the rating pumpkins did not work properly after the move). While issues are being fixed and adjusted as they crop up, this does mean that it’s entirely possible that some of the issues you guys have been experiencing are the result of some bug or new setting that I personally haven’t found yet.

Since most of the issues people have reported to me aren’t anything that I’ve been able to personally replicate on my devices, I need to rely on the community at large to help me know if this theme switch has solved them. The red/black theme worked perfectly for me on my desktop, phone, and tablet, but the complaints that I received were as follows:

  • Pages were taking forever to load, or simply never did.
  • Disqus/Comments block was not reliably rendering; this seemed to only affect specific people, but it was constant for them
  • Something that I’m not entirely clear on (need screenshots/more details) in regards to the drop-down navigation blocking the screen
  • The age gate refusing to go away or blocking people despite filling it out with the required data
  • General lag and a feeling that the site was “always loading”
  • Something vague about scrolling being weird (not enough details given here)

If you experienced these issues, please pay careful attention and comment on this post (or, if you’d prefer to submit bug reports via private correspondence, use the contact form) to let me know if these bugs have been fixed or not for you after the theme retcon.

To make things easier for me and my webhost, if you do experience the above issues or any new ones, PLEASE do the following when you report them to me:

  • If relevant/possible, take a screenshot. In cases like the aforementioned drop-down issue, it’s really much easier for me to figure out the problem if I can see it.
  • Tell me the user agent that you were utilizing when the error or glitch happened. You can find that out here if you don’t know already. I need the user agent string, but your IP isn’t necessary.
  • Make sure that you are not using any extensions or script-blockers that may cause sites to behave erratically. It’s already known, for example, that AdBlock breaks the submission form. Similarly, I’ve heard reports that Avast will block Disqus comments from loading unless you manually whitelist the Disqus domains. Try disabling extensions and scripts, clear your cache, and see if the issue persists. If doing so does fix the issue, please let me know what extension/script was causing the problem.
  • Be polite. This should be obvious, but several of you have been extremely rude and obscene when messaging me about site issues. While I will still look in to your report for the sake of anyone else experiencing the same issue, if you are abusive, I will block you from the site as clearly you’re not grown enough to be here. And no, the first amendment does not mean that I have to listen to your garbage. Please crack a textbook sometime if you’re honestly tempted to use that as an reason why I’m obligated to allow people to call me slurs or threaten my life because the site doesn’t load fast enough. Come on.

If the theme switch does manage to solve the issues, we’ll retain this theme and I’ll slowly begin reintroducing some of the disabled plugins. This way, if a glitch returns, we can have a better idea of what change prompted its return.

Thanks for all your patience!

Quick Note About Post/Link Bug – SQUASHED

November 17, 2014 at 5:36 PM

UPDATE: With the help of Nitro Themes, this bug has been fixed. Thank you!

Hi, everyone. I just wanted to give everyone a heads up that yes, I am aware of the weird bug that’s preventing direct-clicks to posts from loading properly all the time.

If you haven’t experienced it yet: for some people, attempting to click the post title directly will end up with the post either loading infinitely or redirecting to the main page. So as an example, clicking this link will either take you to the post but not ever load any content, or it will redirect and just dump you right back at the site index:

weird glitch one

However, if you use direct links (for example, clicking an individual post link from Google, Twitter, etc), click the comment link at the top of each post, or use the right-click-open-new-window, the pages and posts will load completely fine.

weird glitch workaround one

workaround 2

This bug showed up with another back-end glitch early this morning. While the back-end issue has been fixed, we are still attempting to figure out what’s causing the redirect for certain links. Hopefully, it will be fixed within a day, but even if not, please don’t panic! Just know that it is being worked on and there are multiple workarounds so that you can still read and comment on individual pasta pages.

Feedback on the new look is welcome, but be aware that if this issue is traced to the new theme and I can’t figure out how to squash this bug, this look won’t be sticking around.

Thanks for your patience, everyone.

Submissions Are Open… Now! +Please Vote On Theme

November 12, 2014 at 12:00 AM

OPEN SUBMISSION PERIOD

First of all, I want to thank everyone for being patient. I’ve mentioned this to a lot of authors privately, but after the site upgrades and server move, a number of back-end functions managed to break themselves. Obviously, for security reasons, I didn’t want to announce this while it was still ongoing, but suffice to say that there was a period of time where I really couldn’t perform many important functions, much less feel comfortable re-opening submissions (honestly, the submission page probably wouldn’t even have worked properly even if I had enabled the form).

I think that everything is in working order now, though, so I don’t foresee any huge catastrophes if I turn on the submission form. Uh, knocking on wood, of course…

Since this period is opening almost half a month after I initially wanted to see it open, I’m going to also extend it further than originally intended.

SUBMISSIONS WILL BE OPEN FROM TODAY UNTIL JANUARY 15TH, 2015.

This should mean that submissions are open during the entire winter break for the college students in the crowd, so I hope that those of you who were planning on giving us some Creepypasta during your holiday will find this sufficient.

Also, this is implied, but I’m going to say it outright as well: this means that all previous submissions from the Summer 2014 open period have been read and processed. If you did not get an email response, this means that your story in its current state was rejected. Please visit the FAQ for a detailed explanation on why I do not send out individual rejection emails – and please know that if you still insist on messaging me asking about your story even after this announcement, I will not reply. This is all covered in the FAQ and submission page details, so I’m not going to repeat myself here.

If your story was rejected, please do a rewrite before re-submitting. We have a large list of volunteer beta readers here, please consider contacting one (or more) of them to help you refine your pasta! Remember, there is no rush. This submission period may be two months long, but even if you miss the January 15th deadline, there will be more opportunities to submit your stories. Please make sure that you are 100% satisfied with your pasta before sending it in!

THEME OPINION POLL

Secondly, opinions on the Halloween theme were very divided – a lot of you seemed to really like it, while many others absolutely hated it. Since there wasn’t a huge (voiced) trend either way, I’d like to have an anonymous poll where you guys can tell me where you’d like to go from here in regards to the theme. There are three options, and I think they’re all pretty self-explanatory, so without further ado…

[POLL HAS BEEN CLOSED. RESULTS WERE OVERWHELMINGLY FOR A NEW THEME THAT ISN’T THE HALLOWEEN THEME!]

Seasonal Layout + Our Halloween Giveaway!

October 20, 2014 at 1:00 AM

NEW HALLOWEEN THEME

First, the obvious. Yes, we have a new layout going for Halloween! Consider it Creepypasta.com’s Halloween costume, if you will. I hope that everyone enjoys the look – it will definitely be up for a few weeks at least, and if the community likes it enough, we can easily keep it and just switch out the Halloween-themed banner for something less seasonal.

Just a few things of note about this current theme:

  • The mobile theme is unchanged – if you’re on a recognized mobile device, you should still see the mobile theme unless you click the “show desktop” link at the bottom of the page. The Halloween theme is a tad more responsive than our current theme, so please do give it a shot via mobile if you’re curious!
  • This should be obvious, but just in case: on the main page, you will only see the first 100 words of any post. Click the read more to view the full pasta and its comments section. I’ve been receiving a lot of requests for this kind of pruning on the main page, so I hope that this satisfies those of you who wanted a cleaner main page without sacrificing the ability to get at least some preliminary feel for the story before loading its individual page.
  • The movable cards (you should be able to easily drag them around in order to get a clearer view of each card’s content) should only display on the main page, and if you’re using a mobile device with a small enough screen, they won’t appear at all as they would make things a bit clunky-looking. I’m interested to hear what everyone thinks about the cards as a sort of “additional sticky” section – sometimes we end up with three or more sticky posts for whatever reason, and that always seems to confuse people who think having a few static posts means that there are no new posts below the stickies. This method will allow me to spotlight important posts (or featured pastas, another thing that’s been requested) without eating too much post real estate.
    • The “most recent video” card has to be manually updated, so please don’t be alarmed if it’s not immediately reflecting a new video post. I’m often sleeping when new posts go live, so I won’t be able to make that edit until I wake up and/or get home later that day.
    • Please also note that the recent video embed function only works with YouTube codes; that means that if you want your video pasta to end up on the card, it needs to be hosted on YouTube.
    • If you have ideas for other ways that we can use the cards, please let me know!
  • It’s my hope that the lighter post background + the dark scheme surrounding the post section will be a decent compromise between the two color-scheme camps. I get a few messages each month saying that the light grey on dark grey in the main theme is too hard on the eyes, but previous attempts to lighten things up were met with considerable resistance. Let me know what you think!

HALLOWEEN GIVEAWAY

This year’s Halloween giveaway doesn’t have the cohesive theme of last year’s “Dead Skull” raffle – rather, it’s just a collection of fun, Halloween-related items that I thought you guys might enjoy.

ONE winner will receive all of the following items:

  • One complete set of deadspiderhands’ Halloween Postcard Set. This set is now sold out, so here’s a chance to get your hands on what I think is an absolutely fantastic set of creepy artwork. This set is being raffled with deadspiderhands’ permission, though I did purchase the item myself.
  • One bag of World Market Brand Halloween Pasta – yes, it’s literally creepy pasta. Of course this is included in the prize package!
  • One Necco Zombie Food Candy Bar. Described as “a mix of creepy hand, feet and brain shaped chocolate pieces filled with blood red caramel”, this sounds really… appetizing.
  • One pair of Bleeding Drip Taper Candles. As these black candles burn, they will drip a dark-red wax that looks like blood! Last year I included a skull-shaped candle with the same blood-dripping wax and it was very popular in the comments. I wanted to give away another candle like this because it’s such a cool idea, but I didn’t want to beat a dead skull horse by giving out the exact same item.
  • One Bloody “BEWARE” Wall Art Decal.
  • …and some other small tricks and treats! Nothing big, but I wanted to include some surprise items in this prize package as well to simulate a Halloween goody bag!

HOW TO ENTER

Please use the widget at the bottom of this post. Note that the raffle widget may not display properly on mobile – if that is the case, you may enter at this link.

This contest is only open to people 18 years of age or older, and I will only ship to a mailing address in the USA or Canada. This is non-negotiable.

All entries WILL be checked over. This means that if you enter and say that you tweeted but didn’t send the required tweet, that entry will be void. If you enter and say you commented and I can’t confirm it, that entry will be void. DON’T BOTHER CHEATING BECAUSE THE WINNING ENTRY WILL BE CHECKED AND CONFIRMED MANUALLY. If you fake an entry or don’t follow the instructions, all you’ve done is waste your time.

I will choose a winner and contact them within 48 hours of the raffle’s end. If I don’t receive a response within 48 hours of my email, that person will have forfeited their prize and I will select a new winner. So if you enter, please make sure you give a correct email address and whitelist “Creepypasta” in your spam filter.

Good luck!

*There is one referral link present in this post. If you purchase anything through our referral links, thanks – the small kickbacks I get from referrals add up eventually and allow me to cover the expenses of things like this giveaway, so everyone who uses such links to buy things has my appreciation!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Comment System + Other Features

September 26, 2014 at 10:26 AM

As most of you have no doubt noticed, a new comment system has been implemented. We are now using the DISQUS commenting system, which will add the following features:

  • You can set up and customize your own Disqus profile – my hope is that this will satisfy those of you who kept asking for user profiles while allowing me to avoid the higher server cost and security issues that would manifest if we implemented user profiles via our blogging platform.
    • You do not NEED to register for Disqus; anonymous/guest commenting is still enabled.
    • However, having a Disqus profile will allow you to utilise the new comment system to its fullest extent: you will be able to subscribe to comment threads, receive notifications when people reply to or vote on one of your comments, follow other commenters (there’s a Disqus dashboard that acts in a similar fashion to a Tumblr dash or Facebook feed for the people and posts that you’ve followed).
  • You can edit and/or delete your comments without having to “request” deletion by me (this function was glitchy and slow as I frequently didn’t receive the deletion requests for hours after they were sent, often resulting in the comment being approved long before the deletion request showed up).
  • You will be able to easily upload and insert images into comments.
  • I will be able to appoint comment section moderators without actually having to give them access to the site’s backend; this will allow comments to be approved more frequently.
    • I already have some long-time and frequent commenters in mind for mod positions; please do not volunteer or sent me contact requests begging for mod access. I will only be recruiting a few mods at first, and if we end up needing more down the line they will be chosen by the mod team based on who we see contributing to the site’s discussions in a mature and useful fashion.
  • If a comment gets through the mod queue and you feel it’s over the line, there is a ‘flag’ function that will bring it to the moderators’ attentions.
  • For those of you who are very active and just like the acknowledgement of how much you’ve contributed to site discussion, there will be a ‘top commenters’ box on the sidebar.
  • Very long comments will be minimized until YOU personally choose to expand them. Similarly, the comment section will only load ‘batches’ of comments at a time, so you can tell the plugin to load more comments when you’re ready. This should make things less intensive for those of you who were complaining about having too many comments loading at once on your phones.
  • Clicking the “Creepypasta” heading on the Disqus form will show you the comment threads that are currently most active on this site.
  • There are some back-end benefits as well: the spam filter for Disqus is free, so I will get to save $$ on that front if it works properly (I currently pay a monthly fee for our spam filter – we get around 1000 spam attempts per day between the two sites, so believe me, it’s necessary to have some sort of filter). Additionally, having the comments hosted off-site should help with the site load.

I hope that you will all enjoy the new system! As of this writing, the comment import is about 80% done. If you find some posts where comments aren’t displaying yet, do not be alarmed. We’ve got about 6 years worth of comments that are being imported into the new system, and it can take up to a day on average, more if we run into any weird errors.

Two other new functions have been added over the past month (these aren’t related to the new comment system, but I realised that I haven’t yet made a post introducing them):

  • Hiding Content: You’ve probably noticed the (hide) link appearing next to tags and categories. This allows you to ‘hide’ a specific tag or category that you dislike. If you absolutely haaaate Ritualpastas, for example, you can ‘hide’ them and – as long as you don’t clear the cookie – you will not see any posts tagged as Rites & Rituals when browsing the site. To be clear, these preferences are not stored server-side; it uses cookies on your computer/tablet/phone/whatever. Just like the ‘add to favorites’ function, this means that you will need cookies enabled to use this function, and clearing the cookie will result in your ‘hide’ preferences being removed. Additionally, as the cookie is stored on your device, contacting me and asking me to clear it for you will not accomplish anything. You will have to do this yourself using your browser’s settings.
  • For those of you who wanted to know which pastas were the most popular each month, the sidebar now displays the top ten socially active posts. It’s currently set to display the top posts for the past 30 days, and it uses a combination of comments and social media shares to decide its rankings. Since the “all-time” top-ranked pastas are rarely dethroned, I thought that this would be a nice way to give attention to some of the newer pastas that are causing buzz.

Lastly, in regards to the Disqus system, we have a few decisions to make.

Please click the ‘read more’ link to view the rest of this post.

Two Community Promos & Introducing a Beta Reader Contact Page

August 11, 2014 at 6:42 PM

As those of you who visit the site regularly already know, I sometimes like to help promote projects that involve members of our community. Today I have two such promos for you – a book and a film – as well as a request for some input on a new part of the site.

First, let’s talk about the community projects.

The Thing That Stalks The Fields Film

With author David Feuling’s permission, a group of filmmakers is working on taking the popular pasta The Thing That Stalks The Fields from a story to a full-blown movie. I feel this is pretty self-explanatory, so I’ll just let the project-runners themselves do the talking:

The Story
The film follows a young man, John, who inherits a farm from his estranged father. Soon, John begins to learn more about the man who abandoned him, as well as a malevolent presence that seems to haunt him at night. The film explores John’s relationship, or lack there of, with his father as he is psychologically tormented by a creature that seems to have a particular interest in him.

What We Need & What You Get
We are prioritizing the authenticity of the story, so most of our budget is going towards our location and actors. Luckily, Ithaca College PPECS is providing equipment, which allows the rest of our budget to be used towards set essentials such as travel, food, and lodging as well as essential post production work.

As of this writing, they are 47% to their goal of $2,500 – so if this sounds like a film project that you’d like to see come to fruition, please do consider kicking a few bucks their way if possible. You can find their indiegogo fundraiser here, or use the widget below.

Alone in the Woods: Scary Stories, True Tales, and Other Disturbing Things

Brenden Dean, host of the Never Sleep Again Podcast, recently released an eBook compilation of creepy stories. He sent me a complimentary copy (thanks!) and asked me to consider promoting it if I liked it enough. Well, I did – so here I am, passing on the word to the rest of you.

You can read his blog post about the book release here.

Get ready for 242 pages of original horror tales featuring ravenous creatures, perverse psychopaths and malevolent demons, as well as true stories and popular articles from around the web. This is a cocktail of horror formulated to get you thinking about what might lurk in the dark, what truly haunts us, and what could be just around the next corner. Enjoy the sleepless nights to come.

The book is already available for purchase on Amazon here. If you’re interested but want to read a sample of the book first, you can either download a preview directly to your Kindle via the Amazon page, or you can download directly from his site in one of two formats: PDF or ePub. Those links go directly to the files, so you can right-click save-as on the links to start the download.

Available Beta Readers Page

UPDATE: THIS HAS BEEN IMPLEMENTED – PLEASE GO HERE TO SEE ALL CURRENTLY AVAILABLE BETA READERS.

Next, I’d like to talk about a very good suggestion made by Nessa:

Hey Derp,
Might it be possible to create a post on Crappypasta where readers might post their emails in the comment section (of course I would suggest not using a personal email address and rather one specifically for Creepy purposes)if they are willing to be Beta readers for Creepy authors? Authors could use these if they know their pasta is not quite up to par rather than just submitting and hoping for the best, or authors whose works have already ended up on Crappypasta might contact a beta to get in-depth one-on-one help with edits and improvements. Plus, this way when people send you “Can you edit my pasta plzzz?” emails/requests you can tell them no but link them to a post where they can contact people from within the community who would be happy to do so.
Or would this simply be redundant, and are there Creepy forums out there where this service already exists?
Thanks for your time and consideration, both in reading this, and in everything that you do for this site and community!
-Nessa

I think this is an excellent idea, and will go nicely with our already-existing Creepypasta Prompts page and the Crappypasta system. Of course, people who are interested in beta reading can also visit The Creepypasta Network’s forums as many aspiring pasta writers are already posting their in-progress works there, but I think that having a page where people can individually and privately access beta readers would also be valuable. I’m aware that not everybody feels comfortable with posting their unfinished work for at-large public consumption, and this more individual approach would probably be more comfortable for those people.

If you’re interested in having your contact information placed on the beta reader directory, please reply to this post with your information (how the author can contact you, any notes about how much free time you have or what types of stories you are/aren’t interested in reading, etc) and once we get a few available readers, I’ll create the page. After it’s up, it will work like the ‘More Creepypasta’ page where you can just comment on the specific page with the information that you want added/edited.

For now, I’m planning on calling it “Available Beta Readers” unless anyone else has a better idea. If you do, feel free to let me know.

THIS PAGE HAS BEEN CREATED. PLEASE FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS HERE IF YOU WISH TO BE ADDED TO THE LIST OF AVAILABLE BETA READERS.

Thanks for your time, everyone!

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