Andrew Connell

Site update - adding CAPTCHA, subscription buttons, and more

For a fresh start to the new year, I made a few additions and changes to my blog… more to come in the following days & weeks.

Addressed comment spam by adding CAPTCHA solution

I’ve been nailed with comment spam lately… so I did something about it. Using a free control found, I added one of those funky image-confirmation-code deals where the commentor is required to enter the code before submitting their comment. It’s not perfect… users don’t get a message if they put in a bad or no code and their comment isn’t preserved. Also when you try to remove a comment (when logged in as admin) with the hyperlink, you have to enter the code (but shouldn’t be a big deal since comments are pretty restricted now). It’s good for now, but the whole comment control may need to be rebuilt.

Added NewsGator post ratings

At the bottom of all posts, I added the NewsGator post rating system. Just click on the post and rate it if you like it.

Added a bunch of subscription buttons

More cosmetic, I added a bunch of subscription buttons on the left column below my post categories.

Updated my blogroll & OPML

I updated the Newsgator & Bloglines links, as well as updated Bloglines with my more recent subscriptions. NewsGator updates my OPML automatically, but it doesn’t keep my categorization of feeds. Not a huge deal, but not idea.

There are a few more things I plan to do with my blog in the following order:

  • Add category display to posts: On each post, I want to display the post categories I’ve assigned it to. This will go on the homepage and detail page.
  • Add comment spam control to contact page: Just what it says.
  • Add real search page: I plan to create a real search page that will pull the search results from whomever I chose and display then in my UI. This will let me free up the block I’ve reserved for it on the left column.
  • Add real links page: I don’t know how I plan to implement it, but I want to make adding & managing links much easier. Right now I’ve just created an article and update the HTML manually (NOT ideal). I’d like to extend the .Text model, remove the links from the homepage, and create a new links page(s).
  • Reorder category links in left column: The post categories should be above the archives… this will take either a custom control or changes to the .Text code… this is back burner.
  • Create a better photo gallery: I referenced this a few days ago … I don’t like the image galleries in .Text, I don’t like the album I’m currently using (old homegrown ASP solution I built 3 years ago late one night), and I’m not a fan of nGallery (yes, I installed and tried it out on my site… just don’t like how it works). I like how Nikhil Kothari’s photo gallery works. Hope he ok’s me copying his look & feel (yes, I asked, just no reply yet). My implementation has to look nice, be easy to manage, and easy enough to use for my wife (we’re creating a site for the new addition to our family).
  • Email-enabled blog posting: I’d like to create a library that watches a specific email address, and if email arrives from a specific address, it would automatically post that item to my blog. If there was an image attachment, it would display it on the site. If it was sent with some special info, it would add it to a special image gallery.

I’ll provide source, compiled instructions, and any resources for any solutions I come up with.

Andrew Connell
Developer & Chief Course Artisan, Voitanos LLC. | Microsoft MVP
Written by Andrew Connell

Andrew Connell is a web developer with a focus on Microsoft Azure & Microsoft 365. He’s received Microsoft’s MVP award every year since 2005 and has helped thousands of developers through the various courses he’s authored & taught. Andrew’s the founder of Voitanos and is dedicated to delivering industry-leading on-demand video training to professional developers. He lives with his wife & two kids in Florida.