In my latest efforts to do some much needed upgrading and repairing of AQ, I decided to go through the user list (which I haven’t gone through in detail for some time) and saw that we now have over 6,200 members. I didn’t realize we had that many – and something about that figure just started bugging me. The math didn’t seem right. So, I decided to drilling down further on these statuses and realized that the majority of those users had a status that didn’t allow posting.
So I set up a test account using my gmail account- sure enough the registration confirmation emails weren’t getting through. I used one other email I had…. same. I confirmed using several methods, and after some further research, I discovered that TWO YEARS WORTH OF REGISTRANTS NEVER WERE ABLE TO POST. I researched the various website/email spam lists and we weren’t included on any of them – clean bill of health from all of them.
Eventually I found that the problem arose from the way our web server host deals with the WordPress’ php email software. To make a long, story short, what I had to do install an entirely new email system (Mandrill) that works around the problem. I confirmed that the email system, and thus the registration process is working as it should be.
To reiterate, nearly no new registrants have been able to post on AQ for about 2 years. If anyone has been wondering why (with few anomalies that made it past the issue) we’ve seen only the same old faces – this is part of the answer. It’s amazing that the site went on as it did (we’re still averaging over 20,000 unique visits per month) with nearly no new blood coming on board.
How fixing this will affect us going forward, I can’t say. I guess we’ll see, but there are many potential implications that come to mind – not the least of which being that I just gave posting privileges to several thousand members of unknown status.
Here’s hoping that I haven’t opened a can of worms.