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Forum Home > General Discussion > Cloudflare / Captcha issues with Website / Forum since 9/01/2017

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 10568

Some of you may have attempted to access the forum during Webs most recent server downtime, which first started on Thursday afternoon, 5th January, 2017. One or two undaunted brave souls have also managed to create new posts over the last 5 days - and as I understand from forum member Don, have also encountered the Cloudflare Captcha challenge. Athough, according to Webs, 'normal service' has allegedly been resumed, there are still other unresolved issues - or at least I'm still seeing them.


I probably should have started a separate new topic at the time, but instead I tacked the latest issues relating to Cloudflare / Captcha onto the long-running existing It wasn't just you - Webs (all websites) was down yet again thread.


So as this is clearly another different set of issues, rather than just the usual Webs downtime, I thought I'd start a new topic.


First, here follows a copy and paste of my two posts from that other thread.


January 10, 2017 at 4:42 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 10568

Originally posted by myself on January 8, 2017 at 4:35 PM


Problems with Webs servers have continued into the weekend. That's 4 days now ! :mad: Those of you who haven't given up trying to access the forum altogether will probably have noticed that the error messages you are seeing are different from before.

Or at least some of the time. :roll:




It appears that in an effort to solve their problem, Webs have migrated hundreds of websites, including ours, to Cloudflare hosting.

Which is why, if you come to post something, you may find yourself having to complete the rather childish Cloudflare Captcha challenge. I say 'may', because it possibly depends on whether your IP address has been black-listed by Cloudflare at some point. My ISP uses proxy IP addresses and clearly a good few of the multiple IP addresses I use have been - for reasons unknown.


Anyway, to warn anybody contemplating posting, this is what you may encounter after writing your post content and hitting submit ....


You click in the empty square and something like this pops up:


Check the relevant boxes and click the 'Verify button at bottom right.


If you've got it right (they're not difficult), the screen will refresh, with a green tick in the checkbox and hopefully you'll be re-directed to your post. Store fronts and street signs seem to be the most popular (though I've seen rivers, trees, grass and construction vehicles).


Ensure to select all the squares containing parts of the sign - including the post ! :roll:


Just as a test, to see if it would give an error message, I deliberately failed to select obvious squares - and it does (most of the time).



However, there is another variation of the Cloudflare 'Street Sign' Captcha which is probably best avoided - unless you fancy yourself as an artist. Instead of selecting squares, it expects you to draw an outline around the street sign(s) - FFS !! :o


Having gone through the Cloudflare Captcha bnllsh!t, what may happen next, instead of getting a green tick confirming you're not a robot, and being re-directed to your post, is that instead, you find yourself presented with this erronious Webs error message ! :mad:

It's happened to me over a dozen times now  - so perhaps readers will forgive me the odd inferred expletive.  



All is not completely lost though. If you use the back arrow to page back through all the Cloudflare Captcha crap, you can sometimes get back to your post - rather than having to start all over again. That's if you're going to bother trying again. :roll:


January 10, 2017 at 4:47 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 10568

Originally posted by myself on January 8, 2017 at 5:43 PM


Yesterday morning, having got more than a little fed up of playing this stupid game, I raised a call on Webs Tech Support to have this new 'feature', which I didn't request removed. No reply from them as yet - and I know the reason why - the change to Cloudflare.

 

This afternoon, the forum had another spate of ups and downs and for the 3rd time this weekend I started an online chat.

Once again, the poor hapless Webs helpdesk operator posted a link to the same topic as before.

There's still no resolution date / timeframe given. 


The difference being, it now extends to 6 pages including 170 plus (mostly extremely adverse) comments by irate website owners.

http://webs.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/115000312328?page=6#comments


I think this guy, who commented earlier today, has hit the nail well and truly on the head:



January 10, 2017 at 4:51 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 10568

As I wrote above, on Saturday 7th January I raised a call on Webs Tech Support asking them to resolve the Cloudflare issues.

I'd remembered it as being around lunchtime. Here's a screen print of the acknowledgement email from Customer Support.




I didn't receive any reply (over the weekend) until yesterday evening (Monday 9th) around teatime .

Here's a screen print of that correspondence ....




I did reply to their email (of more anon), but haven't received any further correspondence from Webs Tech Support since.

Not that there was any doubt in my mind, about my ability to take screen prints, but quite a few more will be following ! :roll:


January 10, 2017 at 5:31 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 10568

One of the reasons I'd replied so promptly to their email, is that I'd refreshed the forum home page about 17:30 UK time ....

.... and noticed that I'd supposedly created a new topic in the 7Axx General Discussion area, about 10 minutes earlier !! :o

Which I certainly hadn't !!  The evidence of it can still be seen on my profile (or at least at the time of writing), anyway ....



That a Webs employee (presumably Michka) has logged onto my site using my logon credentials, created a 'test' topic (and subsequently deleted it) without first asking my permission is a blatant breach of internet protocol and security


January 10, 2017 at 7:10 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 10568

Incidentally, in case you're wondering why I have an unviewed PM (I've actually already read it in my email, yesterday) ....

Each time I've tried clicking on my inbox, I'm presented with this screen - FFS !! :mad:


January 10, 2017 at 7:18 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 10568

Anyway - to get back to today's newest Cloudflare bugbear - that's besides the extremely flakey Captcha challenge .... 


This morning I clicked on the Google Chrome thumbnail for the website and landed on the forum home page (as usual).

I noticed that the folder icons on the left of the screen hadn't resolved properly ....



So naturally, as you would - I refreshed the screen - to be presented with this !! :mad:



This newest (read latest annoying) Cloudflare screen popped up again later this morning, when I clicked on my profile - FFS !! :roll:




It has also started popping up sporadically before the Cloudflare Captcha challenge - usually resulting in the error below !!! :mad:


January 10, 2017 at 8:09 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 10568

It's not just the extremely childish nature of the Cloudflare Captcha challenges (and the fact that they're wasting my time) that's p!ssing me off, either - it's the FACT that they're SO BLOODY INCONSISTENT !!


When I wrote the first post in this topic - I received NO CAPTCHA CHALLENGE whatsoever !!!

Here's the screen print of the first challenge that I received as I started to compose my second post (basically a copy and paste).



When I clicked on the check box next to 'I'm not a robot' - it went STRAIGHT TO Webs erronious error page - FFS !! :mad:



So I back arrowed to the 'Post Reply' box containing my text, hit submit again and this time it went straight to the green tick :o




That's not the whole story though. :roll: Sometimes I'm having to complete 2 or 3 challenges per entry - for no apparent reason ....



Even completing simple ones, like this have refreshed with another similar childish challenge ! :mad:




Clearly what that poster wrote here is spot on !


Look, the switch to Cloudflare is a complete bust; all our sites are going to be excluded from Google's index pretty soon. You need to just switch back the original host, and put in place the safeguards you had there. People we actually able to reach our sites back then. This needs to be done really soon; Google's algorithm has some patience with this, but not much. This is killing us!!! 

Cloudflare is obviously not as robust as they claim to be. I appreciate what you've tried, but the right decision needs to be made right away; otherwise we all will be done for in a couple of days.


January 10, 2017 at 8:54 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 10568

It's taken me the best part of 4 hours to write this thread - and in composing and editing my posts I've successfully completed something approaching 50 Cloudflare Captcha screens !! :mad:


You'll notice that I appear to have taken a break (in my posts) between 10:30 and 12:00 ....

It wasn't me taking time out for brunch - our Webs host was having a TimeOut - I was obviously working their server too hard. :roll:



That was before it fell over again @ 11:30 this morning - and I walked away in disgust !! :mad:



January 10, 2017 at 9:35 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 10568

Webs server down again @ 2:45pm UK time. :roll:



January 10, 2017 at 10:07 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 10568

If you can't access the forum and have time to spare, it's worth checking updates on that Webs (total lack of) Support Helpdesk topic:


http://webs.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/115000312328?page=8#comments


Reference that extra Cloudflare browser check screen I'd started seeing first thing this morning (which now seems to have temporarily disappeared once again), it would appear that was something Webs had implemented as an attempt at a fix. :roll:




It's a pity they couldn't have taken the trouble to properly communicate it to website owners. :roll:


It's also worth reading some of the 200+ comments that have now been posted (that's before Webs conveniently delete the topic).

I found these two sequential comments made by the same poster on Sunday afternoon (lower down page 6) particularly amusing.




The first is ill-informed at best and shows his lack of understanding. The second is just plain good old-fashioned Karma !! :lol:


Here's one by another website owner who is having the same Captcha issues as we are - so it's not just our site.




This one makes for interesting reading.




Funnily enough, I'd suggested a class action against Webs, for another reason (an injunction) in this other thread months ago !!


January 10, 2017 at 10:58 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 10568

Here's the latest update (again an edit of her original post) from the Webs (total lack of) Support Helpdesk community topic.


http://webs.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/115000312328?page=8#comments



I'll give it another 5 minutes before it breaks again. 


January 10, 2017 at 1:24 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 10568

Here's the two latests negative comments (both from the same poster) regarding Captcha on Webs forums.


http://webs.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/115000312328?page=8#comments



January 10, 2017 at 1:53 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 10568

This is a test.

Actually, what that poster wrote in his second comment (about images) rings true. I started this post by simply writing 'this is a test' - hit the submit button and was immediately re-directed to my post - without having to complete the bloody annoying Captcha challenge.

Let's see what happens after this first edit .... exactly the same - no Captcha challenge.


I'm now adding a smiley face - which is the most basic form of image you can use. :)

Guess what happened when I hit the submit button (and again after this second edit) ?




This makes a total mockery of Webs implementation of Cloudflare Captcha. Write up to 20000 characters of absolute garbage in a post (as a spammer might do) and pass straight through unchallenged. Add a single simple image - e.g. a smiley and get nailed ! 

I wonder how long it's gonna take them to figure this out ? 


January 10, 2017 at 3:07 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 10568

Indeed, it looks like someone tried it - but using MY logon credentials again !! :mad:


See: http://www.seiko7a38.com/apps/forums/topics/show/13411789  Test for Webs (presumably made by a Webs technician) !!


January 10, 2017 at 6:45 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 10568

As I wrote in another thread earlier today (I'm being lazy, copying and pasting) ....


The forum was down for much of yesterday, from around 7:00am UK time (2:00am EST) to around 3:00pm UK time (10:00am EST). Once again this was unplanned downtime - thanks to Webs total incompetence. I deliberately decided not to bother trying to post anything yesterday (discretion being the better of valour), but I did take a LOT of screen prints.


The other reason I refrained from posting was to allow Webs another 24 hours to try to resolve this Cloudflare Captcha issue. :/

This morning started off looking promising (as if they'd actually achieved something), but as it transpires, they haven't - at all !! :roll:


My first post this morning was an update to the 7A38-6010 SAA040J model specific thread. I deliberately composed it in 3 stages.


1) I wrote the first paragraph of text (without any embedded links) and hit submit. I was immediately re-directed to my post. :)

That confirms what I'd suspected, that the problem is in some way connected to embedded images.

2) I then uploaded the screen print of the (re)listing and the seller's 8 additional images to Photobucket and linked then in.

I then got redirected to the usual Cloudflare Captcha 'One more step' screen (which I was kind of  expecting) ....




But amazingly, instead of having to complete the childish Captcha challenge, it took me straight to the green tick screen. :)



3) I took a screen print of the eBay seller's Q&A's, uploaded them to Photobucket and linked them in at the bottom of my post.

Guess what happened this time when I hit submit ? :| Back to the usual Captcha bnllsh!t !! :mad:



January 12, 2017 at 8:37 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 10568

At the risk of repeating myself ....

Apart from the fact that it's a childish waste of time, what REALLY p!sses me off is the complete inconsistency of this thing ! :mad:

The next thing I did was to reply to a PM from a forum member. I'd never encountered a Captcha challenge on a PM before ....

But when I hit the Send Message button, I got this:




I clicked on the empty check box and it went straight to the green tick screen. Unfortunately the screen refreshed too quickly for me to grab a screen print. I tried again by adding extra 'test' replies (apologies to Chris and Don), but couldn't get it re-create the error.

Thankfully I guess ! :roll:


January 12, 2017 at 9:31 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 10568

My next task was to add a couple of updates to this thread, starting with my post @ 1:37PM. Again I created that post in stages.

I started off simply by writing the first short sentence, ending .... and adding (the copied and pasted) text in italics and hit submit.

This was the first Captcha challenge (which I declined to take) and refreshed. You try doing one of these  things !! 



Six attempts later, including one of these timeout screens, I finally got that first part to take !!! :mad:


January 12, 2017 at 10:10 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 10568

Out of curiosity, I had another look at that Webs (total lack of) Support Community topic.

http://webs.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/115000312328?page=9#comments


No great surprise, there haven't been any further updates from Webs Support since Tuesday and generally the rate of new comments added by aggrieved customers has slowed. I suspect most people have given up in sheer frustration. This one, made yesterday evening falls into the 'editor's choice' category. Certainly worth a quick screen print. 



I reckon Webs should have me on their  payroll too. How many more screen prints do you need, by the way, Michka ? 


PS - During another spate of # 500, 521 and 524 Error messages, this post took a total of 14 attempts to finally complete !!! :mad:


January 12, 2017 at 10:49 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 10568

Quite incredibly, given the circumstances, I've just received an email from Webs, soliciting feedback on their Customer Support. 




Needless to say, I justifiably clicked on the right-hand button, which took me to the obligatory ranking / rating survey. Let's say I may have marked them down rather more than usual.  Perhaps I could have used more characters, but you get my drift ? 

January 12, 2017 at 12:55 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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