News Archive

  • 205 weeks
    Downtime & Server Move

    Hi all. Firstly, apologies for the extended period of unexpected downtime. Obviously any kind of downtime is non ideal, but unexpected is more annoying all around.

    On Friday morning (GMT) we experienced a hardware failure on our database server. To our knowledge there is no data loss of any kind. We have fairly regular backups hosted off-site, regardless. The exact cause isn't entirely clear at this time, but instead of wrestling with trying to get the hardware sorted (it was a dedicated server) we decided that this was a good opportunity to make a server move we've been planning for a long time over to Digital Ocean.

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    236 comments · 15,440 views
  • 282 weeks
    BBCode updates

    Performance improvements

    Over the last few days I've been working on improving the performance of the BBCode parser. I've managed to implement a few major optimizations, reducing the run time in common cases to around 1/4th to 1/20th compared to the older version. This has reduced total server-side render times on some of the more complicated test pages I've been using to around 50ms–70ms, which should be a noticeable improvement.

    New features


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    49 comments · 4,941 views
  • 304 weeks
    Recent Changelog

    We've done various unannounced changes of the past few weeks so I thought I'd group up the things we've done so you guys know what's changed.

    • Added account linking page for Patreon / Twitter
    • Added ability to cross post stories, blogs and bookshelf additions to Twitter
    • Added twitter userpage module
    • Added account deletion page
    • Reorganised user toolbar dropdown to better fit more items
    • Added session management page to see logins and active sessions on your account
    • Added new articles system and moved some existing ones into it
    • Redesigned PM page a bit to be cleaner
    • Increased font size in major places across the site to improve readability
    • New cookie consent controls for EU users and updated privacy policy
    • Recommended groups list on groups page - WIP
    • Tooltips in many locations around the site with helpful tips

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    114 comments · 6,044 views
  • 305 weeks
    Help Articles

    Something I've worked on the last couple of days is adding the ability for us to add arbitrary "articles" to the site which we can use for various things. Sort of an extension on the manual articles we've added in the past like the bbcode page, writing guide, etc.

    So far I've added 3 guides:

    I'd love to know if you guys have any idea for articles that would have helped you out when starting out or anything else that comes to mind.

    65 comments · 5,210 views
  • 333 weeks
    Night Mode

    I've been working on it for ages but only really got the impetus to finish all of it off over the last few days. In the "settings" dropdown at the top on desktop, or the bottom of the slide out bar on mobile you'll find a toggle for night mode. Enjoy!

    Oh, and although I've tried to cover everything there is a 100% chance I've missed styling some things so apologies in advance for any funky pages.

    246 comments · 6,836 views
  • 334 weeks
    December 2017 Update

    Hey guys, got a whole bunch of updates for you today.


    This is a small but important step on our way to the tagging system I envision. The existing way we handled things like characters and genres has all been merged into a single tagging system. That won't result in much difference for you viewing and using the site but it makes it a lot easier to add new tags especially.

    We now have a couple of new tag types: series and warnings.

    The series tag is for identifying what series (franchise) your fanfiction contains. I've added a whole ton of various TV shows, movies, comics, books and games but clearly we will have to add a ton more in the coming future. Stories must also contain one of the four MLP tags which are FIM, EqG, Movie and Comic, as this is a pony fanfic site after all. Feel free to bug me on Discord if you have a requirement for a series to be added.

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    630 comments · 13,787 views
  • 335 weeks
    Math BBCode tag

    I've added [math] and [mathblock] BBCode tags, which can be used to display formatted math. We've had a few requests for this, particularly for group forum threads and blog posts. Most math-related TeX syntax is supported. (We are currently using MathJax to handle the layout.)

    The documentation from the BBCode guide is repeated below for your convenience.

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    84 comments · 4,427 views
  • 357 weeks
    Fimfiction API

    If you're not a developer you can probably ignore this post.

    It's been like 6 years, but hey, things take time. The API is currently very WIP still but it's ready for people to get working on in our development chat room.

    API documentation can be found at and you should join the Discord Chat and PM me to add you to the private API channel and I can help you get started. The functionality is very limited right now but I'm dedicating all my time to it at the moment and would love to have people add their input to the process.

    57 comments · 7,438 views
  • 362 weeks
    New BBCode Tags

    Hey guys,

    One of the features in this new update was reader-side paragraph formatting. This helps improve consistency for readers across the site, especially for those of us who can’t stand reading indented text on a computer screen.

    However, one thing that wasn’t accounted for was the legitimate need for specific indenting of passages and for certain blocks of text to have no paragraph formatting. Some examples would be lyrics and poetry.

    Taking this into account, we have come up with a couple of new tags that remedy this situation which are documented below (copied directly from the bbcode guide)

    [indent] Indent

    The indent tag can be used to, unsurprisingly, indent portions of your text.

    [indent]The indent tag can be used to, unsurprisingly, indent portions of your text.[/indent]

    It also support levels of indenting

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    168 comments · 6,412 views
  • 362 weeks
    Fimfiction 4.0

    It’s been a very very long time coming, but we’ve finally updated the site again. this is by far the biggest update we have ever done. There is a cavalcade of new features but the biggest changes are under the hood and affect how easy it is to extend the site and performance. A change log of everything I can remember can be found below.

    There are bound to be unforeseen bugs. If you come across anything major please let us know in the comments (or preferably in the #site-help-and-dev discord channel).

    Miscellaneous / Site Wide

    • Dropped support entirely for pre-IE11
    • Updated inline searching across the site to order much better. Eg. Typing "Ra" into the tag selector actually shows Rainbow Dash first. On shorter lists like bookshelves, we use a different algorithm that lets you type things like "ril" and it’ll prioritise a shelf called "read it Later".

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    1,363 comments · 21,468 views

Site Update » Additional Search Update · 2:50pm Dec 22nd, 2017

Hey folks,

Over the last few days I've added a few things to the new search system. A lot of people were unhappy with not being able to filter various things as quickly as they used to be able to. To that end, I've added a little filter dropdown to the right of the search box which effectively contains everything the old sidebar used to. It even has some niceties like quick word count filters and a highly rated filter.

I've also added the ability to search in bookshelves and groups from the browse page, using bookshelf:id and group:id. These are generally there for more complex searches and there's some useful things you can do. For example, #fluttershy #romance #rainbow-dash -group:393 would let you search for stories with Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash and Romance that AREN'T in the Flutterdash group. You can also do useful things like find which stories a user has that have been featured with bookshelf:1 when you're browsing their story list from their user page.

Also, as a further reminder, there is a genre tag colour option on the settings page if you want those colours back.

Report knighty · 5,329 views ·
Comments ( 132 )


Cool. I've wanted to search for things in my bookshelves a few times. :moustache:

This makes thing a LOT better.

Very good! I especially like the genre color tag option : raritywink:

But really, it's awesome to see how improved searching is from when I first started when it was just "" in a "custom" Google search.

One bug I've noticed is that dashes are not considered to be part of tags for the purposes of completion, so entering "#queen-" will not offer completing "#queen-chrysalis" .

I do have one problem. I use the dark theme for FimFic because my eyes are light sensitive and suddenly when stories show up on the side that are similar to the one I'm reading, the title is no longer visible and the character tags are gone. To see them I have to deactivate the dark theme and even at the lowest brightness setting, I still can't stay on here for as long. Is there anything you could do to fix that?

Oooo, this could be really helpful, nice~!

Majin Syeekoh

This is pretty neat.

This looks like a neat way around it, thanks :twilightsmile:

still prefer the old method. it was just faster and easier to use

You probably could have saved yourself a lot backlash if you mentioned, or by the sounds of things thought of doing this before. If I sound like a dick I'm sorry but IF I were you would have not mention the whole type search code thing until much later, I would have said I was updating the search system, set that up and then mention the advanced search thing using a type code thing.

Pretty sure the only complaints you would have got would be about the color thing and the character's pictures being removed. Hell my only comments to you would have been: "Wish the filter box stayed on the right side like before." and "When I click on tag that isn't a character tag I want to go straight to the search page, already filtering things out."

I would go on but I'm pretty sure you're tired of the negative feedback you've been getting so I'm just going to end this by saying:

I wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year.

Thanks for your continued hard work on the site.

One bug I'd like to put in your ear as you go towards a "more robust tagging system" is possibly a way to filter searches by number of tags. I've discovered on Archive of Our Own that people who like to ladle 9000 tags on their fiction are usually telling a fairly incoherent story, and filtering on that would make it a lot easier. This is especially true for crossovers that seem to span 32 different fandoms, most of which are conflicting in tone.

Of course, they also use a much looser tagging and posting standard, so if moderation is likely to keep things contained it might not become as bad a problem here.

Also, while I'm here, what's the red line that appears in some stories from tabs I've left open?

Author Interviewer

Searching bookshelves? That's exciting!

Awesome! Thanks, knighty!

"Long". Amateurs

Can't think of any critical feedback at the moment, as it's a lot easier now to use the options and customize. So I'll just say thank you for the helpful update. Much appreciated. :pinkiesmile:

4756212 The red line is a bookmark in case you close the page and come back later. The chapter jumps to it when you reopen it.

For example, #fluttershy #romance #rainbow-dash -group:393 would let you search for stories with Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash and Romance that AREN'T in the Flutterdash group.

Ooh, that certainly sounds nifty. :twilightsmile:

You're a good man.

~Skeeter The Lurker

You know, and don't take this the wrong way, but you should really think of a way to unleash these updates on us so that you don't need to go back and add stuff and then add another blogpost.

Prevent some of the inevitable shitstorm and save you some work time.

~Skeeter The Lurker

This is an excellent and well-considered addition to the site. Thank you for your enduring work.

Searching bookshelves?

Knighty, my dude! Been waiting for that!

Nice, though as it is right now, the dropdown disapear each time you had a new filter, wich is a bit annoying.

Huzzah for progress

Okay, someone needs to do a tutorial for the more advanced features now... do the video using one syllable words, because some of us relate to stone age things like carburetors and rotary phones...

Loved the previous update to search, and now it's even better! Thanks!

Makes sense to me. Most searches will only use one or two of these complicated filters.



Which red line? The one at the top of the page when you start reading a story or the thick crimson one that appears at random points throughout?

Ah, much better. Thank you.

VERY nice, Knighty.

I like this one a lot.

Yay, improved site functionality for Christmas!

Thanks, Knighty!

If I may ask, can you give the character tags pictures instead of words?

The one that appears randomly throughout. I know the one at the top is showing the story progress, and is a very nice feature.


As we move closer to GenFic, it is gonna be a lot for the site's back end to handle if we keep pictures for character tags. Imagine, when you go to start a new fic, you have to wait for a million little pictures to load because everyone has added characters from every video game, anime, and other TV series ever. Yeah. That's a problem.

Mind you, I'm making an assumption.

Easy, just post a blog about the update a few weeks or a month ahead of implementation describing the update (like is done normally when the updates go live anyway) and ask for people's ideas. Doing so would reframe the discussion to, "Hey, here's the plan (discussed on Discord). Got any suggestions or concerns?" instead of, "This is what I changed. Speak now or forever shut it." The former invites people to positively contribute while the latter invites them to blow up.

Not only would this make people satisfied that they got a fair chance to speak, it increases user's emotional and actual investment in the site, promotes positive community discussion, and gives petty complaints fewer legs to stand on so that those more reasonable can slam them for it and correct misconceptions before implementation of updates creates negative experiences. Heading off negative experiences stemming from misunderstandings is important because actual bad use leaves a much worse impression psychologically. This is all just good business. Not doing so has fostered an environment that Knighty has admitted he dislikes, and naturally so.

Wouldn't you just search the name of the character before loading the pictures?? :rainbowhuh:

The "Highly Rated Stories (>80 rating)" does the opposite of what it says. It appends the filter wilson:>80, which excludes the 80 highest rated stories.

And "wilson" really ought to be renamed "rating". That's the term used on the statistics page, after all, and no one knows what "wilson" means.

Site Owner

4756299 only includes stories with a wilson rating of > 80. It's not a ranking order.

Then I have no idea what "wilson" is or how to use it, and I suspect vanishing few others do either. And I've read the wikipedia page on it.



I just want to throw this out there for thought. Because, I was in agreement with "why don't we disclose updates before they happen in blogs" which I still don't have a solid answer to, but...

I have a follow up question. When you update your phone like I do with IOS, or when major sites like Youtube, Patreon, ESPN or other sites update, or when apps like Discord updates, then generally don't tell you about the update until after? The only thing that's really ever disclosed beforehand are alterations to Terms and Services, and fees among other things, since those are required to be disclosed, which makes sense. Netflix just boosted their prices, so they had to send messages to people as they logged into Netflix account to let them be aware of the upcharge, which makes total sense. Now. How many sites do you see publicly advertising updates prior to release? I usually see them as they're released.

Just some food for thought, is all.

Knightly says he doesn't post changes ahead of time, and correct me if I'm wrong, because he doesn't want the 'vocal minority' seeing, commenting they want something changed, and yell and complain when it doesn't happen.

From what I've seen thought, people who will complain, will do so if they see the changes head of time or not, and I would error on more information being posted on, not less, if complaint will happen either way.

Besides shouldn't we seek to be better then company owned sites like Youtube or ESPN.

And how many shit-storms have we seen pop up around those sites, YouTube and Patreon in particular, when they update? People went nutbar over that recent Patreon change. And then they issue apologies and sometimes fix things that they didn't realize they were breaking.

No one likes those updates that just get sprung on you. They just deal with it because they're already invested in the product, or leave. These are both negative outcomes. People's phones are how the connect to the world and are often so integral to work and social life that they just have to deal with it when they update, but it doesn't mean they like it, and their next phone might be a different brand because of it. If you're familiar with economics, you may have heard the term "inflexible demand"? That's what is going on with these products. The moment an alternative to YouTube presents itself to me as a viable alternative, I'll be jumping ship faster than a rat because of all the BS YouTube has behind it. That's not the kind of attitude you want people to have.

You see, the problem is that many companies and organizations are using reactive PR instead of proactive PR, and I'm saying we'd be better off here with the proactive approach. Proactive is the best way to manage PR and build a positive image and relationship with your customer base. This site may be free, but it's still a business to which such strategies apply. Especially since it has been indicated that this business wants to grow and branch out. Having more of the people here saying how great it is when that happens will serve that purpose much better than only having a superior product. Sure, a superior product will likely still win out in the end, but this is just making that harder.

Ever think of a search option to search for certain words within a story? Like "Birthday Present" would show every story that has the word Birthday Present within it

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