Website team communication channels

Mailing list:


  • #tor-www on OFTC (



Tor Website 3.0 Milestone

Tor Blog Replacement

Website Donations Enhancement

Project tickets

Ticket Summary Owner Component Milestone
#3242 Research moving the website from svn to git Website Tor Website 3.0

Figure out a working model for a centralized git repo of the website, to move off svn.

#3593 tor project website lacks functional menus phobos Website Tor Website 3.0

The tor project website uses jquery for the donation widget on the download and donation pages.  After some analysis, using jquery for enhanced menus may help people find information on your website.  currently, even google, bing, and others have difficulty crawling your website, this makes finding information impossible.

option two is to break up the website into the following sub-sites:

  • for all documentation,
  • for all research related materials,
  • for all coding related materials,
  • for all advocacy related materials,
  • for all downloads in a larger, simplified grid (see #3590),
  • already exists but appears to be unused.  all images, videos, and css should be served from this site to speed up the website.  modern browsers use parallel connections to multiple domains.  by hosting everything on, you are forcing the browser to serialize everything and therefore slow down the site from the user perspective.

I have spoken to "andrew" at the official phone number for your org, as listed in "contact us".  As a professional communications manager and optimization expert, these are my comments.  "andrew" asked me to open a ticket and summarize our conversation.

I estimate 90% of the world sees your website and thinks you are incompetent.  Tor is such great software with such great user stories.  Please improve the website to reflect your true organization.

#4232 download-easy should autodetect users' processor architecture if possible Website

A user reported to tor-assistants that www.tpo/download/download-easy can detect that he/she/it is using Linux, but only offers the 32-bit TBB. (This user has a 64-bit Linux distribution, and needs a matching 64-bit TBB. Using a bundle for the wrong architecture produces bad failure modes.)

#5998 Different websites for different user communities phobos Website Tor Website 3.0

Tor's current website tries to serve many different user communities at once. Break out the website into micro-sites for different target audiences. Suggested micro-sites are:

  1. novice users new to online privacy, anonymity and tor. (make this the default)
  2. technical users who understand advanced configuration and want to understand Tor's software and if they can help.
  3. researchers who want to see designs, specifications, current research areas, how tor fits into the anonymous communications research field, open research questions and projects (great for masters or PhD thesis)
  4. law enforcement people who need to know what tor provides, what tor doesn't provide, and what information is available to them for their investigations
  5. developers who are interested in hacking on tor software and projects which match their design/coding/language choice skillsets
#6851 Resume allowing website translations Website Tor Website 3.0

Once upon a time, we let smart people check out the website svn, edit wml text files on their own, and provide translated versions of each page.

Then we decided to get smarter about it, and switch to various web-based approaches (like running our own pootle, or using other services like transifex). Our translators disappeared. Eventually Andrew deleted all the translations.

I talked to a lot of people the past few days (at the Berlin human rights conference) who were really sad that our website is English-only. We have tsum and try to maintain its translation, which is fine. But we have lots of other content that would be more useful in other languages.

What are the minimal steps to getting our website translations back up?

#10013 Better Reflect Existing Sponsorship Information on the Website phobos Website Tor Website 3.0

The Tor Project is pretty strong when it comes to financial transparency, but three trivial-to-implement suggestions might make information disclosed by the Tor Project on its 'Sponsors' page more useful to users and other stakeholders:

1) Linking directly to the most recent IRS 990 form on the 'Sponsors' page ( ) could make details easier to access. Users outside the United States, for example, might not know that IRS 990 forms contain certain details they might not otherwise be interested in.

2) By listing what might otherwise look like end dates on the 'Sponsors' page above, users who don't notice that the information is only current as of 2012 might think that all of Tor's sponsors have left it. Making the "current as of" date more visible on the page and listing something like "2006 - present" instead of "2006 - 2012" might be less confusing. For sponsors offering grants, it seems easiest to just list the expected duration of current grants, where applicable.

3) If a user only reads the 'Sponsors' page, they could be looking at information up to almost two years out of date (1 year and 10+ months as of today) without checking other sources. To offer users more current information, adopting a policy of disclosing all large grants (above an arbitrary threshold, perhaps $200,000 or 20% of Tor's total operating budget for any given year) on the 'Sponsors' page within a month could make the information users might care about most (who sponsors the project now) more timely and relevant. Relatedly, updating the 'Sponsors' page to reflect the specific date (rather than the year) the page was last updated would better inform users in terms of how recently sponsorship information was updated.

#10022 We need a new blogging system Blog

The current blogging system is based on Drupal 5 and heavily hacked up to remove lots of surface area for classes of attacks. However, it doesn't work so much years later. The search functionality is broken. Lots of the admin functionality is broken as well. I've resorted to using raw SQL queries to manage the system. This is less than optimal.

Options I see are:

  1. Do nothing and let the blog further degrade.
  2. Migrate to a static blog generator like jekyll.
  3. Migrate to modern drupal in the debian repos.
  4. Use RedTeam's WordPress system for a more secure wordpress installation.
  5. Host it somewhere else and let them worry about it, so long as we can get our data out daily.
#10264 experiment with donate positioning on download page phobos Website Website Donations Enhancement

In order to increase our funding from individuals, we need to experiment with positioning and workflow of the download page to highlight the donate option.

The goal is to increase electronic donations from individuals by 2x over the month of December 2013. Electronic donations means paypal, amazon, dwolla, and givv as listed on our donate page.

Individual donations in December 2012 were:

Paypal: $9,230.00
Amazon: $1,425.00
Dwolla: $    0.00
Total: $10,655.00

If we can hit $21,310 in electronic donations, we've met the goal.

#10329 determine most traveled paths through the website phobos Website Website Donations Enhancement

Through webserver logfile analysis, determine the most popular paths through the website.

#10330 Re-design download-easy page to suggest donation for download phobos Website Website Donations Enhancement

Redesign the download-easy page to ask for a $5 donation before downloading. Still make it clear the download is free and below, but the $5 goes a long way to enhancing and growing tor.

#10591 Create a sitemap for current website Website Tor Website 3.0

Create a sitemap for current website.

We need a current sitemap to let people understand our current information architecture.

#10592 Consider adding analytics if it can be anonymized. Website Tor Website 3.0

Consider adding some kind of analytics to the new site if it could be anonymized. Although we would love to know who uses the site, we really just need to know what they are doing. It would really help to understand how the site is used, what works, what doesn’t work, etc. It’s much easier to make decisions and set priorities about what to work on when you have this kind of data. It’s might be clear to some what goes in the MVP, but after that you run the risk of spending limited resources on things that don’t matter as much.

#11568 Integrate new simple download tor into dist mirrors? Website Tor Website 3.0

We have a great new, simple "download tor" page for quick deployment, or

setting up download mirrors of this site with mirrors of should be easy.

Do we setup a new domain of and it incorporates the site and dist automatically? Do others mirror the download site like they mirror the current site?

#11569 Consider making donations part of the download process puffin Website Tor Website 3.0

The re-designed download-easy page ( has resulted in a 2x increase in monthly donations since deployment. Some thoughts to consider:

  1. move the donations button closer to the download button.
  2. Rework the page so the donations button is first, with a nice reason why donations are needed, but clearly state downloads are still free, and click the download button to skip a donation process
  3. Change the page flow so that downloads go to a donation request page first, and then after 10 seconds of no action, redirect to the download-easy page.

All website tickets

See all tickets related to the website.

How to contribute ideas

This wiki should be seen as a record of concrete proposals. As such, here is a loose procedure to follow if you would like to suggest new ideas:

  1. Write a proposal on the wiki
  2. Start a discussion on the www-team with a copy of the proposal
  3. Build a consensus and refine the wiki
  4. Repeat!
  5. Implement


The current website is powered by WML. Switching to a more recent engine supporting lighter syntax (like Markdown) is probably worthwhile.

Technical requirements

  • Generate static web pages that can work offline as well. That means self-contained and zero 3rd party requests. No mandatory client-side JavaScript either.
  • Content should be kept in Git.
  • Support for the “Don't Repeat Yourself” principle, e.g. the latest version of the Tor Browser Bundle needs to be kept at a single place but used at different places in the website.
  • Support translations. A changes in a single paragraph should be easily to propagate to translators and to then to translations.


The following projects look like potential candidates:


Pelican is a static site generator, written in Python. Documentation


Jekyll is a simple, blog-aware, static site generator, written in Ruby. Website


Middleman is a static site generator using all the shortcuts and tools in modern web development, written in Ruby. Website


Nikola is a Static Site and Blog Generator. Website

How to build the current website

Some commands than can be used on a Debian Wheezy system to build the current website:

    apt-get install wml
    git clone
    git clone
    echo "export TORGIT=$(pwd)/tor/.git" > webwml/Makefile.local
    cd webwml/

This should only be required if structural changes are necessary, typically you should push a branch with changes somewhere and ask for a pull by opening a ticket in the website component here.


Some notes from a discussion that happened during 30C3 gathering ideas on how to structure the website.

Proposed new information architecture

  • Understand
    • For: Everyone and journalists
  • Use
    • Howto
  • Research
    • Whitepapers
    • Papers
    • Tech Docs
    • Anonweb
  • Contribute
    • Finance
    • Outreach Materials Ideas Stuff
  • Subproject - List
  • FAQ
  • Blog
    • Localized blog? E.g. contains information specific to a given location. Do the same for de, mx, or other places?
  • Press


The Student

The Student has recently heard about Tor and would like to discover more about it. Particularly he has heard from a friend that it could be used to protect his web browsing whilst using the university campus public wifi.

The Journalist

The Journalist has been writing about online privacy for the past year and would like to write a feature about Tor. Although she has previously experimented with Tor's browser bundle she would like further information of how the Tor infrastructure functions and the technical details behind how it enables online anonymity.

The Researcher

The Researcher works for a think tank. She has been a user of Tor since December 2011 and is a strong proponent for an open web. Since finding out about Tor, Stephanie has become involved in the Tor community contributing fixes and features to the Tor code base and engaging with other Tor contributers using the mailing lists and IRC.

The Donor

The Donor has read about Tor in the local newspaper and would very much like to make a donation.

The Engineer

The Engineer has been a Tor Relay Operator for a little over a year and has encouraged two of his colleagues to do the same.

The Activist

The Activist would like to comment anonymously on the Internet and not link her personal accounts to her activism work. She would like to use Tor to achieve this.

The Dissident

The Dissident lives under an oppressive regime which heavily filters the internet. He is very aware of the consequences to himself and his family if he is discovered. He is hesitant to use Tor without knowledge of how it works and what its limitations are (ie. an adversary that monitors Internet connections).

Technical Requirements

  • Debian nativ citizen
  • Static Site Generator
  • Easy to use for whole staff
  • Internationalization

Useful base concepts

  • Direct each user quickly to the right part
  • If graphic redesign, think about the whole project, general 'CI'
  • Communicate basic concepts with communication department
  • Primary target: never deliver software without education


User Education

  • Educate before download
  • Educate on browser startup

Contact people

Last modified 10 months ago Last modified on Oct 27, 2014 4:50:46 PM