Bulbapedia talk:Signature policy

Active discussions

If I remember correctly, can't only registered users edit Bulbapedia? Porygon-Z 17:31, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Hmm, I could have sworn I'd seen an IP or two editing as well. In which case, part of that policy is unneeded. I'll test if my IP can edit... -- Jïörüjï Ðērākō.>.cнаt^ 17:39, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
If you did, it must have been a long time ago. You can't edit BP at all unless you have an account and log in. --Martonimos((Talk)) 18:39, 4 May 2008 (UTC)


Is it okay to include templates such as {{Tt}}? Posted by the Θρtιmαtum♏Talk|Links02:07 11 May 2008

Link templates are fine, as long as the signature itself isn't a template. TTEchidna 03:04, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
Really, the only problem is templates that aren't or can't be protected; simple things like the {{u|username}} is fine, because you don't need to worry about those getting updated and bogging down the server by re-caching stuff. -- Jïörüjï Ðērākō.>.cнаt^ 05:19, 11 May 2008 (UTC)


Can images be used if they aren't taller than the height of the text? --Shiny Noctowl 23:01, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

Nope. As per the policy, All signatures will be text-only and not exceed 80 characters on-screen when rendered. An image isn't exactly text-only...--Shiningpikablu252 23:24, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
Why are images forbidden even when they don't stretch the text lines apart?
Also, look at my comment here. --Shiny Noctowl 23:27, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
Images cause a tiny bit more server load, and when lots of people use images in signatures, it gets pretty heavy, pretty quickly. There's also the issue of animated images, which are even bigger. And lastly would be normal sprites, which are generally used for actual articles, suddenly being used everywhere (making them hard to update, etc). All in all, it's not a big load, but it adds up. -- Jïörüjï Ðērākō.>.cнаt^ 04:05, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
Do they still cause a bit more server load if you type in the URL of the image rather than the image code? --Shiny Noctowl 13:21, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
I don't know any way to test it, so I can't say exactly. I do know that more images on a page = more loading time... and also, since the images are all on the same server, it'll end up using bandwidth no matter how you link it. Much in the same way that you could cause server load if you linked to Bulbapedia images on a different website.
All in all, I don't think how you link to the image will make any difference, seeing as the wiki-coding for the image is basically a shortcut of a direct link (in the way that MediaWiki works). -- Jïörüjï Ðērākō.>.cнаt^ 17:12, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
Wouldn't using an image that's on a different server eliminate the load? --Shiny Noctowl 15:03, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
I wouldn't know on that exactly, unfortunately. Let's not forget that the no-images clause is twofold; not just server stress (because, honestly, I don't think it causes that much stress on it's own). The second reason is that images can be distracting; in extreme cases, the old signatures with massive images, and the popular animated sprite images; to a lesser extent, multiple small sprites in a signature. It makes simple talk pages get cluttered much faster then they should.
But on that note, pages with lots of images on them will load slower, no matter where the images are linked from. While this might not cause server lag in and of itself, it does cause talk pages with lots of activity to load slower then most pages. -- Jïörüjï Ðērākō.>.cнаt^ 15:12, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
I agree with the slower loading, since I was bored and browsing here with the Nintendo DS Browser. Some talk pages nearly caused it to die. :X Gywall(Talk) 15:15, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
What about small images that aren't distracting and wouldn't take very long to load that are on another server? --Shiny Noctowl 15:16, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
If there's enough images, it doesn't matter how small they are. And if everyone's allowed to use small images, then there will rarely be just one small image on a page. -- Jïörüjï Ðērākō.>.cнаt^ 04:27, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
But signatures are boring without images. --Shiny Noctowl 19:17, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
Yup. Because when everyone has animated mini-sprites of Palkia, Dialga, and Regigigas in their sigs, it's so easy to tell them all apart. So much easier than when we have text-only and people actually distinguish themselves in creative ways. --Martonimos((Argh|Blargh)) 19:32, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
Ok, i know im commenting on an old subject, but how come i've seen people with images in their signatures? --"FiMbUlWiNtEr2O|2" 22:30, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Normally when you see images in signatures that is because the comments were left before they were banned. This policy was only implemented in May 2008. Any comments from before then may have a signature which has an image in it, as it wasn't against the rules at the time. Werdnae (talk) 01:21, 13 January 2011 (UTC)


We never had to put SUBST on the unsigned template, and it's not like it's gonna destroy the website if it is edited, just protect the Unsigned template~Pokemaniac102 20:01, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Now that it's protected, I think someone should fix the SUBST thing, we never used SUBST anyway~Pokemaniac102 20:10, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
It was never protected before? >.<
Anyway, SUBST: or not doesn't make a big difference. It's the same result either way. I just listed the SUBST: method because it's a good habit to get into, keeps pages nice and simple. You can still use the template regularly if you like. The SUBST: isn't part of the rules, just a part of the instructions. -- Jïörüjï Ðērākō.>.cнаt^ 20:16, 28 May 2008 (UTC)


"Keep your signature simple; you've got a whole user page to introduce yourself in."

No you don't. Userpages are blocked for no reason. --Shiny Noctowl 13:25, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

They'll be unblocked someday. >.< It's the Θρtιmαtum♏Talk|Links13:25 29 May 2008
I wrote the policy to fit the way the wiki works, not the way it's currently working. I wouldn't want to encourage people to list their favorite Pokémon in their signature just because they can't currently edit their userpages. :D -- Jïörüjï Ðērākō.>.cнаt^ 17:09, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
They aren't blocked for no reason SN. They're blocked because some people (I'm not mentioning any names) contribute more to their own userpages than to the main space. Maybe some people should contribute more to the main space once in a while. Hopefully they'll figure out a way to limit the number of edits one can make to a userpage. I say just block them if they edit there page too much. --ケンジガール 03:27, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

False policy

You know, when I was "warned" for a signature that didn't adhere to the policy (like, months and months ago), I actually checked it. And I read it closely. Nothing then was said that a signature MUST reflect one's username. And nothing now still says it. Either add something to that effect, or I'm going to go back to being simple Luna Tiger and you can't say crud, because it's not officially apart of the policy, because "recognizable" doesn't automatically mean "it has to reflect your username". Thank you. Luna Tiger * the Arc Toraph 02:07, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Good catch; the rule was an official part of the policy, but somehow, didn't make it onto the policy page. I've written it in now. -- Jïörüjï Ðērākō.>.cнаt^ 12:41, 20 October 2008 (UTC)


Why must I link to my userpage when it has no content and is redlinked? Isn't linking to my talk page, a place of discussion, is much more appropriate? -- THE TROM 01:39, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Just write "Hi" or something on your User page, I don't know. Wait, just put those ridiculous, rebellious Userboxen on it! --DialgaRULES 02:27, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
It's simply easier to link to a user's main page over their talk page, and in most cases, users have information on their userpage, not on their talk... obviously, there are special cases (such as yours), but I'd rather not make the policy even more confusing to reflect that. In your case, I simply won't ask you to edit your signature, it's not hurting anything.
Hmm, but on that note, I think I'm going to edit the Userpage policy a bit. I think users should be allowed to make their userpage a redirect to their talk page, if they have no content to put up. It's fairly common practice on other similar wikis, and the only reason nobody's done it here is because, well, nobody's done it here, and it's hard to tell if it's okay or not. -- Jïörüjï Ðērākō.>.cнаt^ 13:57, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Hum, nothing to edit. It's not disallowed on the policy. If anyone complains about it, let me know and I'll try to work it out. -- Jïörüjï Ðērākō.>.cнаt^ 13:59, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

t - A - l - k ?

I sincerely apologize if this is not worthy of a whole section, but in the example, is it supposed to have a capital A? It looks like a typo to me. -- PokémaniacJohn (talk) 06:02, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

It's just an example, it could be written TALK [email protected] TAlk, etc, it's the person's choice really. Jellotalk 06:07, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

Colors for signature

What colors can be put in for your signature? Just wondering. ----Sparen (talk) 21:12, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

If you are using names then it's just the dozen or so defined in html. Aqua, black, blue, fuchsia, gray, green, lime, maroon, navy, olive, purple red, silver, teal, white and yellow (there may be a few others too). Alternatively you can use a hex code (#XXXXXX) instead of a name, and get pretty much whatever colour you want. Werdnae (talk) 21:36, 13 October 2010 (UTC)


Are signature templates allowed if subst'd? The rationale - 'a changeable signature template can cause server stress when changed, and may be a target for vandalism' - doesn't seem to apply. - signed comment from GoldenCelebi (pedia talknews talkarchives talk) 17:26, 27 October 2012 (UTC)

I was wondering about this myself. I would assume (not being staff, of course) that a subst'd page should be fine, but I really don't know... Schiffy (瀬藤健二) (Talk Contribs) 06:34,1/5/2014 (UTC)
Making a signature template and subst'ing it would be a good idea. I've noticed that many users dont check talk pages of other articles. So maybe we should ask this query on some staff member's talk page.--PikaTepig999 06:44, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Or another idea: copying and pasting the code of the signature we want every time, and adding five ~~~~~ for a time stamp. --PikaTepig999 06:44, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
It might be a bit unrelated, but what I do is I have a custom timestamp created with {{SUBST:#time: H:i, n/j/Y}}, and it's coded into my signature, so in the long run, I only need to sign with 3 ~'s, and a fourth would add the default timestamp to the end of it. Schiffy (瀬藤健二) (Talk Contribs) 12:58, 7/22/2014 (UTC)
Sig templates were allowed in the past iirc. They were disallowed before I joined, so I wouldn't know much. But I assume they were disallowed because, like the rule says, a changeable signature will cause server stress. --ForceFire 13:43, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
But if they were SUBST'ed, it would not cause any server problem (as per my information). --PikaTepig999 16:26, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
They would be a problem as everytime you alter your signature template that you are SUBST'ed, the server will try to update every talk page you have edited and signed to include you updated your sigs.--Ditto51/Tom (My Talk Page) 16:35, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
But as per my information, SUBST'ing a template copies the source of that template to the page, so they are not updated when the template is changed. Take the {{Welcome}} template for example. Never mind. I will keep copying and pasting the code of my signature, and adding five ~s for a timestamp. Now dont say that even this method is not allowed. --PikaTepig999 17:45, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
...It sounds, PikaTepig999, like you're not aware of the signature setting in your Preferences. If you paste your code in there, your signature should appear just like you want it to when you just type four "~"s. (Honestly, I've never messed with it myself, so I could be missing something.)
Ultimately, I don't know what a template could accomplish that you couldn't just as well accomplish by changing your Preferences. There seems to be no point to making a template and subst'ing it. Tiddlywinks (talk) 18:00, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

(resetting indent) The benefit of a signature template, subst'd or not, is it allows for more characters/code in the signature, since the section in the preferences has a limit. To show a rather extreme example, this is my usual signature on Wikia. The amount of code going into it is insane. If that were subst'd it would take up too much room each time. However, let's say you wanted to make a simpler custom signature than the example, but the number of characters that went into the code goes just a bit over the character count in Special:Preferences (mine actually comes close, and I had to trim some parts of it). This is where it could be useful to move it to a page within your own userspace, and then in your preferences calling {{SUBST:<name>/Sig}}. This topic is rather trivial in the long run, but this is my two cents on it. Schiffy (瀬藤健二) (Talk Contribs) 18:17, 7/22/2014 (UTC)

  1. Signature templates are not permitted under any circumstances, nor will they be allowed at any time in the near future.
  2. The character limit for signatures on Special:Preferences exists for an important reason: To not fill up talk pages with loads of unnecessary code. By extension, if a signature doesn't fit within the limit of the user's preferences, it should not be used at all. - Kogoro - Talk to me - 18:26, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I was asking because the signature i want has a little bit more code than the prefrences section allow. →PikaTepig999 10:17, 23 July 2014 (UTC)


Since I'm not sure and sort of just plugged this into my preferences without really checking first, is there any major problem (policy-wise) with my signature having a timestamp coded into it (using {{SUBST:#time: H:i,n/j/Y}}), resulting in my only needing 3 ~'s to sign with a stamp? I've noticed it doesn't really transition well when using {{Welcome}}, so I wanted to make sure that it wasn't an issue in any other regard. Schiffy (瀬藤健二) (Talk Contribs) 06:34,1/5/2014 (UTC)

It would be highly preferred that you use the wiki-standard timestamping, rather than custom coding. 1/5/2014 reads as both January 5th or May 1st, depending on where the reader is from. - Kogoro - Talk to me - 18:38, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Fair enough, didn't actually take the date-reading differences into consideration.... I don't even give a Schif (TalkContribs) 01:26, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

User page/Userpage inconsistency

The Seedot calls it a userpage, while the rest of the policy calls it a user page. I believe the Seedot should have its formatting for userpage changed. Pikachu Bros. (talk) 13:19, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

A thought re: color policy

Is it, and should it be, allowed to color your signature userpage link the red link color when you have a non-empty userpage, or the blue link color when you do not? How about black, making it look like not a link at all? Or white, making it basically invisible? Is this something there should be a policy on? Is there even any pressing reason to have a policy on it? Probably not. --Felthry (talk) 00:53, 31 January 2017 (UTC)

There isn't a particular policy regarding this, so you are allowed to as long as it actually does link to your user page or talk page. Just be sure to keep things not too disruptive and apply common sense when customizing your signature. --Pokemaster97 20:52, 31 January 2017 (UTC)

Timestamp requirement

May I ask that this policy be edited to make more explicit the requirement that a signature have a timestamp? It's implied via the fact that it calls for four tildes instead of three and that it calls for the use of the "your signature with timestamp" button, but as far as I can see there is no explicitly spelled-out requirement to include a timestamp, and it seems some users may be intentionally using only three tildes in order to omit the timestamp. Pumpkinking0192 (talk) 16:10, 10 March 2017 (UTC)

If a user is intentionally only using three, then that is a breaking of the signature policy, and it seems to me like Hamfart is breaking it. --Celadonkey 16:31, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
The first line under How to sign a comment directly states "do not reply with three tildes as this will result in a missing time stamp". glikglak 16:40, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
Yes, I saw that, but it simply implies that not using a timestamp is bad, without clarification as to whether it's prohibited or merely discouraged. I was hoping for a more explicit statement about the requirement so as to be able to cite it if necessary in the future. Pumpkinking0192 (talk) 17:05, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
"do not" is plenty explicit. Tiddlywinks (talk) 17:10, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
I'm not sure if you're not getting what I'm saying, or if I'm just unnecessarily splitting hairs. The policy explicitly says "do not use three tildes", but it doesn't explicitly say "do not omit a timestamp". Doing the former is not the only way to accomplish the latter (it's also possible for users to simply copy-paste the code of their signature without using tildes at all), so I was hoping for an explicit statement about the timestamp itself, not just the method of making it. Pumpkinking0192 (talk) 17:37, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, it's really getting into splitting hairs. The policy is clear on what it wants. Anyone who may want to try to rules-lawyer to say they're not really breaking any rules isn't gonna have any luck. Tiddlywinks (talk) 17:40, 10 March 2017 (UTC)

Emoji in signatures

Images are not allowed in signatures for the reasons stipulated in the policy. But what about emoji characters, those typed from a smartphone’s soft keyboard or pasted from a computer’s character map? (As an example, my wikicode signature replaces the word “talk” (linking to my user talk page) with the emoji for a speech balloon (still linking to my user talk page), and it is the only non-ASCII character in my signature.) --SilSinn (TIDs: 768426S, 123446UM) 03:14, 30 December 2018 (UTC)

No. Images are not allowed, period. Emoticons still count as images.--ForceFire 03:35, 30 December 2018 (UTC)
Why did you erase my timestamp? You only needed to remove the speech balloon, not everything starting with it. Now I have to reconstruct my timestamp above using the page history. (BTW, I changed again my wikicode signature to comply with the policy.) --SilSinn (TIDs: 768426S, 123446UM) (talk) 03:47, 30 December 2018 (UTC)
My idea for the speech balloon came from a Wikipedia user whose signature there consists solely of emoji characters, and he/she has been using the same signature for almost seven years and nobody objected to it. Apparently, Wikipedia allows emojis on signatures, maybe because they treat them as characters (just like letters, numbers, kana, kanji, symbols, etc.; technically, emojis are symbol characters like ★, ◎, and others found in Asian character sets) and not as images (Wikipedia still disallows real images like GIFs, JPEGs, PNGs, etc. on signatures). --SilSinn (TIDs: 768426S, 123446UM) (talk) 04:01, 30 December 2018 (UTC)

No templates on signatures - the REAL reason

“Keep the entirety of your signature's coding within your Preferences; do not use {{transclusion}} to add your signature, as a changeable signature template can cause server stress when changed, and may be a target for vandalism.”

That is the reason stated there for disallowing templates on signatures. But there is a real, undocumented reason for not using templates on signature wikicodes:

When the ~~~~ shortcut generates your signature, and your signature’s wikicode contains a template transclusion (like {{sup/7|USUM}}, for example), it does not soft-transclude the template (that is, it does not merely paste the string “{{transclusion}}”, which for the example I am using is “{{sup/7|USUM}}”), but rather hard-transcludes it (that is, it pastes the template’s whole wikicode source along with any passed arguments substituting for any {{{#|}}} parameter placeholders), and if the template being transcluded is a huge conditional one like {{sup/7}} (whose 1,769-byte-long source code is massively huge because of all the conditional procedures it must handle), the result is an unnecessarily-huge signature. That is the REAL reason for disallowing templates on wikicode signatures. (How do I know this? I once quietly tried it and got an unpleasantly-huge result, so reverted back to my old signature.) --SilSinn (TIDs: 768426S, 123446UM) (talk) 05:07, 30 December 2018 (UTC)

That's not what it means by "template". It means you cannot make a page that has coding for your signature in your userspace and use that as your signature. So I can't have User:Force Fire/Signature and place {{User:Force Fire/Signature}} in the signature box on my preferences. And the reason is because it can cause stress to the servers if you were to change it and can be a target for vandalism.--ForceFire 07:47, 30 December 2018 (UTC)
OK, but the OTHER reason I posted above should also be noted. Even if you don’t make a Signature subpage for use as a template, using any kind of template (even a protected one that doesn’t get changed) as part of a signature’s wikicode, based on my own experimenting, is dangerously bad taste because of the hard transclusions involved that turn a simple ~~~~ signature into a wikicode monstruosity. The resulting signature may look compact (<80 chars long) when the talk page is viewed, but when viewing the talk page’s source, you don’t see a few bytes of signature with {{}} soft-transclusions (<255 bytes) but rather more than a thousand bytes of wikicode (including any PHP conditionals that may have been defined in the template transcluded into the signature). One does not want to see such a talk-page posting with more than half of its bytes dedicated to a 1000+-byte signature; and it’s not that the user directly typed 1000+ bytes into his/her preferences’ signature wikicode field (he/she might have only typed about 100-200 bytes worth of wikicode including the {{}} into such Preferences field) but that the ~~~~ parser didn’t just parse the signature wikicode but also parsed whatever was within those {{}} and turned those few bytes of compact wikicode into thousands of bytes of extremely-hard-to-read wikicode monstruosity before writing them at the end of the talk-page posting. That is more obnoxious and annoying than creating a stupid signature subpage (after all, why would someone create a signature on a user subpage when that same signature could be directly typed into the Preferences field that was created specifically for that?) and should be listed on the article as a reason to avoid using any kind of templates on signature wikicodes. --SilSinn (TIDs: 768426S, 123446UM) (talk) 02:45, 2 January 2019 (UTC)

Foreign characters

Use foreign character sets sparingly as well, unless your actual username is also in a foreign language. If you must use a character set for your username, take special care that it translates to your actual username, and avoid changing it too often (as this will cause unnecessary confusion).

I would have to add to this that some foreign characters, especially those beyond Unicode hex value U+FFFF, need to be escaped as HTML NCRs like &#68736; or &#x10C80; (in a fashion not too different from the way &, <, and > are escaped as character entity references). The reason is that the server's wikicode processor, for some technical reason I am not going to discuss here in length, dislikes characters beyond U+FFFF when directly typed into the wikicode; when such a character is directly encountered, the wikicode processor stops there and everything typed after it is not processed, thus resulting in a truncated wikicode.

So, if for some reason you want to display your username in an ancient alphabet (like Gothic alphabet) that makes use of such characters, or if your Chinese name includes an exotic Chinese character in the U+20000 to U+3FFFF range, then please escape them as NCRs to avoid truncating the wikicode there. Thankee! ​‑‑SilSinn (TIDs768426S123446UM💬 04:16, 15 February 2019 (UTC)

Return to the project page "Signature policy".