How to Fight SPAM in WordPress

Spam in Space
Creative Commons Licensephoto credit: Sarah G…
To the uninitiated, dealing with SPAM can become a huge pain the butt when running a WordPress blog. Thankfully, there are many ways that WordPress enables you to manage SPAM that reduces the time necessary to deal with it.

Most people don’t start dealing with SPAM until there is a problem, for example when their mailbox has been filled with hundreds of SPAM comment e-mails. It’s important to think about SPAM from day one so that it doesn’t suck your time into a black hole down the road.

Akismet – Activate it Right Away


Akismet is the ultimate spam fighting plugin for WordPress and it comes with every new installation of WordPress. It’s true that I don’t know how it works. But that doesn’t really matter because it does work.

The problem is that many people fail to activate it properly and don’t receive the benefits of Akismet protection. To use Akismet, you need to get a WordPress.com API key. My guess is that you have no idea what that is. Am I right? No worries…

The keys are free and not that hard to acquire. All you need to do is go to WordPress.com and sign up for an account. It doesn’t matter if you never use the account for blogging. WordPress let’s you have an account even if you aren’t using it to blog. Once you’ve activated your account, you’ll be given a WordPress API key.

From there, you can copy the code and then go to your WordPress admin panel on your blog and navigate to the Akismet settings page. From there, it’s just a matter of pasting your API key and activating it.

Once you’ve done this, it will knock most spam dead in it’s tracks.

Image Verification


Another way to battle SPAM is to prevent them from commenting in the first place, that’s where image verification comes in. You’ve seen them all over the web, those cryptic little boxes that have hard to read text that you need to enter into a box.

Well, there’s an easy to use solution for WordPress called Recaptcha

. You can download the free WordPress plugin and sign up for a free account at Recaptcha.net. Make sure to activate your account and set up the free API keys. Once you’ve done this, people will be required to pass an image verification test before they are allowed to comment on your blog (unless they’re logged in).

This plugin is a great way to stop any spam comments that Akismet might have missed.

WP-Ban

If you have a persistent spammer that keeps getting past your SPAM fighting ramparts or a bandwidth thief that’s using your valuable bandwidth thief by continually loading and reloading the same pages, then WP-Ban is your friend.

WP-Ban is a WordPress plugin that allows you to ban IP addresses. This means that if you have a persistent spammer, they won’t be allowed to even access your website. You can look at your stats in Statpress

Christmas in South Park video

(another WordPress plugin) to find the IP’s of people abusing your websites.

With these three simple steps, you can solve your SPAM problems and keep your website nice and clean without having to spend a lot of time managing SPAM. As your blog becomes more and more popular, you will see how important it is to set up a good spam fighting system from the beginning.

About the Author:
Justin Wright is a full-time blogger, WordPress Expert, and digital nomad. You can check out his Digital Nomad Blog to follow him on his travels around the world. He is also the founder of zoopmedia, an online media company that provides blog services.

Become Your Own Publisher With WordPress – The Basics

One of the most important moves a blogger can make is to take and maintain control of their property from the start. Although WordPress.com buy Woodland Café is an easy way to get started, it doesn’t take long before its limitations become painfully apparent: custom domains, themes, additional storage, plugins are all considered “premium features” some which require small investments of your hard-earned money as you build your  self-publishing empire that ultimately remains out of your control.

Alternatively, for an average of fifty five dollars a year, you can purchase a shared hosting solution at companies like GoDaddy, Bluehost, Hostgator The Bear movie or Hostmonster that allow you to install a full-fledged version of WordPress at no extra cost and that offers virtually limitless customization and expandability, not to mention as many email accounts based on your custom domain name as you could ever desire.

In this article I want to explore some of the additional benefits and features available in your own custom WordPress installation and how to optimize your setup so that you can get the most mileage from it at the outset.

First things First

Come up with a great domain name and register it.  Any host provider worth its salt will offer the ability to purchase and register a new domain name right from its main interface.  By doing so through your host provider you will save a number of steps so that you can jump right into installing your own WordPress.org installation.

You will also be the true owner of this domain name and the WordPress account and no one can take it from you. I will discuss how to choose a great domain name in a future article.

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