Combatting Spam In Wordpress – The Easy Way

Congratulations, your Wordpress installation has completed. For your convienence we have included the following tips and suggestions you may refer to in order to decrease the amount of spam you receive.

Enable Akismet

Akismet is a Wordpress plugin that comes default with every installation. Akismet is a real-time adaptive spam filter which scans all incoming comments and helps you automatically filter spam comments by stopping them at their source.

In order to use Akismet you must first get an API Key from Wordpress. The API Key is free, but it does require you visiting their site and creating an account. Please visit http://www.wordpress.com/signup. Enter your personal information and at the bottom choose “Just a username, please.”

Once you have created and verified your account, log in at http://www.wordpress.com/wp-login.php. Click on the “Profile” link and you will see at the very top, your WordPress.com API Key. We’re going to use this soon so keep it available to you by recording it somewhere.

Go back to your Netfirms Wordpress installation:

1. Log in to your Wordpress Dashboard and click on the Plugins link
2. Click “Activate” for the plug in Akismet
3. You will see a yellow box with a link asking you to enter your Wordpress.com API Key that you created earlier.
4. Once entered, click “Update options” to enable Akismet.

For the vast majority of blogs on the Internet, Akismet alone will eliminate 99% of the spam comments that are generated. There are some other features you may enable on your blog to increase your spam protection.

For more information on Akismet, as well for further assistance should you find Akismet reporting a large amount of false-positives, please visit http://www.akismet.com

Discussion Settings

Under the Settings menu in the “Disucssion” subsection you will see a section which lists 3 options that will apply before a comment appears on your blog. The bottom two options ‘Comment Author must fill out name and email’ as well as ‘Comment author must have a previously approved comment’ are by default checked. We recommend leaving this checked however you may, if you find spam getting past Akismet often enable the option that an Administrator must approve all new comments.

Comment Moderation is another option you may use. You may change the amount of allowed URLs or links from it’s default value of 2 by setting it to 1. This allows the comment to contain 1 link before it is placed in a moderation queue. Setting this to 0 will mean all comments will be placed in the moderation queue.

Be careful with the word lists offered in Comment Moderation and Comment Blacklist. If you were to type the word “ass” it would block the word assistance or assume. Wordpress offers a list of words you may use in the Comment Moderation box available at http://codex.wordpress.org/Spam_Words

Require users to register in order to comment

This is a setting available under Settings menu in the “General” subsection. Most spam bots are not designed to register on a Wordpress site so this will effectively put an end to any spammers, but it may also decrease the amount of comments people leave on your blog. This should only be a last resort.

Going Further Beyond Wordpress

Wordpress’ plugin archecture means you can increase your anti-spam protection even further by using plugins which are available for free at http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/. Typical plugins that are used to increase the protection of your account would be to add a CAPTCHA image or security image test on each comment. You can browse thousands of freely available Wordpress plugins at http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/.

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