CMWP

How to deal with comments and spam & Blog categories

Here are some useful tips that I have learnt in order to censor comments and avoid spam on my website.

1. Activate Akismet 

This is an essential but valuable plugin that automatically includes in every WordPress page. Akismet checks every comment that is submitted to your website against their spam database. If a comment looks like spam, it will be placed in your spam folder. The plugin does not always get it right, however, if legitimate comments are placed in your spam folder (i.e. a false positive), you can mark them as “Not Spam”. Likewise, you can mark spam comments that slipped through as “Spam”.

2. Cookies for comment

This plugin adds a stylesheet or image to your blog’s html source code. When a browser loads that stylesheet or image a cookie is dropped. If that user then leaves a comment the cookie is checked. If it doesn’t exist the comment is marked as spam. The plugin can also check how long it took a user to enter a comment. If it’s too fast it’s probably a spam bot. How fast can a legitimate user enter their name, email, web address and enter a well thought out comment?

3. Anti-spam

Anti-spam is another spam protection WordPress plugin that does not rely on your commenters completing Captcha images. The plugin does not have any settings area; which is quite unique for a plugin of this type.

It works by setting up an invisible input trap for bots. Two hidden fields are added to your comment form. The first field is a date field and will be automatically completed by Javascript. The second field should be empty. Spam bots get tricked by entering the wrong information for these fields. Simple, but effective.

Plugin blocks spam only in comments section.

4. Moderate comments

• Comment Blacklist:

Included on your Settings > Discussion panel is a section called the Comment Blacklist. This is a list of words completely blacklisted from your blog (e.g: www, http, url, ftp, sex, viagra, drug)

Be very careful what you add here. If a comment matches something here it will be completely nuked and there will be no notification. These “nuked” comments will not appear on your blog, but they will remain in your database marked as [spam]. Comments that are marked as [spam] are held in your database to educate “intelligent” anti-spam plugins, such as Akismet.

• Number of Links in Posts:

To change the number of links in comment posts, which may help stop comment spammers who include dozens of links in their comment posts, you can change the setting for the number of links permitted in a comment.

  • Go to the Settings > Discussion panel.
  • Scroll down to Comment Moderation.
  • In the section which covers the number of links in a post, it is set to 2 by default. You could lower to one.

To moderate all comments:

  • Under Before a comment appears, select Comment must be manually approved

5. Restrict Comments to Registered Users

If you allow only registered users to comment, you can restrict comments to only registered users.

  • Go to the Settings > Discussion panel
  • Under Other comment settings, select Users must be registered and logged in to comment.

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BLOG CATEGORIES

My blog has 2 categories which are 2 subjects in Semester 1, 2016 using Categories widget:

  • CMWP: Contemporary Media Work Practices
  • SGM: Sound, Genre and Medium

More categories will be added according to new subjects that I will be learning in Semester 2.

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