Comment spam on WordPress – Use Akismet

When I started using WordPress as my blogging platform (first buying a domain, then using one of these hosting services (link to article), and installing WordPress on it), I used to think that getting the right template on the blog, and then getting some good quality content on the blog was all that was required. Within a few days, it turned out that I was wrong. After some days, I started getting comments from people, and those comments were welcome (since that meant that people were reading my blog). However, it soon turned bad – I started getting comments that were in the nature of spam. These were comments that would be posted by a script, and there would be 20 spam comments for every genuine one. It was pretty frustrating.
I started reading about how to tackle this menace of junk spam comments on a WordPress Blog, and I realized that I already had the tools with me, it was just ignorance that was preventing me from acting on measures to prevent spam. There are some setting inside WordPress that will help you do this,

Login into the wp-admin of your blog -> Settings -> Discussion

Discussion settings for moderating comments in WordPress blog

There are some settings there that you can use, depending on how many people visit your blog and leave comments. In the beginning, you would have few visitors and comments, and you can afford to put moderation for all comments on. As you start getting more visitors and geniune comments, you will need to tweak the settings to be able to get genuine comments in and push spam comments out.
Something that has worked like magic for the WordPress installations that I have is a plugin called Akismet (from Automattic); it has been so far been able to filter out almost all spam comments while letting genuine comments through.
How do you get it to start working ? First, it is available under the plugins options: Login into wp-admin -> Plugins -> Activate Akismet
You will need an API key to get it to start working, and you can get the key by registering for a WordPress.com account (link). You can use the same key on multiple blogs. Once this key has been entered in this destination: Login into wp-admin -> Plugins -> Akismet Configuration
And it should start working, your comments with spam will be filtered into a separate location called Akismet Spam under the comments heading. It is rare that a genuine comment goes into this queue, and a bit less rare that spam does not get filtered out; however this plugin has caused me great happiness since it does so much of the work of spam filtration (remember, if you are using Akismet on a commercial blog, or on a blog that earns more than $500 per month, you should be buying a commercial key).

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