If you have a WordPress blog, without a doubt, you have spam. All of those unwanted comments that are so obviously not hand written, and links all throughout them, or just someone’s name linking to their bogus site. It gets annoying pretty fast. Thankfully, these problems are pretty simple to avoid.>

No More Big, Bad Wolf (Spam, that is)

Handling spam starts with protecting the ability to comment. To do this, navigate to” Settings > Discussion” and check the box next to “Comment author must fill out name and e-mail”. Checking the box next to “Users must be registered and logged in to comment” might be tempting, but you could block a lot of potential discussion because most people aren’t going to want to go through an entire registration process just to leave a comment on your blog.

Simply requiring them to fill out their username and password, does put up a bit of a wall, but it’s a wall made of straw. To put up a second wall made of sticks, you need to use that plugin that comes by default with every install called Akismet. It’s simple, but it does work. If you are using it already, you should also make sure that you keep it updated.

There’s a plugin for that

Akismet (a-kiz-met) is a plugin built and maintained by Automattic, the same people who give us WordPress. In order to use it, you have to register for an API key. If you have an account at WordPress.com, you already have an API key. It’s found at the top of your profile page. If not, then the Akismet website provides a simple form to register your email for a key. Once you are ready with your API key, just click to activate it from your plugins page in the back-end of WordPress. It will prompt you to insert the key to complete activation.

My last spam blocking tip will finally put a brick wall up. It’s a plugin called WP-SpamFree, and I’ve used it with perfect results for the last several years. The only time a spam comment gets through is if it’s manually typed in as any other human would type in a comment. To get this plugin, go to “Plugins > Add New” from your WordPress admin panel. In the search box, type in the name, WP-SpamFree. It should be at the top of the results where you can install it instantly. There are a lot of settings and options to play with, but the default settings are enough to keep you protected.