Posts Tagged blog
This WordPress Tip is one about working with WordPress and Spam comments.
This tip also highlights where as a Blog Administrator you should look.
WordPress And Spam
WordPress has a built-in comment spam filter. The “Akismet Stats” menu option on the Administration Dashboard will open a page which shows the statistics from the operation of the Akismet Comment span filter. A brief description of the Akismet Spam Comment filtering is contained on the WordPress support page: “Unwanted Comments and Comment Spam”.
There are some features of the setup of Akismet on WordPress which are worth commenting on:
- Firstly, it appears to work quite well. When I as blogging on Windows Live Spaces I did get some Comment Spam (100 links to batteries, or 100 links to sports shoes, being the ones which come to mind). The filtering here seems to be effective at stopping that sort of “junk mail” dead in it’s tracks.
- Secondly, like any filtering processes there is a “grey area” area in the process where it cannot definitively decide between the “good comments” and the “spam comments”. This “grey area” between good and spam are the potentially spam comments which are made on you blog. These end up in the “Manage Comments” section, spam category of your blogs Dashboard.
The “interesting” feature of the potentially spam comments is that they “silently” land in this part of the blogs management structure. They do not generate any notifications, unlike “good comments” which will prompt (generate an email notification of their arrival) to be moderated. If there is a way to be notified of the arrival of potentially spam comments, I am yet to find it.
How To Find Your Potentially Spam Comments
- From the “My Blog” element on the on the “control bar” in the “Administration of My Blog” of your WordPress (when you are logged in to WordPress). Select the “Manage Comments” option. I usually “right click” in Internet Explorer and open it in a new tab.
- The will open the manage comments page, and your potentially spam comments will be in the “Spam (x)” part of the screen.
- Clicking on the “Spam (x)” (when x ≠ 0) will show the potentially spam comments which have been made. There some context menus under each of the messages which allow you to “free it”, or “delete it permanently.
Previous WordPress Tips
- WordPress Blog Spam Solution That Works (growmap.com)
- What’s more annoying, moderated comments or a ton of comment spam? (holtz.com)
- How to Stop Spam Comments Automatically (freesocialmediahelp.com)
- Combat Spam with the Akismet Plugin for WordPress (spunkyjones.com)
I’ve been thinking about expanding the range of content which I post into the Blogosphere. The types of things I was considering posting include:
- Recipes: Things I’ve adapted to suite my tasks and requirements.
- Cooking Tips: There are things one picks up, learns or discovers, which could make useful reading.
- I should start writing about “Cooking for One”. This I find is a very is a poorly serviced element in the cooking and culinary arts sphere. Almost all of the recipes I find are for family meals. So, unless you fancy eating leftovers for a week, or freezing the remainder until you feel like eating it again, they are not much help. Downscaling recipes is something which I do experiment with at time, and I’m getting better a doing this as time goes on. Oh, the joys of being a single cook.
- I also have two other “niche” cooking styles which are worth blogging about. These are:
- RC (Remote control) cooking. An old style of cooking which is often done mainly in the oven. The main principle is; set the timer, and forget, until the timer rings and dinner is done.
- “Commando” Cooking. This is the “hit and run” cooking. The main principle here is a fast as possible. Switching the stove on, to completed meal, in the minimum of time.
- Guitar Stuff: Sheet music which I use to practice, maybe some Guitar Pro files as well. If I start posting files, they will have to go on my “Sky Drive”, WordPress would not recognise Guitar Pro files as being a valid upload file type.
- Creative writing: One of my motivations for starting blogging was to get back into doing some creative writing. This objective is something which I’ve been remiss in, thus far.
The Pro’s Of Using The Menus Option
There is a fundamental reason why utilisation of the “Menus Option” should work, or at least the experiment is worthwhile performing. That reason is that the structure of the menus can “invert” the nature of a blog. The meaning of “invert” in this context is that: A blog is a chronological series of posts where the latest entry is at the “top”. The “inversion” that the menu option allows is for the first written (the oldest ,or chapter 1 in the case of a book) to be presented as the first entry in a list (be that a menu, or a list of links on a page).
There are a number of reasons to think that going down this track is going to be the most profitable approach. These reasons include:
- the WordPress advice contained in the “Write a Book” help page. The nub of the discussion on that page is that it is possible to write a book on WordPress. The set up is something which will require some thought. The advice is around “Chapters” of a book. A present, I think, I’ll be writing short stories, rather than a book. But that is my expectation at present, which may well change when I start writing.
- the WordPress advice contained in the “Custom Menus” help page. The demonstration of the implementation describes setting up the type of structure which some of the “new” content could be. So, again there is advice that expanding the types of content in a blog should work.
- Looking around the blogs on WordPress, I’ve seen examples which seem to work. So, I’ve some other peoples good ideas, I can copy and adapt to my own ends.
The Con’s of Using The Menu Option
There are a couple of things which are potential negatives for the menu approach. These downsides include:
- I’ve no way of setting the menu option up in a “sandpit” (a not online environment). I’d not like to “kill” my live site with the modifications. It’s probably doable, only adding the top level menus when I’ve all of the underlying elements working right. I should post a question on the WordPress.com Forum about a “sandpit” environment.
- And before I get the comment, just install the WordPress.Org version of WordPress, and work on that version. My poor notebook would melt down if I added another web server, web sites and the like to it. Time for an upgraded notebook, maybe, but that’s a story for another day.
- I’m not sure that adding more topics into the current blog is “right”. I’m not sure what the correct blogging etiquette is. Is multiple topic blogging “best practice” blogging? This is a small concern for the following reasons:
- The title, and tag line, on the blog, “Craig’s Eclectic Blog”, and “An eclectic collection of thing that catch my eye”. These statements allow me to, within reason, to pretty much include whatever I choose. There is a warning that there will be a mixture of subject matter found here.
- It’s my blog. The corollary of that is: “I make the rules for what gets blogged about!”.
- I blog for pleasure, not for money, and not for fame. So, mixing topics may be a commercially poor choice for professional bloggers. But for amateur blogging, it’s probably acceptable.
A Plan Of Attack
As alluded to above I think I will use the menu option for adding new types of content to this blog.
The development and implementation strategy:
- I think I can quarantine the additions to the structure of the blog site from the main part of the site. This should prevent me “breaking” the main part of the site.
- This will be a process of developing the subpages independently. So long as I can get a URL to the page so I can test in the browser. I will be able to get to the pages as I development the through the “Administration Console –> Pages” menu as well.
- Testing components as I build them.
- When all is working, then adding the Menu to the “Top” (home page) of the site, and wire up the menu to go to the URL of the new page(s).
That’s the theory.
Next comes the practice. But, “there’s many a slip, betwixt cup and lip”, and “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”.
WordPress and Space
If you have not discovered this piece of information previously, by default you are allowed 3GB on WordPress (that’s the free default allocation). What happens when you reach that limit? I have no idea, and I’m miles away from that limit at present.
WordPress offers space upgrades on the “Administration –> Upgrades –> Upgrades” menu, which shows how much extra space for you blogging will cost.
The Tip: How Much Space Am I Using On WordPress?
If you want to see how much of the space allocation you are currently using on WordPress (and this is the only way I’ve found so far to display this information). Follow the following steps:
- From the “New Posts” menu item on the Dashboard Page.
- Select the “Upload Files” Option.
- On that screen is the Space Used, your Allocation, and the percentage used.
This information is not in an “obvious” place. Subsequent versions of WordPress may put this information in a more obvious place, but for now this is where I’ve found it.
Finding out which version of WordPress you’re using is another mystery at present. I’ve not stumbled upon that piece of information, as yet. I can foresee another “voyage of discovery“ through WordPress coming up.
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