I’m Chanpory, and this is my site on how to live and work better as a designer.

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I love WordPress. It’s designer-friendly, easy-to-use, and free. What I hate is managing spam.

I have two pet peeves when it comes to preventing spam:

  1. I’m lazy and don’t want to moderate every single comment.
  2. Making readers enter CAPTCHA letters is annoying and just isn’t cool.

Fortunately, here’s two plug-ins for worry-free and unobtrusive spam control:

Akismet

Both a service and a plugin, Akismet eliminates spam by running hundreds of tests on every comment and checking it against a database of known spammers. It’s built-in with every WordPress installation, but you’ll need to [register for free API key](http://akismet.com/personal/ “Personal User API Keys) to activate it.

Once activated, it’s virtually worry-free. No need to maintain blacklists or cumbersome moderation rules.

Moderate Brief Comments (The best little-known plug-in ever)

Akismet isn’t perfect. It sometimes misses spam comments containing very few words. For example, a 3-word spam comments such as “discount viagra anvenve” can pass through unflagged.

I searched endlessly for a plug-in to check the number of words in a comment, and send those that are too short into the moderation queue. No luck.

Before giving up, I posted my dilemma on the WordPress forums. Within a day, moderator Kaf Oseo (Kafkaesqui) wrote a plug-in and posted it. This is why I love the WordPress community!

[Download Moderate Brief Comments](http://guff.szub.net/download/moderate-brief-comments.php “Moderate Brief Comments)
View instructions

Besides spam, the plugin’s also useful for eliminating lame short comments such as “Hey, thanks” or “Keep up the good work.”

After installing and activating both plug-ins, LifeClever is now virtually spam-free. If your blog allows readers to receive comment notifications via email, this also means less spam in their inbox.

18 Comments

  • Abby

    gravatarNov 13, 2006
    9:23 am

    Cool! My last comment on that board was ignored indefinitely. :(

  • Abby

    gravatarNov 13, 2006
    9:36 am

    Wait. I have the API key. Where do I enter it. Into the code?

  • Chanpory

    gravatarNov 13, 2006
    9:47 am

    Hey Abby, sorry to hear your post in the WordPress forums was ignored. Perhaps I lucked out.

    You can find the instructions for setting up Akismet here:

    http://codex.wordpress.org/Akismet

    Here’s the part about activating the plugin:

    “Now, go to your other site’s Plugins > Akismet Configuration page in your admin panel. Then, enter your WordPress.com API key into the text box (copying and pasting is a good way), and click on the “Update API Key” button.”

    Hope that helps!

  • Abby

    gravatarNov 13, 2006
    9:53 am

    Ah! I’d already installed and activated it. I just didn’t see the “box below the main navigation saying that the Akismet plugin is not active” since it appeared above the plugin list, not below. Maybe that’s because of the version of WordPress I’m using or something. All better now. Set it up on my and my dad’s blogs.

  • Torley

    gravatarNov 13, 2006
    6:30 pm

    Oooh cool! I don’t think “Moderate Brief Comments” would do me much good, as I appear to get many comments which are quite lengthy and URL-laden. Akismet is great, tho. :)

  • Joshua Kaufman

    gravatarNov 14, 2006
    5:06 am

    Does anyone know of a plugin similar to Moderate Brief Comments for Movable Type?

  • Kim Siever

    gravatarNov 14, 2006
    8:49 am

    You should also take a look at “Bad Behavior”. It automatically deletes spam, making the job of Akismet less of a chore.

  • Torley

    gravatarNov 14, 2006
    10:00 am

    Kewl Kim, I’d like to check that out… after I get my Akismet trained well-enough!

  • Sigurdur Armannsson

    gravatarNov 14, 2006
    1:00 pm

    I wonder if Moderate Brief Comments has a counter or log. Or something I could count the number of post it deals with compared to Akismet.

    I have gotten about 20-30 comments into the moderation each day for the last three or so months. Akismet has grabbed 4 since this morning after I read this article and finally installed both plugs. So I wonder, where are the other 20 somthing? hmmm… not that I want it badly.

    Btw. I very often think developers forget that they are making stuff for people who don’t read minds on daily basis. Like for Akismet. It says that you should paste this little piece of text into your WP template. There are 15 or so templates. I, who don’t read mind either found at last a web page that managed to say: Put it where you want it to appear. So I picked the sidebar. I could continue forever…

    Thanks for pointing out these great plug-ins. I wander why I installed it after reading this article. I have known about Akismet for some time and downloaded it at least twice.

  • Jason Alba

    gravatarNov 15, 2006
    5:03 pm

    great post – I thought CAPTCHA would solve all my problems but I got e-mails from users trying to post who couldn’t see the letters very well :( We took it off and installed Akismet and so far so good! Well, my first comment (that I wrote) was sent to the spam bucket, but aside from that it has been awesome!

  • DT

    gravatarNov 15, 2006
    8:46 pm

    I use Akismet to great effect, and it keeps my blog spam free. Though often i do look into my spam list just to see if it clears out some real comments. But this only happens very rarely. Its just my paranoia!

    If you like me that manages multiple blogs, your can use the same API key for all as well.

  • Dermacia

    gravatarJan 12, 2007
    12:29 am

    Hey guys, this message board software this website runs on, is it something i can buy for my own website or is it propriatary?

  • Andrew

    gravatarMar 3, 2007
    12:45 am

    I personally use Akismet and I think it does its job well enough for me.

  • link

    gravatarMar 10, 2007
    5:13 am

    great, now all i need to find is a message board that works great with wordpress and has avatars and sigs unlike bbpress

  • lokimikoj

    gravatarSep 21, 2007
    8:39 pm

    Hello

    Real nice! Your web site is helpful, Cheers!

  • Niyaz

    gravatarJul 22, 2008
    2:05 am

    Hi i really liked the plugins.. thanks for them will surely stop the spam done by the autobots

  • Patterson

    gravatarApr 2, 2010
    8:15 am

    If you had to only eat three things for the rest of your life, day in and day out, what would they be?

  • David

    gravatarJun 17, 2010
    6:42 pm

    I love this website, the information is great and I have bookmarked it in my favorites. This is a well organized and informative website. Great Job!