Although I have yet to begin publicizing this blog, a couple of spam comments have already popped up. Thankfully, WordPress (the engine which powers my blog) held these comments in moderation. In future posts I’ll get into why I chose a self-hosted WordPress solution.

If spam comments are already rearing their ugly head, I chose to implement a stronger spam control feature now instead of later. Akismet is a highly recommended plugin. It is installed automatically for WordPress versions 2.0 or later, but if for some reason it isn’t you can download the official plugin. If you use WordPress and haven’t activated Akismet yet, then take a couple of minutes to activate it now.

If your WordPress blog is the freely hosted version hosted by WordPress.com you are already using Akismet and don’t need to do anything else to protect yourself from spam comments.

If, like me, you host your own blog, you need to do a few more steps to activate Akismet. Essentially, although you have a WordPress blog already you need to establish an account with WordPress.com and use the API key which comes with this account. In response to user requests, now one can open an account without creating a separate, to-be-unused blog.

  1. Sign up for an account with WordPress.com (you can opt for a sans-blog account)
  2. Activate your WordPress.com account
  3. Ensure that Akismet is installed and listed in your blog’s Plugins
  4. Find your WordPress.com API Key – you can get either from your welcome email or from your My Profile page
  5. Activate Akismet in your blog
  6. Enter the API Key when prompted
  7. That’s it! Now spam comments will be filtered!

Personally, I will join the ranks of those who would prefer not having to create an account with WP.com just to use its API key. I would love to one day see a way of creating one’s own API key. Until then, this is the method to follow. But for an effective but free solution for controlling spam, I won’t be picky!

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