How to protect your blog without Akismet.

Some web hosts do not allow for plugins such as Akismet to function properly. This is because they turn off the PHP function fsockopen for security reasons.  When they do this, any plugin that connects to an outside source doesn’t function correctly.  The biggest issue then is the inflow of spam.

I’ve found two plugins that seem to help take control of spam comments and trackbacks when Akismet isn’t available.  Neither are perfect, but together they make a world of difference in the fight against spam.

The first is Cookies for Comments.  This plugin places a cookie into the visitors browser when they arrive at your site.  Once they leave a comment, the plugin checks to see if that cookie exists.  If there is no cookie, then it’s marked as spam.  From my testing, it works quite well.

Akismet Spam Plugin Went Down, Briefly.

I’ve recently been using Akismet as my spam plugin for WordPress. It had been doing great, until this weekend. All of a sudden, spam started piling up and I was kept busy trying to remove it all. It’s amazing how great spam plugins do work, when they work. I ended up turning on Spam Karma for a while and that fixed everything.

It turns out that Akismet was down over the weekend for some updates. All should be good now though.

It really makes a person realize how great spam plugins are.  Maybe it’s time to donate a few bucks. 😉


Three WordPress Plugins You Must Have for SEO

WordPress is great, but the default install isn’t as good as it could be. There are hundreds, if not thousands of WordPress plugins available. Finding ones that work well and add to your site’s optimization can be tricky, but here is what I recommend.

  1. Akismet or Spam Karma – Both plugins block spammers from automatically filling your comments with spam and links to unwanted sites. An anti-spam plugin is a must unless you like spending hours a day cleaning up after spammers.
  2. Optimal Title – This simple plugin re-writes the blog post’s tile start with the post name not the site name. It’s best to always start title tags with unique information and then proceed to generic.