When I set up a new WordPress blog, I always set it to moderate first time commentors. It turns out this isn’t something Blogger users are used to. On Blogger you had the choice of moderate all the time, or not at all. WordPress has a lot more options and a lot more control. But this also means you have a few things you need to do regularly – daily at the least. I tend to do these tasks several times during each day.
Daily Task #1 –
There’s some very good reasons that you want to have moderation for the first comment someone makes to your blog. You want to stop spammers before they even get started. You may want to welcome legitimate first time commentors by sending them a personal email, and the email you get from WordPress is a good heads up to remind you to do it. It also contains the email address and website of a commentor to make it easy for you to email and visit their site. The email you get looks like this – click for a larger view. You can click for a larger view with most of the images in this post.
There are links within the email you can click as you can see. When you log in to your WordPress Dashboard, you can also see if you have any comments in moderation from that screen.
Clicking on comments in moderation will take you to the moderation queue. It looks like this –
So as you can see in that image there are four options underneath a comment.
- Approve will let the comment go live on your blog so everyone can see it.
- Spam marks the comment as spam and places it in the Akismet Spam folder
- Delete is useful if someone accidentally submitted a comment twice. But remember, NEVER delete spam – always mark it as spam so Akismet can learn to identify it in the future.
- No Action means nothing is done and the comment remains in the moderation queue.
Daily Task #2 –
Akismet is a wonderful thing. However it *is* open to abuse by bloggers who –
- mark comments as spam when they are not really spam
- mark comments as spam because they do not like the commentor
It also suffers as a spam filter when bloggers don’t regularly check their Akismet spam trap to make sure everything in there is spam. You do not get an email from WordPress to let you know when a comment has ended up in Akismet.
I believe it is part of your job as a blogger to make sure legitimate comments from your readers aren’t going into Akismet by mistake.
So how do you check it? I normally do it when I moderate a comment because Akismet is in the comments section and if you’ve just moderated a comment you’re already in there. You can see how many comments are in Akismet. Simply click on Akismet Spam and you’ll end up at this page –
Read through the comments. If there is anything there which you do not consider spam – and sometimes there will be, my comments regularly end up in Akismet, I will not speculate as to why! – you simply tick not spam, then scroll to the bottom of the page and click despam marked comments.
If all the comments are spam, you can click on delete all, and they will forever disappear. I find it is easier to delete the spam comments on the spot but you can choose to let them build up and Akismet will automatically delete them after 15 days.
There You Have It –
The above two things are fairly essential daily tasks on a WordPress blog and you may even find yourself doing them 4 or more times a day if you’re near the computer and you get an email to say a comment needs moderating, or maybe if you’re writing a post and you end up back at the dashboard and see there are comments to be moderated.
You Can Choose –
If you want more or less moderation on your blog you can go in and change the options. Go to Options (light blue) –> Discussion (dark blue) and you will see this screen.
It is your blog, and you can set whatever settings you like. The way I set it is simply the best way I have found to manage comments for my blog. Your needs might be different. Just be careful because by making changes to this screen you may be opening up your blog to the spammers.
How Do You Manage It?
Let me know in the comments section how you manage comments on your blog. Do you moderate them once a day or more often? Do you have moderation for all comments? If yes, do you think you could try moderation for first time commentors only? Do you find that you delete a lot of comments from your regular commentors?
Ask away by leaving a comment!