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!
13 thoughts on “Daily WordPress Tasks”
Quite a timely post, just today I made the decision to automatically approve comments from people who have commented before (I wish you could set it to automatically approve after say 2 or 3 comments though, just in case you give a suspect one the benefit of the doubt…). Prior to this I was manually approving all comments.
Like you suggest, I check Akismet frequently, but am finding very few instances of false positives.
I’ve set it to moderate comments with any links – maybe a bit too cautious but I’ll see how I go. I spend a lot of time at the computer anyway!
All sound advice :D
Thanks for the heads up. It’s nice to know what goes into using another blog platform, and this information will help people make informed decisions on whether or not to move or where to move to.
I moderate around 3 times a day. First thing in the morning, when I get home from work and in the evening. Most of the ones that need moderating are during the night (day in the US).
I am a first time commenting needs moderation and then go for your life girl. Can’t imagine anyone would say anything worse than I do :)
‘Do you find that you delete a lot of comments from your regular commentors?’ Don’t actually know what you mean here. I have never deleted a comment, if I don’t like what you have to say I suck it up. Not everyone is going to agree with me. However I have marked a couple as spam when they were obviously nothing to do with the post, advertising and one that was just abuse but not at all in context.
Am I naive? I set mine up for no moderation. I suppose that I might change it if a problem develops. The day I got my first spam comment was the day I switched Akismet on. Not very proactive, am I?
I’ve had two comments that went along the lines of “You suck…” but the site they linked back to was spammy so I marked them as such. I don’t have any limitations on what people will write. Unless it’s off-topic, hateful, racist/misogynistic etc stuff, it gets to stay.
I’ll be adding a mini comment policy blurb like the one you have above though. If only to let people know they can swear! :)
Meg – I think it’s a fairly safe decision for you to make. ;) Mostly you can tell from the first comment if they are a spammer. The other issues like trolls and haters you’ll never be able to tell and even if you have moderation on sometimes they’ll give it a try even if they suspect it won’t ever be published.
Kirsten – there’s going to be a fair few wordpress posts over the next few weeks. In part because I am moving a lot of people over to it and I seem to keep typing the same things over and over, so posting them here should save me some work, but it will also help other people new to wordpress – and even some old to wordpress who never knew some of the things I’ll mention. I hope that people not on WP don’t find it boring but the people on WP never complained when I was doing all the blogger posts, so fingers crossed. ;)
Kelley – I’m mostly talking about comments with swear words or inappropriate comments. I do tend to edit out swear words because not everyone reading my blog likes to see them and I understand that – I swear myself at home and I don’t have a problem with language but I have to think about everyone reading and not just me. ;) If they disagree that is fine. If they put in words that will get teenage kids looking for certain photographs here, then I have to edit that out. ;) I made that mistake once, never again! I mentioned it in my disclosure page –
Yes, Snoskred once wrote a post which contained the words “Br1tney Sp3ars cr0tch sh0ts” and was soon inundated with traffic looking for the photos – which I had never posted. Snoskred needed to take a shower after that debacle.
CerebralMum – I’m not sure if that is naive, but it is one way to win spammers as friends. The you suck ones are deliberate spam tactics. They’ll do anything to get their spam to stay on your blog and they think that because some of us won’t delete a comment where people disagree that “you suck” means their comment will stay. But no, it doesn’t work.
Unfortunately there is a huge spam problem out there on the web. Part of the reason for that is the more links someone gets to their site, the higher they rank in certain search engines. But allowing those comments may actually cause damage to your own rank within search engines, so that is one reason it is important for us bloggers to remove anything that looks like spam from our blogs.
Another reason is because they suck. ;) and don’t deserve to be linked to!
The other thing is, there are some people out there who are trolls and look for easy targets. I’ve had trolls on my blog before and I’ve dealt with it poorly more than once, so now I have a very strict policy with myself to always delete and never react.
Thanks for your comments – looking forward to a few more when others spot this post in their readers! ;)
I have moderation for each new commentor at my site so I can try and get a feel for them and check out their blog if they have one. Then I can decide whether to allow them to continue without moderation. I do like these features about WordPress.
You explain things so well Snoskred! Thank you. :-)
I’m still waiting for something spammy to come in. LOL. Am I weird? I feel like I’m missing out or something. ROFLOL. I know, they tell me they WILL come. In reality, I just want one. So I know what you’re all talking about. After that they’ll annoy me I guess (or not since you have everything set up so nicely!)
Can we request topics for your wordpress posts? I’m having trouble working out the best way to put photo’s into my posts etc. So if you are taking requests….pretty please can I add that to the list? :-)
P.S. On the topic of comments. When I write a comment on my site I don’t see the little “Notify me of follow up comments via email” box. Is that because it’s my site that it doesn’t show up or is it not turned on?
Snoskred, you have blog bling – if you would like it. :-) Details on my blog.
Teeni – Absolutely. I always check out the blog of anyone who comments here, if they leave me a link. :) It is one good way of figuring out if they’re legit or just in it for the link.
Lightening – that’s because you’re logged in to wordpress and you’re the author of the post. ;) It shows up for me when I go there and I’m not logged in.
You should see – You are the author of this entry. Manage subscriptions. – can you see that?
Re requested topics, absolutely. I’ll cover it in writing posts, which I was planning on doing during this week. That may be more than one post, so I’ll do the pics first.
I’ll drop by soon!
I am lapping up all of these great wordpress posts…. I am teetering on the edge of changing over from blogger and this is really helping push me over!
I hardly ever get spam comments on my blogger blog, though I know the wordpress blog I had admin access to on a digi scrapping site gets heaps. Is is just that my blogger blog with a measly 30000 hits a month isn’t popular enough for much spam? or is it something else?
Katef – Blogger is a complete waste of time for the spammers. That is because the default setting on all blogger blogs is no follow for all comments. The spammers are doing the spamming to get higher up in the search engine rankings.
There are some blogger sites who have deliberately made their comments section do follow, but in general the spammers don’t bother with blogger.
Jump over the edge, you won’t regret it. ;)
What a great feature to be able to moderate first-time commentors. My only choice is to moderate or not to moderate. So I have it turned off. In almost a year I have had fewer than a dozen spam comments, even though I have removed the nofollow attribute.
Daisy – I think it is because people are scairt of your claws and teeths :) Most bloggers don’t have claws and teeths so we get spammed! ;)
Maybe I need to tell the spammers I have two kitties with claws and teeths? I suppose I could try that..