This post is part of the Blogging Noob 101 series
New bloggers and webmasters will soon discover a brand new category of spam (unwanted messages), heretofore outside of your ken: form spam. Form spam (aka comment spam) is simply spam that originates within HTML forms (e.g., comment forms, contact forms, etc. on websites and blogs) instead of the more familiar email variety of spam.
As we are using WordPress, Akismet – a spam filtering service — is one of the free plugins with which you’ll become somewhat familiar. Akismet is one of the better form spam prevention tools I’m aware of. (Actually, I’ve never required anything more than Akismet in the prevention of spam in my blogs — so far, at least.)
In order to configure Akismet for use on your new WordPress site, simply login as WordPress administrator and go to Plugins – Installed plugins. Akismet will be listed at or near the top, since it starts with an A.
New users must obtain an API key for Akismet. The more technology one uses, the more frequently one will be exposed to “API.” You need not know any technical information about API keys – just know that an API key is like a password that allows you to use a particular set of code. (In this case, the programming code comprises a WordPress plugin.)
When you request an API key and you receive it – the API key is either displayed on the screen for you to copy, or emailed to you – be sure you document your API key for future reference, as you WILL need it again. Copy and paste the API key in a safe place, just as you would any other crucial digital information (passwords, links, email addresses, etc.).
Like so much other code, Akismet is free for non-commercial use but carries a small charge for use on commercial sites. Generally speaking, if a site conducts business, then it is a commercial site; however, a general-use blog or site that happens to include a bit of commercial information may or may not officially be a commercial site. Use your own judgment as to whether your use of Akismet constitutes commercial use.
Resources: Blogging noob 101 – Form spam
- Akismet – Home
- Akismet – Wikipedia
- API key (Application Programming Interface) — Wikipedia — API keys are used to track and control how the API is being used; for example, to prevent malicious use or abuse of the API
- URL/URI – uniform resource locator/identifier – Wikipedia — In computing, a uniform resource locator (URL) is a specific character string that constitutes a reference to an Internet resource. A URL is technically a type of uniform resource identifier (URI) but in many technical documents and verbal discussions URL is often used as a synonym for URI.