Well I have managed to neglect another website for an extended period of time. This time I have a website with user interaction and have now realized it will need to monitored more frequently. I knew spam would be a problem, but apparently it is much more prevalent than I would thought for even a blog as small as this one. I had well over 2,000 spam comments here. This clearly does not add to the credibility of the site, is a detractor for visitor to post comments and contribute, and clutters the site. So, I decided I needed to thwart some of this activity and did a quick google search. WordPress comes with a plugin called Askimet designed to prevent a lot of spam, I just never activited. The directions for activating could be made a little more clearer for people hosting their own blog, like I am. You will need to go to WordPress and register for an account, apparently any will do. This will provide you with an API key, which is required for installation. The options are limited for eliminating already accumulated spam comments, which I found a bit dissapointing. For instance, pretty much the only option was to delete spam older than one month. No eliminate immediately!
Though, the word on the net sounds promising for this plugin and it does come with stats to monitor its actions. It does add a button on the Comments page called “Check for Spam,” but I could not get it to do anything? Not sure what I was doing wrong there. Therefore, I had to find a way to eliminate my current comment spam. Sadly or lamely, WordPress’s Comments page only has one option for monitoring comments–20 at a time. Luckily, I found a comment on another page explaining how to show more comments by modifying the php. This tip was quite useful and turned a chore that I feared would take hours, into one that took minutes.
I have learned my lesson and will monitor this situation more frequently. Hopefully, this convinces others starting blogs to install the Askimet plugin immediately.