Category: Wordpress

Resolving Slow WordPress Websites

Website loading at a snail's page

Slow WordPress websites can be difficult to improve especially if we don’t have a plan on how to resolve the problem. I have a list of five recommendations that I always look at doing when trying to resolve speed issues.

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Reducing WordPress Comment Spam

Self-hosted WordPress sites often attract a lot of comment spam which requires your valuable time or resources to reduce to more manageable levels.

  • We recommend automatically turning off commenting on older posts, because these are the posts that often rank very well in Google which attracts the spammers in the first place. Most blogs choose to turn commenting off on posts that are three months old or older. (We usually do six months.)By turning off commenting on older posts, our spam dropped approximately 25% and it didn’t cause our WordPress site to load any slower.
  • Akismetis possibly the most effective method of reducing spam through a WordPress Plugin. Akismet works by connecting to a hosted web service to determine if comments or pingbacks are spam or legitimate.By using Akismet, we reduced the amount of comment spam by nearly 100%, but Akismet unfortunately isn’t free any more for business users.
  • Disqus is an amazing WordPress Plugin that is used for commenting. Disqus uses a hosted web service to moderate comments and automatically connects to an extensive blacklist and whitelist to reduce the amount of spam comments automatically.
  • Bad Behavior is one other WordPress plugin we use to reduce spam by not allowing the spammers to access our site in the first place. Bad Behavior works by analyzing the way the browser/program/user is using the blog and blocking them, and of course Bad Behavior also has an extensive database of common spammer Ip addresses that it also uses to block.

What is your preferred method for reducing comment spam? We believe that there’s no one technique that will completely eliminate spam, but these techniques together will help you better use your resources.

Akismet (Anti-Spam)

Akismet has worked extremely well for me over the last two years, it’s only inaccurately identified two comments as spam out of almost 20,000 comments. Akismet is pretty much the only plugin used on every WordPress blog, and works for almost everyone although it is no longer free for business use.

There’s been reports over the last year or so of comments missing for some people, but I haven’t ever experienced this or heard from anyone I know of comments disappearing.

Although, extremely good Akismet won’t always solve all spam problems especially on sites with a lot of traffic. I usually recommend using a capatcha with Akismet.

What do you recommend or use?

WordPress – Auto Tweeting

A couple of visitors have asked me how I am automatically tweeting my post title to twitter: I’m of course using a plugin that required very little configuration and making sure that I always use Posts -> Add New because the quick post functionality doesn’t work. The plugin I’ve been using that has worked so far without a hitch is called Just Tweet That Shit.

I chose Just Tweet That Shit because it uses the oAuth API, doesn’t include features I don’t want to use, and it can properly shorten urls.Configuration took less than five minutes which was also extremely simple and to the point: the hardest point was actually getting a Twitter API Key.

Overall, I really only have two complaints with Just Tweet That Shit: I don’t like that it doesn’t auto tweet on scheduled posts, and that it doesn’t current auto tweet on quick posts. If you have found an auto tweeter that can auto tweet on scheduled posts and on quick posts I would love to hear.

Hope this helps!