Reducing spam on WordPress Blog

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This site was receiving hundreds of spam comments a day. They were not being approved, but it can become very annoying when trying to get to the genunine comments.

There are a few plugins out there which will help stop/reduce spam. I used SI Captcha For WordPress, which basically adds a spam captcha to comments. You can decide whether you want to set the capture code to easy or difficult.

The plugin worked well and from hundreds of spam comments a day, I now receive a couple.

If you are interested in the plugin it’s available for download at the WordPress Plugins site. Click here

You may also have thousands of pending spam comments, and deleting them all can be time consuming. Another plugin I use is delete pending comments, which allows you to delete all pending comments at once. The plugin is available for download from the WordPress Plugins site – click here

If you recommend any spam reducing plugins, please post a comment to let us know.

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How to Automatically update URLS within posts and pages when moving to a new WordPress Site

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When transferring a WordPress site from a test environment or to a new directory, it is vital that you have a plan of action to ensure the move goes as efficiently as possible. On many WordPress sites there will be various internal links to pages and images that will need to be edited. If you are transferring quite a large site this can be quite a complicated and time intensive activity.

Luckily there are various free plugins available to do this job for us! We’re going to make use of the Velvet Blues Update URLs plugin. This will search within all posts and pages and alter all links which are pointing to the wrong place.

Listed below are basic steps on how to install and make use of the plugin. Just follow these and your URLs will be changed to your new WordPress website.

  • From WordPress Dashboard navigate to the plugins page and click the add new button at the top of the page. Search for “Velvet Blues Update URLs” and install the plugin.
  • Once the plugin is installed click the link to activate the plugin.
  • Once activated you will now have a new link in your settings menu called update URLs. Click this link to open the plugin.
  • You will see 2 boxes at the bottom of the page titled old URL and new URL. Input your old URL – this is the URL where the site was previously located. i.e., if you were on your-old-domain.com and your moving to your-new-domain.com – then enter in your-old-doman.com (like in the screenshot below)
  • In the box labelled new URL, input your new URL – i.e., my-new-domain.com
  • Click Update URLs

That’s it!  Go to your browser, refresh your website, and check your pages and posts.  All of your links should now have been updated.  Remember though, it does not update hard-coded URLs in themes and widgets. You will still need to update these manually! But it still saved a great amount of time.

Guest post written by Helen Clough of Integral IT – a Leeds based IT Support  Company.

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5 Common WordPress Issues and Plugins to Correct Them

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1. Backing Up WordPress

So your blog hosting companies servers go down and your blog vanishes into thin air. How do you retrieve all the posts you’ve spent hours writing and all the comments your readers have left over the years?

Don’t think this is a 1 in a million chance, it actually happens more than you might imagine. But luckily, you need no server end knowledge, and the solution is not only simple, you can put it on autopilot. WP-DB-Backup is a wordpress plugin that backs up the entire wordpress MySQL database of tables that make up your blog. It also has the added feature of allowing you to schedule daily or weekly backups to be emailed to you. So if something does go wrong, you can simply restore it with minimum damage.

2. Page Load Time

It’s essential to keep your page load times as low as possible to ensure your visitors stay on your site. Not only that, it’s important for Search Engine Optimization as it’s a ranking signal to Google. WordPress can be quite slow, the answer – WP Super Cache. This is a caching plugin, it serves visitors static versions of frequently accessed pages, which decreases loading time as it no longer has to query the database thus enhancing user experience.

3. Redirecting Old URLS to new Ones

Perhaps you have a dated post, that is now obsolete, and you’ve written a much fresher one. You want to direct any traffic landing on that page to the newer version, and you’re not a dab hand with 301 redirecting using the .htaccess file. Luckily, the Redirection Plugin has the answer. It’s simple to use and makes monitoring 404 errors very easy.

4. Keeping Your Visitors On Your Site and Visiting Other Pages

A common problem is getting visitors to navigate through your site and read more of your content. The Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP) helps solve this. It automatically selects related posts that may be of interest to readers and displays them at the bottom of individual posts. Increasing the chance of further engagement with your site.

5. Letting Your Visitors Contact You

The easiest way to let your readers get in touch with you is obviously via email, or perhaps yet, via a contact form that can be displayed across your site, be it in the footer, the sidebar or on a standalone page. Contact Form 7 plugin allows this to be accomplished with ease

There are literally thousands of wordpress plugins available, these are just some of the most popular and useful ones to solve common problem.

Post written by Helen Clough from IT Support Company – Integral IT

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