WordPress: Updatin’ the bloggin’

Yeah, it’s been a few months since I’ve posted much here. Work and life have a tendency to catch up with you. No more boring exposition here, just trying to pick up the pace again…

As a kickstart, I updated WordPress to the fancy new version 2.5. The admin interface is much better on the eyes and the controls are familiar enough that I can’t figure out if something is different, or I just haven’t been using this as much. The upgrade process was as easy as it ever was, just copying in the new files and hitting the upgrade page. I did a database switch at the same time, since my host had a new server available and was recommending it. That was easier than expected and felt like a glimpse back at the stuff I used to know better.

And then there’s WordPress and comment spam… I’ve still never found or trusted the right system for this. I went for the praised Spam Karma way back when, but had trouble configuring it and found that it wasn’t deleting comment spam, but just flagging it in the database and keeping it off the site. I may not have dug enough to find the right answer, but gave up and went back to moderation by default.

Now, WordPress 2.5 has Akismet by default which seems like a blessing. Somewhere between trying to clean out my latest batch of comment spam in the newly designed WordPress menus, and trying out the new Akismet features, I inadvertently deleted a couple new comments that I intended to have stick around. Controls and workflow for flagging and deleting comment spam was just different enough from what I’d been used to that I probably missed a step. Anyways, apologies to my recent commenters.

I think the best spam solution really is a simple captcha or “type: I am human” validation. Low barrier for the end user, low maintenance for the admin. I’ll try that next.

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