Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Coolcats Creative

We have a new columnist for Writers in the Sky (WITS) Newsletter. Since many of us are writers who are technically challenged when it comes to the mechanical operation of our blogs and Web sites, I’ve asked Jerry McEwen of Coolcats to answer one question each month posed by a subscriber to WITS newsletter. If you have a technology question you would like answered, please send it to Jerry’s answer will appear in next month’s issue.

WITS Question:

Dear Coolcats, my blog is on my website and I've started to get these weird links coming in. Some are just nothing links to nothing sites....robo-sites or something...another one looks quite normal and then turns into a porno site in its links....I have you know anyway to block these? I'm thinking others must have a similar problem and maybe among your net someone might know and it might be worth sharing. Thanks for listening.

Hello, I'm sorry to hear about your problem.

If you require approval on all comments before they are posted, this will immediately solve the problem of spam appearing on your blog.

To do this, login to your blog and go to OPTIONS > DISCUSSION. The third option is this:

"Before a comment appears: An administrator must always approve the comment."
What if you are already doing that, but you still have a bazillion comments to approve or disapprove and most of them are spam? Or, what if you want anyone to be able to comment without your approval? In the latter case, you could be less drastic and choose the option before that one:

"E-mail me whenever: Anyone posts a comment"
Also, be sure you are running the latest stable (not Beta) version of WordPress. Login to your blog, go to the Dashboard and look to see if there is a message such as this:

“A new version of WordPress is available! Please update now.”

If you see this message, I would download the upgrade, but be sure to read and follow the upgrade instructions. And no matter what the WordPress site tells you, back up your database before you upgrade! No matter how foolproof the upgrade should be, there is always a small chance that things could go horribly wrong, so back up your database!

Last but not least, there are many plugins available for WordPress, some wonderful and some problematic. I would look at spam solutions at and also sign up at the forums ( to read what others have found that works.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!

Coolcats Creative

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