WordPress .htaccess tips

October 8, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Controlling how URLs behave and who access your site rely on the .htaccess file, and while some of the things it can do have a comfortable interface inside WordPress, there’s so much more to explore. WP Shout goes from A to Z of those possibilities.

For example: if you need to stop spambots, try denying no-referrer requests with this code:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_METHOD} POST
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} .wp-comments-post\.php*
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !.*yourblog.com.* [OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} ^$
RewriteRule (.*) ^http://%{REMOTE_ADDR}/$ [R=301,L]

Need to study the somewhat cryptic .htaccess language further? Head over to Apache’s official documentation.

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Akismet on the State of Web Spam

April 27, 2010 | No Comments Yet

The Akismet blog posts a 9-point summary of their findings over the last 5 years they’ve spent combating web spam. It’s a fascinating peek into the different types of spam out there, which has established itself as a highly organized and thriving business in various parts of the world.

Abe Olandres of YugaTech speculates that the first point on the list about human-posted spam, which is reportedly rampant in Southeast Asia, may very well be coming from the Philippines:

They didn’t really mention the Philippines but we all know that among the countries in South-East Asia, the Philippines is the top English-speaking country.

Another interesting discussion is on trackbacks and pingbacks, which are prone to the most abuse by both spammers and unwitting but legitimate bloggers that it’s not a feature anymore, but a nuisance.

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Must-have plugins for every WordPress blog

April 2, 2010 | 1 Comment

BloggingPro compiles a list of 10 + 5 WordPress plugins every blog should have. It covers the basics from good ol’ Akismet to security, performance, and analytics plugins.

It doesn’t matter what the aim of your is blog, whether you set out to become the next person getting rich in only 4 hours per week, want to run the hottest dating column in town, aim to take Arrington’s crown or just want to blog for fun, if you chose for WordPress there are some basics your blog needs.

The shortlist:

  • A Solid Theme
  • Akismet
  • Google XML Sitemap
  • Align RSS Images
  • AntiVirus for WordPress
  • Subscribe to comments
  • WP Super Cache
  • WP.com stats
  • WP Twitip-ID
  • FeedBurner FeedSmith
  • The Excerpt Reloaded
  • WP Footnotes
  • Future Dashboard Widget
  • WP Table Reloaded

What’s on your must-have plugins list?

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Sharpen your commenting skills too!

March 15, 2010 | 1 Comment

So you’ve learned the ropes of blogging, both the publishing and maintenance sides to it. But how are you doing on the commenting front, or have you put no thought to the way you interact on other people’s blogs? Good thing Quick Online Tips can answer why you should be honing your commenting skills as part of your blogging regimen.

Thousands of blogs are waiting for you to read. Many excellent bloggers are posting great content every day. It is easy to subscribe to far too many blogs, skim the posts and leave nothing of value behind. It is doubtful, no it is ridiculous that you would subscribe to hundreds of paper magazines. Consider, if you had to pay for all your blog subscriptions. Would you do that? Far better to read a few, become involved and comment with purpose and quality..

The post also mentions some of the cardinal rules of commenting: add substance, don’t spam, take a deep breath before resorting to flaming. Bottom line: commenting isn’t quite as refined an art as crafting posts, but with more discussions on them that could change.

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Reporting spam and plagiarism on WordPress.com

September 3, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Jonathan Bailey has a helpful guest post at Lorelle on WordPress discussing how you can help rid the WordPress.com community of spam and copyright abuse.

It’s easy to see why spammers would want to get on WordPress.com, with a PageRank of 9, great SEO and a built-in community, it could be haven for junk content. Many do try but the admins have been surprisingly effective, for the most part, at keeping them at bay.

He explains how WordPress.com can help you take down blogs infringing on your copyright and are using the hosted blogging service to spam unsuspecting victims. This is important whether you’re a WordPress.com user or not; you may very well be a blogger whose posts were scraped and published on their servers.

Now the folks running WP.com keep a watchful eye whether or not you get to the spammers and scrapers first, but it pays to help out too. Visit the Complaints section of WordPress.com for more information.

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Google’s Matt Cutts praises WordPress for SEO

August 31, 2009 | 1 Comment

Take it from Matt Cutts, head of the Web Spam team at Google: WordPress is a “fantastic” choice for search engine optimization. That’s what he said at his talk at WordCamp San Francisco last May. Here’s the presentation video:

And here are the slides:

According to Matt, “WordPress takes care of 80-90% of (the mechanics of) SEO”. He goes on to explain PageRank calculation, and what you can do within WordPress to improve search engine ranking, from tweaking post permalinks (hyphens are best, followed by underscores; but no spaces are the worst) to securing your WP install (add .htaccess to your wp-admin folder and update often!).

(Via HowToMakeMyBlog)

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WordPress Plugin: Injection Attack Protector

July 1, 2009 | No Comments Yet

There are a lot of types of security breaches that threaten your WordPress blog, and spam/malware injection seems to be the most popular of the lot. Fortunately there’s a plugin that helps prevent that called the Injection Attack Protector. This script allows to you to scan your site for possible injection attacks and even a heal tool for the compromised files.

Make sure to follow the given instructions for the plugin to work properly. You’ll need to know how to create a password-protected folder on your site and edit certain files thru a text editor.

Download Injection Attack Protector

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Protect your WordPress blog with these plugins

June 17, 2009 | No Comments Yet

With WordPress 2.8 out, that means it’s upgrade season for us. That also means older, unupdated versions of WP more vulnerable to attacks. Keith Dsouza of Weblog Tools Collection has a list of recommended anti-spam and antivirus plugins to help improve security on your blog:

Anti-spam WordPress Plugins

  1. Akismet
  2. WP-SpamFree Anti-Spam
  3. WP-Hashcash
  4. WP reCAPTCHA
  5. Math Comment Spam Protection

Security WordPress Plugins

  1. WP Security Scan
  2. WordPress Exploit Scanner
  3. AskApache Password Protect
  4. TTC WordPress Security Tool
  5. Secure WordPress
  6. WordPress Firewall

Check out the blog post for details and download links to each of the plugins listed above. Got any more plugins you can recommend? You can never have enough!

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WordPress Plugin: Akismet 2.2.1 with Stats

October 21, 2008 | No Comments Yet

Our favorite spam-fighting plugin Akismet has a new version, now with statistics:

Spam most people know as the unwanted commercial comments on their blog, its counterpart we call ham to indicate legitimate comments. On the Akismet mistakes side, missed spam is pretty self-explanitory, but a false positive is what it’s called when we incorrectly identify a legitimate comment as spam. (Which hopefully happens exceedingly rarely.) Also, we’re sorry about the vegetarian thing.

All that spam and ham getting you hungry yet? To top it all off, there’s a “Yummy Pie” chart that summarizes your blog’s commenting history. You can find your Akismet Stats beside the link to your Dashboard.

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WordPress Comment Moderator for Adobe Air

September 1, 2008 | No Comments Yet

Daniel Dura presented a sneak peek of an Adobe Air application that lets you moderate comments on your blog:

WordPress Comment Moderator for Adobe Air by Daniel Dura

This screenshot is the application actually working. I have it running against a local version of a WordPress installation. It gives alerts when new comments are awaiting moderation, tells you how many comments are awaiting moderation in the dock menu, and allows you to approve comments, mark them as spam, or delete them.

This looks like a convenient way to keep track of comments from your own desktop. Since Adobe Air is cross-platform. It should work whether you’re a Windows, Mac, or Linux user.

Since this is just a preview, though, you can’t download it yet. Daniel says it will be out in a couple of weeks. Visit the blog post to leave your questions and suggestions.

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WordPress Plugins: TypePad AntiSpam for WordPress and WordPress.com Stats for Movable Type

June 4, 2008 | 1 Comment

WordPress and WordPress.com are Automattic products, while Movable Type and TypePad are SixApart products. These two companies are fierce competitors for the blogging platform crown, but here’s a surprise: you can actually use two of their plugins for the “opposing camp”.

TypePad AntiSpam

TypePad AntiSpam is SixApart’s answer to Automattic’s Akismet. It’s completely compatible with the latter, and like it you’ll need to register for an API key, also for free. Get started here.

WordPress.com Stats

WordPress.com Stats is an analytics program for self-hosted WordPress and WordPress.com users alike. Movable Type users can run this plugin as well, but they’ll also need a corresponding API key. Complete details found here.

It’s clear that these two companies are looking to expand their userbase not just with their blog software but with other projects in tow.

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Technorati’s Ultimatum: Upgrade WordPress to 2.5 Now or Your Blog Will NOT Be Indexed

April 8, 2008 | 7 Comments

Now this comes as a surprise. Technorati has actually given an ultimatum to vulnerable WordPress blogs, saying that unless they upgrade to the latest, most secure version, 2.5, they will not be indexed.

Blogs that have been compromised by this security vulnerability are typified by having links to spam destinations inserted onto the blog page. These link insertions may be invisible to casual observations; the links are often obscured by style attributes that render them invisible. These links are still seen by crawlers such as Technorati’s, Google’s and Yahoo’s.

Technorati also mentions that blogs hosted on WordPress.com should not have this vulnerability.

I know Filipino bloggers are big fans of Technorati, so here’s yet another reason for you to upgrade to WordPress 2.5. Don’t worry, it’s not scary at all!

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