WordPress comes with a very good set of moderation tools for you to use. One of the first things you need to think about when it comes to moderating your site, is what do you or your audience deem as acceptable language? Acceptable language is subjective and will depend on the target audience and theme of your site.
There are words that are generally unacceptable in day to day conversation and therefore, unless your site has a very adult theme, should be blocked. I’m not going to tell you what you should or shouldn’t allow but show you how to block what are generally unacceptable words, once you have done this you can then tweek your settings to suit your site.
To start any form of site moderation you need to go to the dashboard of your WordPress site and from the menu on the left hand side, select Settings and then discussion from the sub menu. Once you are in the discussion sub menu you will see a whole host of options available to you, for now we are going to concentrate on Comment Moderation which is the fifth heading in the list.
The first option within this section is Hold the comment in the queue if it contains  or more links
In here you can tell WP to hold a comment if it contains more than a set number of hyperlinks, the default value is 2 and I tend to leave this alone and deal with comments which have more than 2 hyperlinks in them on a case by case basis rather than picking the spam comments out of the site later. If you do want to change this then just click in the box next to the number 2, delete and replace it with your new value. Make sure you click SAVE CHANGES at the bottom of the page to apply your changes.
Your next option is the list of words which you personally would like to block. By default WP will look at all your comments and check them against a very effective set of spam filters for you but you now get the opportunity to ‘fine tune’ what does not make it to the site. As you will see on the screen grab the actuall wording for this section is:
When a comment contains any of these words in its content, name, URL, e-mail, or IP, it will be held in the moderation queue. One word or IP per line. It will match inside words, so “press” will match “WordPress”.
What this is telling you is you can block a comment because it has one of your ‘trigger’ words in it, whether that word is in the actual comment, the commentors name, E-mail address or webpage. But what it is also doing in a round about sort of way is giving you a bit of a warning It will match inside words, so “press” will match “WordPress” most generally unacceptable words don’t cause any problems unless you live in Scunthorpe and run a discussion site for people who like the swankiest wristwatches, but it is something to bear in mind when you are adding words to the list.
So what do you add in here? Well personally I add the words in the attached text file.
I make no apologies for the list, better to see them here once than be chasing them around your site later 🙂 When you add words to this section make sure you add each one on a new line so that WP can identify them when it is running the checks.
As well as unacceptable words you can also add web addresses in here, for example if you wanted to stop people from posting links to You Tube videos in the comments you could add http://www.youtube.com/ on a new line, this would then hold every comment which had a link to you tube in it, so you could check the link before you published the comment.
You can also block any comments from anyone who uses a certain E-mail address by adding the address to a new line. This does have its uses but they are limited. You can stop anyone posting from a particular IP address by adding that in to the filters, this can be dangerous and can backfire, for example if you have 2 people posting from the same PC and you block that IP address neither of them will be able to post! If you have a lot of visitors and commentors from within an organisation then you could end up stopping all of them from commenting! So unless you know what you are doing and have good reason to I advise that you don’t block IP addresses.
Of course anything you do in this section can be undone by simply deleting the word, URL, E-mail address from the list.
Away from Talk About Local I take photos, fly my quadcopter and walk my two Beagles.
If I'm not doing any of the above then you'll find me volunteering at my local RNLI station as a press officer.