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After you’ve blogged for awhile, you realize there’s more to blogging than just writing.

There’s behind the scenes maintenance; a task some of us would rather forget about.

Today’s Lesson

Over the past few weeks, I learned two great lessons.

  1. If my blogs load slow, chances are, I haven’t done my homework.
  2. If I don’t empty out my spam folder, I may be in violation of the terms of service for my web host.

When I first noticed my blogs were loading slow, I blamed it on my old computer. Then I thought it was Firefox. But after I tested my blog speed on WebSiteOptimization.com and YSlow (a Firefox addon), I found

  1. I had too many images on my home page.
  2. I had images which were not compressed.
  3. I wasn’t utilizing my caching plugin to it’s fullest potential

To correct the above problems,

  1. I removed a few of the images from my home page.
  2. I installed the “Smush It” plugin – which compresses photos.
  3. I chose more options for the WP Super Cache plugin.
  4. I also made a note to myself: when I make changes to my blogs, test the blog page loading time.

With regard to my second problem, my web host (BlueHost) sent me an email stating my account had been deactivated. They requested a call from me to discuss the problem(s). When I called them, they stated I had “inappropriate” content in my spam comments folder and I was in violation of their terms of service, which reads, in part:

Prohibited Offerings. No Subscriber may utilize the Services to provide, sell or offer to sell the following: controlled substances; illegal drugs and drug contraband; weapons; pirated materials; instructions on making, assembling or obtaining illegal goods or weapons to attack others; information used to violate the copyright(s) of, violate the trademark(s) of or to destroy others’ intellectual property or information; information used to illegally harm any people or animals; pornography, nudity, sexual products, programs or services; escort services or other content deemed adult related.

Profanity. Profanity or profane subject matter in the site content and in the domain name are prohibited.

Because I wasn’t able to access the back side of my blog (dashboard), the technician (patiently) gave me instructions on how to delete the spam comments via my cPanel. When I was done, I was instructed to call them back, which I did and they immediately reactivated my blogs.

This problem taught me two lessons:

  1. Read the terms of service for your webhost
  2. Empty your spam folder(s) on a regular basis

In order to avoid having the same problem in the future, I

  1. Installed the G.A.S.P. plugin which verifies those who comment are not spammers or spambots, thus reducing spam.
  2. Delete any spam comments which do come through.

As much as we’d rather spend our blogging time writing or commenting, in order for our blogs to run smoothly, regular maintenance needs to be performed, too.

What say you?

Today’s Assignment

How often do you do maintenance to your blog(s)?

When’s the last time you tested your blog’s loading time?

Care to share?

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P.S. All of my blogs have been hosted with BlueHost* since March 2007. The problem I had resulted from me not reading their terms of service and not deleting the inappropriate spam comments.

*Affiliate link

For the new blogger, receiving a comment can be a memorable experience. We feel validated. We’re excited our blog got found.

Unfortunately, some of those comments which make us so happy, can be spam.

In the past, spam comments were easy to spot. They were usually comments filled with links to pharmaceutical drugs or sexual topics, or comments which didn’t apply to our blog topic.

Over the years the spammers must have realized that technique wasn’t working so they’re now playing on our ego; leaving positive comments that look authentic, however the words they choose could apply to any blog or blogger; copied and pasted throughout the blogosphere.

Their hope is to build their sites by receiving more backlinks and rank higher with the search engines and as far as our blog is concerned, they’re only using it as a vehicle to benefit themselves.

Bloggers who treasure comments can have a hard time differentiating between what is a real comment and what’s not.

Today’s Lesson

Since this blog gets thousands of spam comments, I thought I’d share a wide sampling of spam comments which have landed and stayed in my spam folder. (Feel free to skim through the spam comments. 🙂 )

The words are nice, but the sites they link to are spam.

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So there you have it, comments which look real. but are instead, spam.

Today’s Assignment

Are you seeing a difference in the types of spam comments you’re receiving?

Are you tempted to approve these “positive” comments?

Care to share?

signature for blog post

Don’t you love getting comments on your blog? I know I do.

Unfortunately when I last checked, my spam comments outnumbered my real comments by almost three to one (Akismet has caught 14,628 spam comments thus far)

Today’s Lesson

When I first started blogging, I would have welcomed some of these comments.

Here’s a sampling of what Akismet recently caught. They actually sound promising, don’t they?

Thanks for allowing me to comment. I normally don\’t leave them, but I really like what you had to say. This is important stuff!

I didnt find the subscribe button….where can i subscribe? 🙂 🙂

You have excellent analysis. thanks for writting

I\’m pleased that i found this blog today, its a wonderful resource and i will make sure to show to my wife when i get home !

The site’s very professional! Keep up the good work!

Regards to administration of bloggingwithoutablog.com – you made a excellent site in the Internet!
I was able made only several pages of blog
I hope this it is the best topic for my post. If there is no forgive for disturbance please.
several pages of my small blog :

This commenter went on to share links to their X rated posts. No thanks!

Some spammy sites are misleading. I recently had one that was a one page blog. At the bottom of the post was a sentence that said something like, “For serious marketers, click here for additional information”. It was a link to a full page ad. THAT was the extent of the site.

If a comment adds value to a post, I will often approve it even though it links to an “advertising” site. For those, it’s on a case by case basis.

When editing comments, remember, it’s YOUR blog, it’s YOUR call. Delete those you don’t want to be affiliated with.

Today’s Assignment

How are you handling comments that link to advertising or spammy looking sites?

Have you noticed how spammers are getting more creative?


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