If you use WordPress, you probably already know about Akismet.
Akismet is a plugin that looks after spam comments. By far, it is the most effective spam plugin that I’ve used for WordPress. It learns as it goes and looks after by far most of the nasty stuff before it even hits your system. This is a great thing when you are working with kids.
Teaching kids to look after their accounts is a basic working – online – hygiene issue that I believe needs to be actively taught. But this doesn’t mean that they need to be wading through dozens of vi@gra spam. I always get the kids who set up blogs in my classroom to make an account at Akismet. Free and simple, it is usually a step that I take right away. But with running my own network in my classroom this posed a different problem. Does every student need to set up an Akismet account for their own blogs?
A simple google search solved my problem.
As the network administrator, I simply needed to do a bit of editing of the code of the plugin and the plugin runs for everyone on the network, with no option to turn it off.
Once you’ve downloaded the Akismet plugin for your site, simply go to the akismet site and set up a free account to get your key. Your key is just a series of numbers and letters like any password.
Once you’ve got this done simply go to the menu that shows your installed plugins and then choose the option to edit the code.
Once here, edit the file called akismet.php
This will let you into the code of the plugin itself. This is the part that often scares people off, but it really doesn’t need to.
In the next step, all you need to do is scroll down through the code and add your key, hardwiring it right in to the network. Like any plugin, the beginning of the code is simply preamble, explanation and notes for the hardcore coders. Not too far into this, you will find a code that looks like this:
All you simply need to do is to take that code out and paste in its place your Akismet key. There should be three instances fairly close together that you need to edit.
Once you have done this, simply save the changes you have made to your code and the plugin should be active on every blog running on your network.
There will still be a simple menu which lists a few options for your blogger, but overall, the plugin should protect your entire network from spam comments.
A pretty simple fix.