Comment Management Solutions for WordPress

Who doesn’t love Spam? We’ve consumed cans and cans of this comfort food and we never get tired of it. Unfortunately, spam has become synonymous with what the internet hates the most – especially by bloggers. Too much of it is just pretty hard to ignore.

Comments – Love ’em. Hate ’em.

Admit it. When you started out blogging, you would check your blog everyday to see if someone left you a comment on your post. AND, you were absolutely thrilled when someone actually did. Never mind that it wasn’t from some popular blogger or someone famous. Someone left a comment. Hooray!

Soon after, someone left another comment. And another comment. And another comment. And another comment – this time with a link. More comments. More links. And pretty soon, your dashboard is exploding with millions of comments and links that have nothing to do with your blog post. “Hello world.” just turned into “Hello spam.” Now, you’ve probably realized that more doesn’t exactly mean great. What to do?

Approve. Reply. Delete. Trash.

WordPress has a built-in system that can handle all the basic comment management requirements necessary like approving, replying, deleting, or trashing comments. However, the native WordPress system, albeit simple and easy to use, has its limitations and the more savvy users need more than just the basics. Features like social media integration, media support, public user profiles, or better spam filtering options cause people to turn their heads to third-party solutions especially when comments flood the back end and become challenging to monitor and manage.

Ban-The-Spam Solutions

Why ban the spam? Spam is a global problem and often WordPress comments are the place when bots try to enter bogus content full of links to their sites. Here are some of the blog comment systems and/or plugins you can use on your websites to help you manage those annoying spam comments.

  • WordPress Default Comment System – built-in comment management system that’s simple and easy to use but needs supplemental plugins to ban spam effectively.
    Cost: FREE
  • Akismet – It is an external service for battling spam with a database of known emails, IP addresses, and usernames used for sending spam. This advanced hosted anti-spam service efficiently processes and analyzes masses of data from millions of sites and communities in real time. When a visitor submits a comment, it is checked by Akismet and put in a special Spam folder to be managed by the website admin later on.
    Cost: FREE (Personal, Non-commercial sites/blogs)
    • $5-$50 (For commercial, business, and professional sites / For publishing networks, agencies, hosts, and universities)
  • Disqus – Disqus, Inc. is a blog comment hosting service for web sites and online communities that uses a networked platform. The company’s platform includes various features, such as social integration, social networking, user profiles, spam and moderation tools, analytics, email notifications, and mobile commenting. Features a powerful moderation dashboard and all the filters you’d expect: blacklists, whitelists, spam controls, and word filters.
    Cost: FREE (core version)
  • Livefyre – Livefyre Comments 3 is a comment platform for real-time conversations. Important features include real-time user generated content-publishing, mobile device-friendly, real-time profanity filters that administrators can moderate and flag comments from directly within the stream, or block by IP address and Web Browser, social media and multi media support.
    Cost: FREE (basic version)

Other practical tips to manage spam:

  • Control which comments are automatically published and which ones need to be moderated. WordPress has a built-in provision for this.
  • Tag comments that have more than one link to be manually approved.
  • Create a blacklist and/or white list of frequent commenters.
  • Disable comments on older posts and pages.
  • Install tried and tested WordPress plugins or 3rd-party plugins to beef up your comment management system.
  • Wipe out your spam folder regularly.

WordPress and Cloud Storage Apps – How Safe is Your Data?

Up, Up, and Away!

We somehow have this picture in our minds that all the stuff we upload online is somehow floating over our heads, whisked way, way up into cyberspace. But what do we know about Cloud Storage and what really happens to all the files we upload? Maybe some people can probably relate to this old song about clouds by Joni Mitchell.

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It’s cloud’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all

Is Cloud Storage all that it promises to be? Convenience, accessibility, tons of file space. Is it possible that this nice, fluffy, feel good Cloud could go wrong and cause seemingly irreparable damage to its users? Case in point, the recent celebrity photo hacks, Dropbox, iCloud, Snapchat, etc. Is Cloud Storage really safe to use?

Of Dropbox, Copy, Box, and other Cloud Storage Apps

Cloud storage service is an amazing innovation, which allows you to upload, store and share images, videos, and other type of content online. How does it work?

Cloud storage is a model of data storage where the digital data is stored in logical pools, the physical storage spans multiple servers (and often locations), and the physical environment is typically owned and managed by a hosting company. These cloud storage providers are responsible for keeping the data available and accessible, and the physical environment protected and running. People and organizations buy or lease storage capacity from the providers to store end user, organization, or application data.

Cloud storage services may be accessed through a co-located cloud compute service, a web service application programming interface (API) or by applications that utilize the API, such as cloud desktop storage, a cloud storage gateway or Web-based content management systems. (source: Wikipedia)

Ok. That’s a mouthful. In other words, Cloud Storage “refers to saving data to an off-site storage system maintained by a third party. Instead of storing information to your computer’s hard drive or other local storage device, you save it to a remote database. The Internet provides the connection between your computer and the database.”

Hacker Proof Cloud Storage

Does it exist? Probably not. Just like secrets, keeping digital information from getting into mischievous hands is like pinky swearing. There is no fool-proof way. Ever tried to format, erase or delete photos from your memory card or your hard drive? Guess what. They still live there, way below the recesses of your storage device and can still be extracted using recovery software. Yup, even after you’ve formatted or reformatted (quick reformat and not full format) And that’s just local storage. Still very much within the scope of your control. But what about cyber storage? Does this mean that you shouldn’t use Cloud Storage at all?

Secure Your Online Data

People are paranoid about large-scale theft of personal information. Unknowingly, they post more than just the usual profile information required when joining a social or public website. (Check out this amazing mind reader.) Their entire lives are posted blow by blow on social media – voluntarily. But the operative word here is – voluntarily. Quite the opposite of theft, where someone takes away from someone against his or her will or permission.

There will always be risks. Whether online or offline. Once anything is uploaded and publicly shared, the risks should have been supposedly counted already. It can be stolen, shared without permission, downloaded, altered, wrongfully claimed, disputed, etc. It’s a reality. Of course, the expectations change when information is shared with restrictions.

People need to be fully aware of what they are sharing, to whom they are sharing it with, and where (websites, online storage, etc.) they share, post, or upload. Make sure to read and understand (someone said this is the biggest lie online) the terms of use of websites and note if there are any third party clauses that allow these websites to share, sell, or pool personal information to their suppliers or sponsors.

Use a strong password and don’t repeat the same password in different places. Consider a password manager. Use the two-step verification or two factor verification option if a website provides one. Do manual backup instead of automated backups. It doesn’t hurt to create your own self-policing practices to ensure that your rights to privacy or ownership rights are not violated.

An Easy Way To Find Free WordPress Themes

Did you every go through hundreds of google page results in the search for a fitting WordPress theme and got frustrated that there is no place where you can find hundreds of themes at one glimpse and just find what you’re looking for without wasting time?


We’ve come across a site that is exactly filling this niche and makes it easy to filter and browse through themes and download them with one click.

Themes Town is a project that basically is providing you with an overview of hundreds of free WordPress themes you can demo and if you like them download all on one single site. If you want to narrow your results down you can use the multi select filter to find exactly what you need. If you only want to find responsive themes no problem! Simply filter by “Responsive” or if you would like to know which ones are the most popular themes you can see a list of how many times a certain theme got downloaded.

Download 177 WordPress Themes For Free Now!

Searchable, Crawlable, Optimized Content – The SEO Fix You Are Looking For?

Website owners are constantly looking for that one SEO formula or template that will assure them of that coveted top spot on the search engine pages. Many webmasters have retracted from their black hat ways and are cleaning up their acts – deleting link building campaigns, url redirects, keyword stuffing, etc. – and are turning to more Google-friendly methods to avoid being penalized. One of the many SEO strategies that people are investing in is CONTENT – good, relevant, easily crawlable content. But is it THE magic SEO formula that people are looking for?

Imagine ordering a decadent looking 3-tier specialty cake baked by Cake Boss Buddy Valastro himself – intricately designed and made with absolutely the finest ingredients. It’s got everything in it to definitely make it a conversation piece among the guests. But, what if someone forgets to display this wonderfully made cake and it stays in the kitchen where no one gets to see it except the kitchen staff. No doubt it’s a wonderful and probably the best tasting cake your guests will ever taste but unless they see it, admire it, slice it, taste it – they will never know what they are missing. Same thing goes with your wonderful, relevant, crawlable, well-written content. Out of sight, out of mind.

But hey, you can have your cake and probably eat it too if you take a wholistic approach to SEO. Yes, by all means, go ahead and build relevant, optimized, searchable great content. But don’t stop there. Make sure that you get it out there and give your audience a taste of it. Get people engaged enough to share it, link to it, and make them want to come back for more. Use and maximize social media. Add that tested and reliable SEO plugin. Market your brand. Plan your public relations campaign. Grow your audience. Junk those outdated SEO concepts. Analyze and study your statistics. Realize that it’s not a one-time event but it’s something that needs to be maintained constantly. SEO is not a one-template fits all type of thing. It is anything and everything that contributes to your website’s visibility and helps you land on that top page in the SERPS.

For more on this topic, check out this helpful article on

Wearable Technology and Its Impact on WordPress

Believe it or not, wearable technology has been around longer than you think. Think about all those old James Bond movies, the Mission Impossible series, or the Get Smart series. We all marveled at those nifty gadgets – pens that become bomb detonators, shoes that turn into phones, virtual reality or augmented reality gadgets, etc. The novelty of ordinary items turning into high tech gadgets that do more than what is expected of them is always a crowd drawer. And if they are all that they claim to be you’ll probably want one too.

But not all wearable technology survive the acid test of customer approval. In the past, some have, although a lot more turned out to be duds that have long faded away. Hence, the wary and lukewarm response to these types of products. That is until recently. Times are changing. Technology is way better than it ever was. People are more interested in wearable technology today more than ever. Companies are putting out wearable gadgets focusing on health and lifestyle, content, and even education.

Google Glass, Apple Watch, Pebble, OpenGo, etc. – Is Wearable Tech The New Frontier?

It’s daring. It’s risky. It’s experimental. But that’s what trailblazers are made of. You’ll never know if you don’t dare. Wearable tech is interesting but it’s still early stages. People are definitely interested but not necessarily buying, yet. However, if we are to consider the future of the “internet of things”, it’s just a matter of time before people get warmed up to it.

On Wearables — According to analysts at ABI Research, over the next five years businesses will integrate into their wellness plans more than 13 million wearable devices with embedded wireless connectivity. Wearable tech also ties into the rapidly evolving Internet of Things (IoT), which refers to a future world where all types of electronic devices link to each other via the Internet. Today, it’s estimated there are nearly 10 billion devices in the world connected to the Internet, a figure expected to triple to nearly 30 billion devices by 2020. The inherent versatility of Atmel’s microcontrollers and radio chips have made our silicon a favorite of Makers and engineers . Atmel is right in the middle of the wearable tech revolution, with a comprehensive portfolio of versatile microcontrollers (MCUs) that power a wide range of platforms and devices.

source: Atmel and the Internet of Things

Wearable WordPress?

Did you know that there are WordPress plugins that allow you to publish using Google Glass? True! Who would have thought that you could manage your content using a pair of glasses? But it does exist. You can actually take a picture or a video using Google Glass and upload it on your WordPress site straight away. Some notable Google Glass WordPress tools, apps, and plugins include:

  • wpForGlass is the first plugin that allows you to post to your WordPress blog from Google Glass.
  • Umano for Google Glass allows you to read your posts from your favorite sources to you. You can also get in touch with Umano to have your content included on Glass.

The recent release of the Apple Watch received mixed responses. Nevertheless, for a company like Apple to invest in such a product means that they will provide the support and infrastructure to make it succeed. How it will affect the way content providers and publishers (WordPress users included) deliver to their audiences remains to be seen. It is however, worth taking note of.

As in the early stages of Cloud Computing and everything being stored “above our heads”, so is wearable tech at this point. Developers need to be able to show consumers how they can integrate daily activities seamlessly using these wearable gadgets. The novelty is good for a while. It is, however, the long-term benefits of these gadgets that will determine whether it will once more get buried in the gadget graveyard.

WordPress-Friendly Ghost Themes

Ghost started out as a Kickstarter project by John Nolan with the goal of creating

… a blogging platform with all the open source benefits of WordPress, but simpler in every way, and just focused on publishing. Ghost is unique in its philosophy of focusing entirely on publishing. Everything about the administrative system is designed around making writing simple and pleasurable. Everything about the theme system has been created to facilitate personal blog, magazine, and news themes.

The biggest difference between Ghost and other platforms from a technological point of view is that it’s built entirely in JavaScript. A modern technology stack means that Ghost can push the boundaries of what’s possible with the web. You can install and run a blog on a 16MB USB stick, a Raspberry Pi, or a high powered Virtual Private Server.

Although this new ecosystem is fairly new compared to WordPress and may not appeal to everyone’s liking, there have been several beautiful and interesting themes that have been released with a WordPress version counterpart. Here are a few of these Ghost-inspired WordPress themes that you can check out.


Casper WP theme, is essentially a port of the gorgeous default theme from the Ghost blogging platform built using Underscores as a base. It is a clean, minimalist, and lightweight theme that’s designed to highlight content without the unnecessary frills. Author, Lacy Morrow, gives a short demonstration of the theme’s features with a blog post that was written in Markdown (the language used by Ghost)and uses the Jetpack Markdown plugin for parsing. Other WordPress features are also integrated into the theme.


RAIN is one of the best selling Ghost themes on ThemeForest and also has a responsive WordPress theme counterpart. This minimalist WordPress “Ghost” theme has a background that is 100% dynamic where you can imply upload your own photo and it also includes audio files in the package free of charge. This theme is designed primarily for writers.


Astro is a content focused responsive theme, originally a Ghost designed theme, built for the WordPress platform. Designed from the bottom up to be high performance, user friendly, and accessible on all devices. Astro adapts to the users viewport, so it looks great on smartphones, tablets, TVs, and even the latest 4K monitors. Astro includes two different post styles. The standard style is designed for update posts and short articles. The featured style includes full title images, suited towards larger articles, tutorials and other documentation.

Not Your Usual WordPress SEO Plugins To Try

WordPress as a Content Management System, in itself, is already a good platform for SEO goals because of the way it is structured. But you can always make a good thing better if you want to. Check out these fresh SEO plugins that you might not have heard of but might help make your SEO efforts yield even better results.

Premium SEO Pack for WP

This plugin in gives you a whole array of tools to help you optimize your site’s visibility in internet searches. The plugin includes monitoring tools like Google Analytics, SERP tracking, On-Page and Off-Page optimization tools, the premium Mass Optimization feature that allows you to optimize all your posts and pages at once. Another cool on page feature is Local SEO. This allows you to rank your pages based on the geographic locale. Other noteworthy on page features are: title & meta format, sitemap, SEO slug optimizer, SEO feature optimizer and google authorship. The SEO pack also includes Link Builders, Backlink Builder, Social Stats, Page Speed Insights, Smush It, and also an SEO code insert feature.

WordPress SEO Post-Optimizer

WordPress SEO Post-Optimizer plugin assists you in optimizing page rank posts. This plugin checks your posts againsts SEO criteria, checks for keyword density (the right amount of keywords in a post), and autochecks for the SEO score of your post every 15 seconds. The SEO scores are expressed in percentage. A real time check on the amount of words is also done in recognition of the fact that search engines usually prefer content with more than 300 words. The plugin also checks if the post has images or not and also if there are links to older posts on your blog to improve your internal content structure. The Post Optimizer plugin also checks for internal links, the usage of h-tags and alt-tags, and bold, italicized, or underlined keywords in your post.


Rankie is a WordPress Rank Checker plugin that helps you keep track of WordPress rankings on Google keeping a close eye on each keyword position. The plugin allows you to track an unlimited number of keywords on Google and keeps updating these ranks daily. You can also check out ranking trends per week, month or all time. The plugin is also a great keyword research tool that helps you generate keyword lists by suggesting possible alternatives to keywords of interest. You can track unlimited number of keywords ranking on Google and keep updating these ranks daily as it works as a WordPress SERP plugin, generate ranking reports per month, per year or by all time letting you know how ranking is going up or down with details on every single position change for each tracked keyword, including many other helpful tracking functions.

Ultimate Video SEO Plugin

Ultimate Video SEO Plugin is an advanced stand alone plugin for WordPress which covers all aspects of Video SEO. It automatically fetches video SEO details from videos of all major video hosting providers and submit it to a video sitemap. What can it do? It supports self hosted videos in all WordPress supported video formats. It notifies search engines whenever a sitemap is updated or generated. It supports video embedded through shortcode or metabox (created by third party plugins or theme). It supports self hosted videos embedded using default WordPress media gallery. It adds video object markup to all your video posts/pages. It shows snippet preview of video search results within your post editor.

Meta Tags Optimization

Meta Tags are keywords used by search engines to find useful information. A lot of times the title and nature of the content may not be associated with the right meta tags. The Meta Tags Optimization plugin advices the admin whether the page is optimized correctly, by highlighting with green and red colors the Meta Tags that are found on the page. While the plugin will not tell us what tags to add or eliminate, it will highlight with red the incorrect inputs. This plugin gives useful information to the writer by highlighting meta tags on the page that may not be the best suited for the content. This plugin also lets you optimize meta tags for posts/pages by providing you clear instruction to repair your meta tags.

Top Themes Featured on Theme Forest

Every week, Themeforest features promising WordPress themes that are worth noticing. Here are some of the latest themes that have been featured on Themeforest you need to see. Check these out.

Forgiven – A Powerful WordPress Theme for Churches

Forgiven Premium WordPress Theme is a powerful parallax enabled church theme that includes major features such as: Visual Composer plugin, Slider Revolution, Envira Gallery, the unique and exclusive Blur Slider, support for Church Theme Content, WooCommerce support, Page customizer, Gravity Forms and Contact Form 7 support, Sermon functionality, The Events Calendar and the Events Calendar Pro plugin integration and support, and so much more.

FlatAds – Classified AdsWordPress Theme

FlatAds Classified Ads WordPress Theme is a super flexible and fully responsive Premium Directory/Listing WordPress themebuilt with HTML5 and CSS3. FlatAds is compatible with WooCommerce 2.1, bbPress, and MailChimp for WP plugin. Other key features include custom fields for categories and subcategories, interactive Google maps Geolocation support, integrated PayPal payments support, and WPML (multilingual) support.

Faculty – Responsive Academic WordPress Theme

Faculty Responsive Academic WordPress Theme is a magazine or personal blog styled page that can be used to build personal or professional websites specifically for academic people. This simple and yet well structured responsive theme is especially designed as an online cv of professors and PHD students. Key features include publications management, option to present research, teaching and blog pages, and provision for downloadable CVs for interested visitors.

KLEO – Next level Premium WordPress Theme

KLEO – Next level Premium WordPress Theme is an extremely flexible, fully customizable BuddyPress and bbPress compatible WordPress multipurpose theme to help you create a community, a corporate portfolio, or a membership website. This membership ready theme allows you to create membership levels and restrict content based on member access quite easily. key features include: WPML and Translation Ready, WooCommerce Ready, Google Maps integration, Contact Form 7 compatible, among others.

Time Travel – Timeline WordPress Theme

Time Travel – Timeline WordPress Theme is an ultra modern next generation premium theme developed with cutting edge technology and design. The built-in voice control makes it both revolutionary and at the same time super intuitive to use. You can set up your own language to be used in the voice commands control, so it is as easy as possible for your visitors. The design of the site is a 3D time travel path, ideal for displaying chronology data, posts flow by date, history info or just any type of timeline content in a modern and futuristic way.

It is ideal as a blog, a portfolio site, a corporate site aiming to display the history of company or brand, an artist’s portfolio to display albums / films / books in a chronological way, an agency website to showreel projects and team by date, etc.

Hooray – Premium WordPress Blog Theme

Hooray Premium WordPress Blog Theme is one of the most colorful and user friendly personal blog themes. Key features include: easy to use powerful Admin Panel, full Arabic RTL support, social counter integration, translation and multi language ready, page templates, review and rating system, unlimited colors and sidebars, and so much more.

Moustachey: A Blog theme with extra gusto

Moustachey Premium WordPress Theme is a fun, quirky WordPress blog theme playing on the moustache design. Key features include: Author support, social share enabled, typekit web fonts integration, adobe edge web fonts integration, Google analytics support, Google API v3 integration, configurable donate/message block at the top of the page, localization support, and so much more.

What Features Do Most Commercial WordPress Themes Have in Common?

WordPress users enjoy many benefits not necessarily available in other content management systems. The plethora of high quality WordPress themes that users can choose from is more than enough to dress up any website. Whatever type of website you plan to put up, most likely, there is a WordPress theme for it. Here are some of the most common features present in some of the most popular WordPress themes in the market today.

A Great Slider

An effective theme must help create a steady following for your site. It must be able to captivate casual visitors and convert theme into followers that eventually become clients and customers. A slideshow is a great tool that can deliver quick, dramatic visual impact combining the use of images with taglines, spiels, or memes to hook visitor interest. This billboard-like effect gives casual visitors something to spark their curiosity and encourage them to examine and explore your site further. The short attention span this generation has, a slider is an indispensable feature for any website. Popular plugins like Slider Revolution, Layer Slider, Nivo Slider, and Flexslider make the job a whole lot easier.

Parallax and Animation

Once you’ve gotten the attention of visitors, the challenge shifts towards keeping their interest. Perhaps you’ve attended lectures were you came in with excitement about what you could learn only to be disappointed by a boring, uncharismatic instructor whose droning voice put you to sleep. This is analogous to going through great content in boring or even hard to read content. This actually narrows your followers to those who are actually already sold to your content. If your goal is to convert more people to your product or service, the presentation of your content has to facilitate easy reading and assimilation of information. Corporate presentations are often more effective when stats are represented as animated charts and bullets. These actually help executives focus on the items that need to be considered. Having animated bullets and content sections also give focus on items you want your visitors to remember.

Flexible Layout with Drag and Drop Capability

Presenting your content is important in developing your following. While animation helps your audience focus on key points of your content, a sound content structure is still required for visitors to make sense of your site as a whole. Being able to piece together key points into a cohesive body of knowledge will drive home a stronger message to your visitors that will keep them coming for more. To do this, your content has to be organized in such a way that visitors go through important sections in a natural, stress free manner. The natural flow of content will vary according to your audience. Recognizing this, themes that have been designed and devised to respond to the needs of various audiences will bring a higher conversion in terms of subscribers and followers. A lot of themes now include drag and drop page builder features allowing you to assemble your own pages from scratch. Some themes come with ready made layouts for almost any type of site which can be tweaked to meet specific audience needs. Most, if not all, of these themes have powerful options panels and shortcode generators for maximum customization flexibility.

Mobile Friendly

Mobile is a platform that cannot be ignored. Mobile gadgets are part of today’s lifestyle because of the convenience it provides its users. As such, theme designers and developers are forced to confront the peculiarities one encounters when using a mobile device. A theme has to be responsive. This means it has to be able to adjust to give the best possible display regardless of what device you use to browse your site. Theme pages need to have the capability to reorder and resize according to tablet and smartphone displays without sacrificing the beauty of the theme on desktop. In addition to this, special navigation menus for mobile devices must be able to facilitate the interface differences on these devices from desktop. Usually, the Bootstrap framework is a theme author’s go to option to ensure optimal performance on mobile platforms.

Good SEO

No matter how great your site is in terms of content or aesthetics, it must be found by your target audience. Great themes are coded in such away that is friendly to search engines to help land your site on the first few pages of search results. This is accomplished in a number of ways: meta and links, XML sitemaps, RSS Optimization, and Breadcrumb among others. There are numerous options to ensure your site is covered by good SEO measures. Clean code, SEO optimized images and videos, and installing reliable and tested SEO plugins like SEO by Yoast, etc. are some of the many SEO practices you can integrate on your site.