Akismet is an incredible spam preventer for WordPress sites. I’d say it does 95% of the work for us. A few issues though make me want to augment it with other tools:
Some spam still slips through
It doesn’t prevent spam that seems easy to block
There are false-positives, so spam still needs to be checked
#1 is no big deal, we can nuke the slips pretty easily. We even have WordPress comment settings such that all comments need to be manually approved these days, so those that slip through need to be moderated anyway, so never see the light of day.
Here’s an example of #2:
We get enough of that that it’s pretty obnoxious. A few hundred per week. And because of #3, that means sifting through loads of crap to make sure no real comment is lost in the junk.
I used the Pro version of the Anti-spam plugin. That plugin page doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence, but I used it for years and it worked pretty well. Again, it’s weird to run two spam plugins, but Akismet and Anti-spam seemed to work together well. Anti-spam added a bit of extra protection:
The blocking algorithm is based on 2 methods: ‘invisible js-captcha’ and ‘invisible input trap’ (aka honeypot technique).
But unfortunately, I had to disable it. We flipped on Jetpack comments because I liked the idea of having a comment form that allows for social login. The idea of typing in your name and email and all that is so old school that it’s a turn off for a new generation of blog commenters. The fact that Jetpack offers that seems like an easy win. When Anti-spam was enabled, it must send some extra data or something bizarre that freaks out Jetpack, and it makes all comments throw an error when submitted.
With Anti-spam off, now we’re flooded with the “easily blocked” style spam. Not the end of the world, but not ideal.
I wonder if other folks have had this issue and have what they consider a pretty sweet WordPress spam prevention system? Maybe some kind of honeypot technique that somehow doesn’t screw up Jetpack Comments?
If you’ve ever thought “Man, all my designs look like crap”, this may be the best ad you see all day. If you’ve desperately searched Dribbble or Behance for inspiration, yet found yourself completely unable to make something look nice, this one’s for you. And if you’ve ever had a sinking feeling that most design articles are worthless, and no matter how much you read about color theory, it’s not going to make your bad designs look good, well, let’s talk.
Learn UI Design is an online video course to take you from design newbie to being able to confidently create beautiful designs for any site or app. From color to typography, icons to process, Learn UI Design covers every aspect of interface design. Enrollment is open for 2 weeks only.
I should introduce myself. I’m Erik Kennedy. I’m an independent designer, I’ve traveled the globe designing sites and apps for companies big and small (like Soylent and Amazon), and my design writing has been read by over a million people (you might know me from this article). Yet I started out as a developer who couldn’t create nice-looking software to save his life. Sure, I developed some applications for work, created a few websites and side projects at home, even tried my hand at a nights-and-weekend startup. But there was an issue: everything I made looked like crap.
Design was something I was always interested in, but never great at. I knew what I liked, but I didn’t know how to create such a design. Consequently, everything I did had One-Man-Project syndrome: it looked like it was made by someone in their spare time – not professional, not considered, not worth the download, not worth the purchase.
In the end, I learned design the same way I’ve learned any creative endeavor: cold, hard analysis. And shameless copying of what’s worked. I’ve worked 10 hours on a UI project and billed for 1. The other 9 were the wild flailing of learning. Desperately searching Dribbble and Behance and Pinterest for some idea of how to make my awful design better.
That was the beginning, anyhow. Over time, I built up a toolset of hacks and heuristics. I was tired of reading design articles that failed the fundamental test of any skill tutorial: it didn’t help me improve what I was working on then and there. My gold standard was to find what worked. What made a difference between ugly and gorgeous. Over the years, I built up these tools across all areas of user interface design – color, typography, iconography, and so on.
Today, Learn UI Design has hundreds of happy students, and the course is used and regarded by folks like Chris Coyier…
I've been watching @erikdkennedy's Learn UI Design course to bone up a bit. He's kinda like the @wesbos of design.https://t.co/MUkcNmYdMN pic.twitter.com/QSbXvITdKG
— Chris Coyier (@chriscoyier) February 6, 2018
…and Jeremiah Shoaf (the founder of Typewolf).
And of course plenty of other mere mortals:
Here’s a peek at the syllabus:
Begin here (11:10)
Setting Up Sketch & Asset Files for UI Design (15:36)
How to Build Your Design Gut Instinct (16:26)
3 Methods for Designing Above Your Level (10:44)
Finding & Using Design Inspiration (20:46)
II. UI FUNDAMENTALS
Analyzing Aesthetics (17:18)
Lighting & Shadows (32:28)
Introduction to HSB (13:32)
Gray: The Most Important Color (27:32)
Adjustment: The Most Important Color Skill (34:46)
3 Ways to Fix Clashing Colors (9:09)
Picking a Primary UI Color (10:33)
Picking Secondary UI Colors (47:04)
Dark Interfaces (22:41)
Terminology: The Bare Minimum
Choosing Fonts (53:42)
Good Fonts Table
Styling Text (44:24)
Styling Text 2 (35:56)
Pairing Fonts (50:35)
7 Methods for Overlaying Text on Images (21:13)
V. USER INTERFACE COMPONENTS
Form Controls (42:38)
Icons 1: Vector Editing (30:46)
Icons 2: Icon Design (52:39)
Photography & Imagery (39:34)
Lists & Tables (41:49)
VI. REAL-WORLD PROCESS
Responsive UI Design (48:54)
Designing Multi-State Screens (38:32)
Creating a Design Portfolio (33:07)
Finding Clients (18:29)
Presenting & Getting Good Feedback on Your Designs (34:17)
For those of you keeping score at home, that’s 35 videos totaling almost 20 hours of content.
Sign up now and get:
Immediate access to the full video curriculum
Dozens of multimedia resources, downloads, and homework assignments
Access to the Learn UI Design Slack community, where you can get feedback, design reviews, and more design resources
Comes with a no-questions-asked, 30-day money back guarantee.
Learn UI Design is open for enrollments now through March 14th.
» Enroll now
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Learn UI Design: The Complete Video Course is a post from CSS-Tricks