2 Plugins That I Activate on New Blogs: Akismet and WordPress Stats

So far it's been easy... now we'll increase the difficulty slightly...!

[This post is part of the Ultimate Guide to Launching a WordPress-Powered Blog series.]

Now that you’ve got your new blog up and running it’s time to begin optimizing it as best as you can!

The next few posts in this series are going to require you to “get dirty” – you may have to insert a few lines of code here or there, explore some options for increasing your SEO, as well as think critically about what you’re adding (or subtracting) from your new blog.

But we’ll start off easy, ok?

For starters, there are two plugins that I install and activate on a new WordPress blog immediately. I’ll walk you through quickly why and how since there are a few steps for these two plugins:

Gotta kill that spam!

1. Akismet Spam Protection Plugin

Akismet is a spam filtering plugin for WordPress that automatically helps you deal with spam and all those annoying bots that attempt to leverage your new blog for their ill-desired goals (like traffic back to their sketchy websites).

You may have noticed that the installation of WordPress includes this plugin by default, which is great since there’s no need for you to download it! But, if you need to re-install it you can get it here.

Once you activate it you’ll see a screen like this:

Doh! You need that key!

But, you’ll have to activate it and it does require a WordPress.com / Akismet API Key. Here’s how to get your API Key:

1. Visit WordPress.com

First go to WordPress.com and hit “Sign up now” (on the right, orange button). You’ll walk through those simple steps and then activate your account.

Head back to WordPress.com, login, and you’ll see the next screen:

2. Grab Your API Key

You’ll want to click the link as highlighted above. You’ll then be directed to Akismet.com homepage to signup.

3. Sign Up for Akismet

Don’t worry, you won’t have to pay for anything (if you don’t want to):

Sign Up for Akismet.

And of course, you can set it to $0.00 for right now. If you like it you can come back and support them!

It's a great service and is worth supporting.

See that sad face? Sad.

After you sign up you’ll see the confirmation screen as well as receive an email with your new key:

Isn't that so satisfying?
Something like this should be in your email inbox.

Grab that key (Copy and Paste) because you’ll need it for the next step.

4. Insert API Key in Akismet Configuration Options:

Put your API Key Here!

This is easy. Just put your API Key that you just got via email into this box above!

You’re done! You’ll now have Akismet “battle” on your behalf to save you from all of that spam!

If you’re ever interested in seeing how Akismet is doing globally you can always take a look at their Global Dashboard as well:

It’s working world-wide!

2. WordPress.com Stats Plugin

Being aware of your traffic is very important.

***UPDATE***

I now use Jetpack which includes this plugin with advanced features found from WordPress.com. Check out this post for more information!

I’ve written an extensive post on the reasons why you want site analytics here so you’ll definitely want to check out that post. That post also includes 2 other analytic systems that I use as well.

You’ll have to download this plugin here and then upload it as you normally would.

Once you activate it you’ll see this screen:

You'll need that API Key again!

All you’ll have to do is use the same API Key that you just received and put it here:

Insert it here.

Then hit Save and you’re good to go! You’ll start tracking your visits in your new WordPress blog instantly.

Make sure to un-check mark the box that counts your visits since that’s not really as important as your visitors views:

Stats Settings

I also choose to have WordPress create some ‘shortlinks’ as well. I don’t necessarily use them but it’s a free service and you might want to use them.

3. Missing Your API Key?

A common issue is finding your API Key once you create it and sometimes you can’t find that email or you’re simply too lazy to go digging around for it (admit it…).

So, here’s a neat trick: Just head to https://apikey.wordpress.com/ and if you’re logged in to WordPress.com you’ll instantly see it:

That was easy.

Done!

Have any questions? Let me know how I can help!

Do you use these two WordPress Plugins?

[This post is part of the Ultimate Guide to Launching a WordPress-Powered Blog series.]

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