WordPress Issues

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 27, 2008
Updated • Nov 13, 2013

I have been working with the WordPress script that powers this blog and several of my other websites for almost three years now and can say that the overall experience is quite positive. It's easy to setup and maintain and provides a good level of customization.

So far so good. Several issues appeared over time that I would like to address in this short article. I tried to fix them before but I failed to really find solutions for them. I did post a few help requests on the official WordPress forum which remained unanswered even after pushing them a few times and a search on Google did not return the desired results as well.

So, here we start with my personal WordPress issues that other webmasters might also experience:

Akismet is not perfect

Akismet is the default WordPress anti-spam plugin which is delivered with the default installation of WordPress. That puts it in an unfair advantage over other spam plugins like Spam Karma which is in many aspects a better plugin. But I do not want to talk about politics here.

Akismet comes with no configuration options at all. The only things that can be added are the WordPress Api Key which is mandatory and a check box to delete spam that is older than a year.If you compare it to Spam Karma you are comparing Notepad to Notepad++. That's the difference in usability.

Akismet divides spam into user comments, trackback and pingback spam but it is not possible to delete only one category. The delete all button always deletes all spam.Akismet does have a search field but that search field is global, there is no way to only search the author name, email or filter by other parameters like only showing posts with one link or less in the body.

It does catch quite a few valid comments which are then lost forever because it is impossible to work with Akisment on websites that get 1000+ spam comments a day unless you do that full time. Plus, it is not free on commercial websites.

Spammers can still register accounts although registration has been turned off [fixed]

When I turn off registration to my website in the settings of WordPress I expect to see no new users in the future unless I add them manually. The option however does not really help because even though it has been turned off spammers can still register accounts on my blog.

There is no history

The admin cannot see what authors or subscribed users of the blog have been doing. He cannot see if an author deleted an article that he wrote earlier, he cannot see if a user edited or removed a comment.

Publishing an pending article [fixed]

When someone else with not enough user rights is writing an article that article gets added to the Pending Articles and an user with enough rights can publish it after reviewing it.

The problem that I face is that I have a hard time figuring out how to publish the article so that it is published in that instance and not in the past. If I just hit publish the article is published when the author of it saved the final version. This can be a few hours or even a few days in the past.I have not investigated that matter further but I suppose it could be problematic for RSS Feeds and even the site itself. I tried to change the date to the current one and publish it but it still felt like I missed something here. It's definitely a strange behavior in my opinion.

Those are my issues with WordPress and I always cross my fingers and hope that they get fixed in one of the next updates.

Update: Two of the issues have been fixed in more recent versions of WordPress. I also found a suitable anti-spam solution that is keeping the spam count at zero on my blog. While I still have to manually go through comments, it reduced the comment count that my blogs receive by a lot, so that I spend less time doing so.


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  1. adamoerikom said on September 19, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    Stunning blog and good article. High 5 for u man !

  2. queroeropoo said on August 7, 2009 at 1:16 am

    Good information to me.

  3. amenodimeno said on August 6, 2009 at 1:15 am

    Good story for me but please more details.

  4. amenodimeno said on July 31, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    That’s good man, keep it going.

  5. romonoeroetoko said on July 8, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    Hm that sounds good but I would like to know more details.

  6. Plato said on November 6, 2008 at 3:57 am

    And you do not accidentally from Moscow?

  7. tash said on July 29, 2008 at 4:37 am

    I’ve been using the automatic upgrade for plugins when I can. It seems like half the time the update fails, but it’s usually not a big deal. Just download and update manually like normal.

  8. Mosey said on July 28, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    Unfortuately ‘Automatic Upgrades’ (esp for plugins) is just not 100% stable as far as I can tell. I’ve read a couple of posts on the forums about how the upgrades have gone wrong, and I personally would never use the automatic upgrade for plugins myself.

  9. Jesse said on July 28, 2008 at 4:31 pm


    I would think you were right except that most updates come with new features or security fixes.

    Now that 2.6 has come out I believe that automatic upgrades are baked right in.

  10. Frank said on July 28, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    so far so good with WordPress as far as I am concerned. yes, i get tons of spam but Akismet catches everything without getting any correct comments. maybe this is due to the fact that i just have a few comments a day. A bothering thing that i really dont like about WP is the update frequency. As soon as you finish updating WP, and your theme and plugin accordingly, and you can breath again because everytime you update, things can go wrong all of a sudden…here another update comes out. I am not against update, dont get me wrong pls. I am just saying that they could be less frequent. Sometimes behind all these update i see something fishy meaning that the more update the more you force people to download and visit wordpress website…maybe i am wrong
    webmaster of http://www.webtlk.com

  11. Jesse said on July 28, 2008 at 8:57 am

    I had a permalink structure of /index.php?/%postname%/ which worked great in wp 2.0, but it stopped working in 2.5 and now I 404’s for all of my pages. After hours of htaaccess editing I finally decided to just change it to /%postname%/ and loose a ton of backlinks.

  12. tash said on July 28, 2008 at 8:14 am

    The thing that bugs me the most on this list is the User Registration thing. I get probably 5-10 new users every day, and they’re almost always spam. I don’t understand why a spambot would register a fake account in the first place. They don’t leave comments and there’s no website attached to them. It’s just annoying

  13. Rarst said on July 28, 2008 at 5:59 am

    I hadn’t understand if you are actually using Akismet at moment, but you know that spam filter is constant complaint of mine here. :)

    There is new history feature added in 2.6 – post edit revisions, so may more appear.

  14. Susan said on July 28, 2008 at 4:34 am

    Having a history would be really nice.

  15. Mosey said on July 28, 2008 at 2:32 am

    Wow, I hadn’t realised there were these quite critical issues with WordPress at all! Perhaps you could consider mentioning them in Trac or something? I would be especially worried about the registration part, and as I use Akismet (and build up 1000+ spam in just a few days) I usually just trust it to do its job. Maybe I should start looking into SK2?

    @Stefan: I can see the comments marked as spam if I click on ‘Akismet (###)’ in the Comments sub-navigation bar, but it doesn’t mean that I go through all of them.

  16. Stefan said on July 28, 2008 at 12:07 am

    What I don’t like about Akismet is that it counts spam comments without showing any. How do I know it was really spam?

    I use a math anti-spam tool in combination with Akismet which reduces caught and shown Akismet spam around 90%.

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