I was going to leave a plugins post until after I had talked about the different options under Settings, but once you start writing posts you are likely to also start getting comment spam. The default spam filter included with the WordPress installation is called Akismet and it is very effective, but you need to set it up.
If you click on Plugins on the left sidebar, you come to this page. Here are the plugins that come ready installed with WordPress.
I will delete the Hello Dolly plugin but I’ll keep the other two. I’m not sure what Jetpack does as it isn’t offered on this blog but am curious to find out!
You will note that it says that you need to sign up for an Akismet API key in order to activate Akismet. You used to do this by registering with WordPress.com so if you already have an account with them there should be an API key in the original email you got when you registered. However, I just clicked on ‘sign up for an Akismet API key’ and it sent me to the Akismet website so I’m not sure what you do now. My original API key still works however, so anyone with a WordPress.com account should be able to use theirs. You click on ‘Activate’ and then on the page you come to, it will tell you that you need to enter your API key; click on this link and put the API key in and it will activate it. (An API key is a code that you type in which is personal to you). If you haven’t already got an API code, I suggest you register with WordPress.com anyway and see if there is one included in the acknowledgement email.
I am curious to know what this Jetpack is, so I will link that to my WordPress.com account as well. Clicking on ‘settings’ under the Jetpack plugin (on the same screen as the above screenshot) leads to this page:
I clicked on ‘Connect to WordPress.com’, entered my username and password for that site (NB. not the same username and password for this blog) and it seems to add more widgets to the sidebar – I will go through them when I talk about the various options under Appearance.