About a month ago I moved my blog from Posterous to a self-hosted WordPress installation. I didn’t bother setting up the Akismet comment spam filter at the time and started noticing quite a few spam comments coming through. From having previously worked with WordPress, I knew that I needed an API key.
These days, it’s a bit easier to get, as you can simply sign up for a WordPress.com account which gives you a whole host of benefits when using a standard WordPress.org installation on your own server.
I clicked on Plugins and selected “Settings” under Akismet. I entered my API key and started frantically looking for a “Save” or a “Save Settings” button. I found none, and thought that maybe it would auto-save once I navigated away from the page – a trend in desktop software, especially since Mac OS X’s System Preferences started doing this.
I noticed a button saying “Update Options >>” (see below). I clicked on it to see what the “Update Options” might be, expecting a popup where I could choose whether Akismet would update automatically or manually. The little double arrow indicated that further options would appear.So why doesn’t the button say “Save options”? Steve Krugman writes in “Don’t Make Me Think” about naming buttons. In particular, regarding a Search box/button: “It’s a simple formula: a box, a button, and the word ‘Search’. Don’t make it hard for them – stick to the formula.”