My Recent Adventures with Drupal

By | August 14, 2013

Recently, I started up a new website, using Drupal’s CMS software. This website was supposed to help Space Socket successfully move into the future. It does that by integrating all the STEM components and non-STEM components, essentially creating an integrated “hub” for the future. I made this website to help address Space Socket’s emerging problem with web traffic by allowing Space Socket to be a “community for everyone”.

I originally designed the website to be free and accessible for everyone, so I enabled anonymous posting. In Drupal, this can be done, as a website administrator, by clicking People -> Permissions. Then, enable all the necessary permissions under “Anonymous Users” to turn on anonymous posting. Make sure that these necessary permissions are checked.

But there were some consequences. This week, I saw tons of spammy messages on my website, and I had to deal with 19 pages of spammy messages.

In response, I turned off anonymous posting by unchecking some of necessary permissions under “Anonymous Users”. In Drupal, you can access this by clicking People -> Permissions. As a result, this now requires users to login to the website (or register for an account) to post comments. However, anonymous users can still view comments.

The next step was to install two modules: Captcha and KeyCaptcha. This can be done by visiting Drupal’s website, and then searching for the two modules. To install the modules, you first need to download the files (tar.gz file format, please!) and save it onto your computer. I used Windows 7, so all of my files were saved in the Downloads folder. For all you Linux, Mac OS users, and other Windows edition users, especially XP users, please make sure you have a folder designated for these kinds of downloads.

Once you have saved these files onto your computer, you need to install the modules on your website. This can be done by logging into your website (as a web admin), and then clicking Modules -> Add New Module. Then upload the module files (tar.gz file format), one by one, onto your website, and then proceed with the installation process.

After you have installed these modules, click on Modules to access the available modules on your website. Then, enable the newly added modules to turn on Captcha and KeyCaptcha.

For best results, I recommend KeyCaptcha. From past experience in dealing with spam problems and automated registration problems, and looking at how Space Socket’s forum attempts to prevent these problems, I thought that Image Captcha wouldn’t be good enough Some spammers are “smart” enough to get past the Image Captcha.

To enable KeyCaptcha on your website: After you turn on KeyCaptcha and Captcha, as a web admin, click Configuration, and then under People, click on Captcha. To ensure optimal functionality, set the “default challenge type” to KeyCaptcha, and enable KeyCaptcha on all but user_login_block (the user login part of the site). For user_login_block, do not enable KeyCaptcha. Instead, keep the original settings, which is “No challenge”.

Additionally, in the Captcha menu, you will need to click on KeyCaptcha, and then you’ll need to obtain a private key and a KeyCaptcha code. You can do this by visiting Once on the site, you will need to create an account with KeyCaptcha. For Google and Facebook users, you don’t need a separate account with KeyCaptcha.

Once logged in, you need to add your site to KeyCaptcha. Follow the on-screen instructions to add your site to KeyCaptcha. When you’re done, click Sites List, and then look for your website on the page. Then click on “Settings”. Your private key is located under the “Additional” tab. To locate your KeyCaptcha code, you need to click on “Installation Instruction” tab and then scroll down to locate your KeyCaptcha code. Enter both your private key and KeyCaptcha code. Make sure there’s no extra spaces after the end of both your private key and KeyCaptcha code, otherwise it may not work.

After you’ve saved your configuration settings, you’re done!

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