My collection of user accounts for various websites has grown a lot during the years I’ve been active on the Internet. I estimate I have more than 30 user accounts, and I need to keep track of user names and passwords for all of them. Fortunately, technology has been developed to solve this problem, it’s a shared identity service which is called OpenID. If you have an OpenID, you can use your OpenID to authenticate your identity with every website which supports OpenID.
Apparently I already had an OpenID when I read the OpenID website. I already had a WordPress.com account registered, because using the Akismet plugin for WordPress requires an API key which is provided to you when you register an account. Somehow using the OpenID associated with my WordPress.com account didn’t work, when I tried to authenticate with my OpenID WordPress.com told me I had to log in to my account, when I already was logged in. So I decided to register an OpenID at another OpenID provider, myOpenID. This is my OpenID identity page now.
I downloaded the WP-OpenID plugin for WordPress and installed on my English and Dutch weblog. Now I can use it to log in to my administrator account, and visitors can use it to place comments. It works quite nicely, but I think OpenID support should be included out of the box in WordPress so it is more accessible. As you can read on the OpenID website, several important websites provide OpenID’s or support them. Unfortunately most of the websites I visit still don’t use it, I hope this will improve because OpenID makes your life on the Internet a lot easier.