Spam is one of those features that comes with a blog and stopping it isn’t quite as easy as it should be. Here are a few ideas to help you out.
- Install Akismet – This has to be one of the best plugins. The downside is they’d like you pay if you get a ton of spam. After all, it is the nice thing to do. For the average user though, it’s free.
- Install Spam Karma – Excellent plugin that can stop a flood of spam comments. It works great and it’s completely free.
- Install a captcha. It can be as easy as 2+2=? or it could be one of those letter puzzles. Personally I prefer the math ones as long as it’s not something like “What’s 28×5”. Keep it simple as I think 2+8 works just as good.
- Have some fields required. Make sure that you are requiring Name and Email for any comments. I don’t think it helps much, but it’s better than leaving it wide open.
- Use the Blacklist – Some words just don’t belong in blog comments. If you think of some ‘adult’ terms you’d like to keep out, just add them to the blacklist. The comments will be immediately deleted. Be careful though, you can’t recover deleted comments.
- Moderate More – Use WordPress’ moderation area to put more spam into moderation instead of just letting it go live and cleaning it up later. Things like changing the number of links in comments to 1 or 0 can help a lot. Also adding /strong works well as a lot of recent spam contains a few bolded keywords. Analyze your spam to see if you can find a trend.
- Install Bad Behavior – Bad Behavior is a set of PHP scripts which is suppose to analyze the bots coming in and block the spam ones. I haven’t tried it, but love the idea.
- Login to Comment – Not my favorite method as I think that if you require a login, you also loose a lot of good comments because people won’t take the time.
- Login to OpenID to Comment – OpenID is one of the mass ID sites on the internet. One account with them will work across many websites. This is a better option than #8, but I’m still not a “login to comment” fan.
- Turn Off Comments – If you don’t have them, you won’t get spam. Then again, you also won’t get any good comments and that’s a big part of blogging.
In the end, zero spam comments is not likely. No one can stop a real person from putting in a link to their porn site. But you can help slow down the automated spam quite easily.
What plugins or tips do you have to share?
Solomon Rothman says
I think it’s on old debate that luckily has already been solved effectively. Akismet takes care of all my spam problems. If the number of caught spam gets too high, I’ll install a captcha. Not much else to say.
Andy Beard says
You are missing out on one vital side of the equation, because on this blog you have subscribe to comments installed, and it is a business blog.
If an email originates from your domain, you are responsible for it, thus you have to comply with CAN-SPAM
I have been noticing a number of blogs that also due to increase comments are exceeding their hosting email quota, and thus emails are being eaten or discarded.
Your readers will find this recent post interesting
Paul O'Brien says
Perhaps a little off topic but not completely
Your suggestions seem taylored to WordPress so have you posted a comparison of WP and Blogger or know of where one can be found?
Great post, im sure it will be helpful to many
Michael Visser says
Hi Paul, I hope I can help you here.
The benefit of using WordPress over Google Blogger as a blogging platform is that you have complete control over the customization – plugins, templates, css – on your server (via FTP, WebDav, RDC or local access). The simplest reason though is that by hosting a WordPress install it is part of your website – http://www.website.com/blog/ – and contributes to your company or personal sites organic ranking.
I’m happy to write a more detailed report if you wish. WordPress is the way to go though!
Brian Auer says
As soon as I got comment spammed for the first time (not even one week after launch) I told WordPress to only publish comments from users that have a previously approved comment. That way I don’t have to approve every single comment, and I can mark all the spam as… spam.
I don’t know if marking comments as spam actually helps anything, but I’ve noticed that my spam has been dropping consistently over the last month or so. I was getting 100 per day at first, but now I only get 5 or 6 per day. Plus, I don’t even have the Akismet plugin activated. Go figure.
Lars Koudal says
My mix of Bad Behaviour and Akismet resulted in a lot of false positives on my main blog, and I turned them off shortly after receiving a few e-mails complaining they were bad mouthed by my comment plugin.
I ran into Angsuman’s Comment Guard plugin and was accepted into the beta-program.
The plugin is nice and unobtrusive, and it has resulted in no false positives as far as I can see so far.
That was my 2 cents 🙂
Mama Duck says
I used Spam Karma for quite a while, but it started letting a lot of stuff in of late, so I switched over to Akismet and it’s working well for now. Bad Behavior actually blocked the Googlebots to my site and caused a huge drop in traffic for about a week until I turned that off. I’d love to see Bad Behavior tweaked though, because I love the idea behind it.
Michael Goldberg says
I have played with a few, Akismet seems to be the best suited for me.
Everyday Weekender says
Great post!.. Spam will always be around – but its always cool to hear about new ways to help prevent it!
I have just had a nightmare with spam over the past few weeks (www.grasscircle.co.uk/blog) I was literally getting 100+ spam comments a day – installed Akismet and my prayers had been answered – not one since!
It really is the biggest threat to blogging and without these anti-spam tools we would be doomed!
Thomas McMahon says
Thanks for the comments on the Bad Behavior scripts. It sounds like they block to much. As for Akismet and Spam Karma, does anyone think they get worse over time? I’m not sure if spam is getting smarter or if the plugins are missing more. Just a thought.
Andy Beard says
Well I have written about the Akismet collective intelligence in the past. Just like email filters if you don’t pull comments out of the sin bin, it can cause a gradual knock-on effect.
Michael, Michael Visser
I’d love to see a post, giving folks the opportunity to comment and criticize
“You have complete control over your customization” Is that still true with the new blogger? What can’t I do?
I’ve also redirected blogger to my domain so how is that different than what you’re suggesting; I’m at http://www.seobrien.com
Senjaya Khoo says
Excellent! Your Perfect Way to block spam and get their KARMA! So spammer please stop spamming, because world hate you!
I’ve experienced be spamming from adult content, so I’m using link down to 2 links only, helpfull…
My blog is only small, so comment spam isn’t an issue for me. If it was, I wouldn’t care. If people want to spam, let them. Personally, I have enough faith in my readers to trust them not to click dumb links.
Solomon Rothman says
Jack – interesting reply I haven’t heard that one before. The problem with comment spam though, is even if your visitors don’t click on it, it can be really unpleasant and vulgar like hard **** . I don’t want my visitors to have to see that when what they really want is to read about search marketing and bs comments are distracting. Luckily we have some great anti-spam tools now.
you guys tallking abaut stop spam but evry one give one page me too this is not spam?:)) so funny
Thanks for all the tips. Actually I don’t use much plugins, only what’s necessary to avoid eating-up server resources. Overall, I use only around 4 or 5 wordpress plugins in my blog.
My favourite method is the maths captcha. I find the image captchas sometimes unreadable. I’ve gotten the word wrong many times when using it!
With the maths captchas, it’s best to keep it to single digits only eg. 4+8. Don’t make it to tricky so your users have to get a calculator.