7 WP plugins that’ll help you stay spam-free

Have you found that spam comments are taking over your blog? Do you check your email to find comment notifcations from people telling you you are not found in Google, that you need Viagra, that you’ve written a great post but where is your RSS feed? Or is your comment section filled with comments like “great post”. Sometimes you get what seems like a  semi-intelligent spammer who will quote a piece of your blog post and then say how great it is… but it’s still spam.

Spammers leave ridiculous comments in the hopes of getting a backlink to their site when you approve their idiotic comment. It’s actually quite frustrating for a blogger, it’s a huge time sap constantly approving and moderating comments. Luckily if you chose WordPress as your blogging platform there are some awesome plugins that can help make spam comments easier to deal with.
1. Akismet (http://akismet.com/) is probably one of the most popular spam plugins for WordPress. It’s created by Automattic, the same people who created WordPress. Akismet filters both your comments and trackbacks for spam and will automatically delete them after 30 days. It’s not a free plugin for commercial sites (if you are blogging for business then you are a commercial site), it’s a very affordable $5 a month.
2. WP-Spam Free (http://www.polepositionmarketing.com/library/wp-spamfree/) also eliminates comment, trackback, and pingback spam. The WP-Spam Free plugin claims to be able to stop virtually every automated comment spam from bots. This plugin is free for both personal and business use.
3. WP Hashcash  (http://wordpress-plugins.feifei.us/hashcash/) is a plugin that deals directly with comment spam. This plugin works by using a javascript that confirms whether or not the commenter is using a web browser. Theory behind this being that spam bots do not use an actual web browser to leave comments. I’ve not tried this personally, but it comes highly recommended.
4. Bad Behavior (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/bad-behavior/) is a plugin for WordPress that works at keeping your blog, forum, guestbook, wiki or content management system free from spam. Bad Behavior works a little differently from other anti-spam plugins in that it acts more of a gatekeeper. It has the ability to prevent spammers from even trying to leave a comment. This plugin will leave a link at the bottom of your site, which is a small price for a spam free blog.

5. Anti-Spam Bee (http://antispambee.com/) this plugin comes highly recommended by my friend Barbara Saul. If you read the download page of this WP Plugin it will tell you it protects you from digital rubbish. I quite like the sound of that :) It’s also anonymous – no forms or registration required to download.
6. SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/si-captcha-for-wordpress/) is a plugin that protects your comment form, blog registration form, and login form by requiring all users to type in a code before being allowed to continue. This plugin does allow trackbacks and pingbacks, so a separate plugin for that would be needed in addition to the SI CAPTCA Anti-Spam plugin. Personally, I’ll never leave a comment on a site that uses a captcha form, but other people will do so, so the choice is yours, check out the next plugin before you think about using the Captcha option

7. GASP / Comment Luv Premium – if you use Comment Luv premium you’ll know about GASP Plugin which is built in. This is an amazing little tick box that the spam bots don’t see. If the box isn’t ticked the comment isn’t allowed.  Comment Luv Premium also helps eliminate fake trackbacks – comments that say you are mentioned on their blog but when you check… there’s no link. Comment Luv Premium is a piad plugin, but it’s worth the investment. You can use GASP (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/growmap-anti-spambot-plugin/) as a free plugin on it’s own if you don’t want the other great things from Comment Luv Premium.

Using these plugins will help but nothing is 100% perfect. Some spam comments, trackbacks, or pingbacks will always make their way through. Unfortunately spam comments are here to stay and it your responsibility as a blogger to make sure they stay off your blog. Of course you can always use a commenting system like Livefyre to keep the spammers off of your blog – it’s extremely effective.

What anti- spam plugins do you like?


photo credit: hegarty_david

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Sarah Arrow

Blogging an issue for you? Social media not quite working how it should be?That's okay I understand. I started blogging back in 2006 and grew into a kick-ass blog coach as well as creator of Birds on the Blog (listed 3 times by Forbes as a top 100 website for women), I'm frequently listed as both a top content marketing expert and as an influential marketer.
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  1. It took me about a month after I switched last December to wordpress but then I realized that all the \”nice\” comments were actually spam (and I\’m \”technologically savvy\”). Not only did I install Akismet but wrote a blog post about how email spam is different from comment spam and therefore the junk mail filter you use only takes care of email.

    • Trudy you are not the only one, I heard Doug Richard speak at an event and he was devastated to find these types of comments were spam. Good point about the different types of spam and how it differs from channel to channel.

  2. Hi Sarah,
    thanks for your list of spam killers. I didn’t use AKISMET for some time (I wrote in one of my last posts why), I use CommentLuv with G.A.S.P. instead. And it works very well for me :)
    Thanks for sharing,

    • I’ve used GASP since I discovered it, and like you I now use it with Comment Luv. That little tick box was a genius idea :)

  3. This is a big-big problem for everyone who is an active Internet user. And as far as many anti-spam programs are created, as far many new ways of spam are also developed. And it’s a pity, of course

    • Of course, and it just spoils all of our experiences online

  4. Hi Sarah, isn’t it weird how the spammers haven’t learned to put decent comments yet, it’s quite funny really! I think at one time, we’ve all be surprised by all the comments, and then realized they’re not real, such a let down LOL!

    • Lol, yes, it is such a let down. I guess you know you are a blogger and getting read when you get a comment that’s not from your mom, but from a spammer ;) It’s a blogger’s milestone :)

  5. you should probably check the plugins you are suggesting first.
    WP-SPam free site says:
    We are no longer able to provide support for the WP-SpamFree plugin,
    as we currently do not have the internal resources to maintain the plugin
    or respond to support requests. We apologize for any inconvenience.

    • Hi Mike, just because something is no longer being supported it doesn’t mean it is no good or can’t be used. It just means if something goes wrong with the plugin, it’s up to you. Thanks for dropping by and commenting, I should have been clear about lack of support in my post.

  6. Captchas are just totally old fashioned.. Better use more user friendly plugins in my opinion.

    • I don’t like captchas, if a blog has a captcha that requires me to read some obscure text to comment then I just don’t comment. The GASP tickbox is just as effective.



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