3 WordPress Plugins to Stop Spam

3 WordPress Plugins to Stop Spam

If you manage a WordPress blog, there are many WordPress plugins to stop spam. Spam is an annoying part of blogging, and if it isn’t managed properly, can turn a good, respectable blog into a trashy-looking blog. People have used many approaches to controlling spam, from captcha images to requiring registration on their blog.

Update:

I have since moved to using one plugin to stop spam from appearing on my blog. I now use the GrowMap Anti-Spambot Plugin to help eliminate spam.

I have also been bombarded with spam at times. While I have thought about measures to combat spam, I wanted to find methods that wouldn’t impact my visitors. About a week and a half ago I believe I have completed my spam-fighting arsenal, and have reduced the number of spam comments I see to zero. I list the three WordPress plugins to stop spam that I use on this blog.

The Three WordPress Plugins to Stop Spam Approach

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There are many different plugins that you can download and install for WordPress that can be used to stop spam. The problem is, one size doesn’t fit all. A solution to such a problem is to look at more than one plugin – each one performing a certain task to combat spam. That is what I have done on Technically Easy.

Let’s look at the three plugins that I currently use to stop spam comments on Technically Easy.

  1. Bad Behavior. This plugin is the first-line of defense against spam and isn’t one of the traditional WordPress plugins to stop spam. Unlike traditional WordPress plugins to stop spam, this one analyzes the delivery method, and the software used by the spammer, and prevents them from even getting to my blog. According to the description of the plugin: “This keeps your site’s load down, makes your site logs cleaner, and can help prevent denial of service conditions caused by spammers.” I also use the blacklist from Project Honey Pot to prevent many of the well-known spammers from even accessing my blog.
  2. Akismet. This is probably the most popular spam-fighting plugin, and it is included with WordPress. You just need to activate the plugin and input your WordPress.com API key to use the plugin. This one does a good job at detecting spam comments and then redirecting them to the spam folder. While it does a good job, it may also redirect valid comments to the spam folder, on occasion. If you have hundreds of spam comments, then you may delete valid comments that were also stored in the spam folder. The next plugin can work with Akismet to weed out the actual spam comments from the real ones.
  3. Conditional CAPTCHA for WordPress. This plugin is the final piece of my spam-fighting puzzle. I heard about this one from Dragon Blogger, and it was what I was looking for. This plugin works with Akismet to help identify spam. When Akismet identifies a spam comment, this plugin will display a captcha box to the commenter to prove that they aren’t an automated bot. If the captcha is answered correctly, then the comment is moved into my spam folder for review. Spam comments that don’t pass the captcha, are automatically deleted. This plugin has reduced the number of spam comments I see down to zero. The best part is that my visitors aren’t bothered with a captcha when they leave a comment as the captcha is only displayed when Akismet flags the comments as spam.

The Process of Using Three WordPress Plugins to Stop Spam

So basically, Bad Behavior will monitor the delivery method and application used to write a comment of Technically Easy, stopping any request that doesn’t pass its analysis. The requests that do pass, must then be evaluated by Akismet. The comment requests that are flagged as spam, will then need to pass a captcha. If the captcha fails, then the comment is deleted.

My blog receives zero spam, and all without the need for registration to comment, or filling out a captcha each time a visitor wants to comment.

How do you stop spam on your blog? Which WordPress plugins to stop spam do you use?

40 Responses to “3 WordPress Plugins to Stop Spam”

  1. Avnish Gautam says:

    Akismet & conditional captcha WordPress are 2 most famous wordpress plugins to avoid spams in comments. I use Akismet.Thanks.

  2. Victor says:

    It was very interesting to read this post for me. I’m using Akismet, but never heared about Conditional CAPTCHA and Bad Behavior. If the spam tends to zero this way – I definitely must try these plugins!

  3. shah says:

    Brilliant article. using spam protector plugin is great idea i think. it saves time.

  4. ebrahim says:

    I like this post.Most important for wordpress user. specially for beginners.

  5. AnujSharma says:

    These are great ways if you have an already active blog, but for people just starting out their blog, you might be discouraging initial activity on your site. Of course, the smaller the blog, the less spam you get, so I guess it just scales at the end of it all.

  6. Aaron says:

    I used to use Akismet for a couple of years and lately I am using commentluv on some of my blogs.

    • Paul Salmon says:

      I have switched from Akismet to G.A.S.P., which is a better anti-spam alternative. The new CommentLuv Premium combines CommentLuv with many other popular plugins, including G.A.S.P., so you may want to look at upgrading your CommentLuv plugin.

  7. Andrew Walker says:

    Akismet is the one that i’m using right now. I’m thinking about using Captcha as additional security.

    • Paul Salmon says:

      I used to use Akismet, but found that G.A.S.P. is much better at stopping spam. Using that plugin also eliminates the need for a captcha, which can be tricky for some visitors. I recommed you use G.A.S.P.

  8. Khabri Chacha says:

    No doubt, Akismet is the best of all, and i am using this, and i am a veggie, wat the heck ham is doing in my blog :p lol

    • Paul Salmon says:

      I stopped using Akismet when it started to flag valid comments as spam. I have switched to G.A.S.P. which does a great job of catching more actual spam.

  9. Hi Paul! Thanks for sharing another winning combo for fighting spam. Never heard of the Conditional Captcha, but it sounds like something I would have tried a few days ago. I was using Askimet along with WP-Ban to handle spammers. Huge numbers of spambots were being blocked, but quite a few were still getting through. Eventually I ran into a problem with WP-Ban and my cache plugin conflicting, and like @Gail above, my Admin was locked out of WordPress. I picked up the GrowMap AntiSpamPlugin, got rid of WP-Ban (with Askimet soon to follow) and haven’t looked back. Here’s to solutions that work! 🙂

    • Paul Salmon says:

      I switched to G.A.S.P as well to replace the Akismet and Conditional Captcha plugin. So far, no spam has made it into my blog’s comments, or the spam folder for that matter.

  10. Stephen says:

    Simple, great article. I use Akismet and it currently has 100% accuracy so I definitely can complain.

    Slightly off topic, but do you have any suggestions for phpBB3 spam filter? I require registration and haven’t had a problem yet, so maybe I just shouldn’t be concerned.

    • Paul Salmon says:

      Registration does help reduce spam, but it may not completely prevent it in the future. Unfortunately, I have no experience with phpBB3, so I can’t recommend a spam filter.

      • Stephen says:

        Okay, I’m sure I have plenty of time before I need a solution anyways. Anyways, please continue to contribute to WebsiteBabble (my username is slux). Sorry for being off topic but I really appreciate your insight and advice, as I’m sure many others do.

  11. I have been using Akismet + conditional captcha duo and both of them are working great for me without any issue..!!

  12. Ileane says:

    Hey Paul, I’m not sure if you heard about this yet because it just happened a few days ago. Andy Bailey the creater of CommentLuv has introduced GASP GrowMap Anti-Spambot Plugin. This plugin is an excellent alternative to Akismet and it has kept me spam free for the last 3 days! I disabled Akismet after I installed it eliminates the need to spend hours each week going through your spam folder looking for false positives and legitimate comments. Give it a try and let me know what you think. Thanks Paul.

    • Paul Salmon says:

      I may have to look at GASP to see how it does against spam. Thanks Ileane!

      • Gail Gardner says:

        Hi Paul,

        I see you took Ileane’s suggestion and installed our new GrowMap anti-spambot plugin. Bad Behavior can have very serious side-effects. It locked all my Admins out of GrowMap and it took four expert WordPress installers to completely recover.

        What many are missing about Akismet is that over time the false positives (real regular commentators getting blocked as spammers) will continue to grow. It is NOT enough to just block spam – you have to consider how you’re treating your readers too!

        • Paul Salmon says:

          I have installed GASP and so far have been impressed with the lack of spam. I started disliking Akismet when Ileane’s comments started being redirected to my spam folder. Bad Akismet!

    • Sarah says:

      Am using G.A.S.P. right now. Very happy with the results.

  13. Kimi says:

    Haven’t heard about conditional captcha. Will look at it later, thanks.

    I am so far using only akismet since i have my blog nofollow, i tend to have less commenters and less spammers.

    I heard bad behaviour plugin is great as well as wp spam free or spam bee.

    Thanks

    • Paul Salmon says:

      I don’t know too many WordPress blogs that don’t use Akismet. I have been using Bad Behavior since I started my blog, and so far I haven’t had a problem with it. It has stopped thousands of attempts on my blog, which probably has reduced by spam substantially.

  14. Paul says:

    Hey Paul,Do you know how to combat trackback spams. I have been getting them on my blog a lot lately. I don’t want a million external links on my blog, as it will not look good on my blog.Thanks,
    Garen

  15. Pankaj Gupta says:

    Will using more plugin for same kind increase loading time?

    • Paul Salmon says:

      It depends on the plugin. There may be some plugins that can slow down your blog, so it is usually best to limit the number of plugins that are loaded. I try not to have two plugins that do the exact same thing loaded at the same time.

  16. Patricia says:

    I notice as I get more decent visitors to my site (blog not been up very long) that the spam is increasing. Akismet and Bad Behaviour doing a good job but I only have Captcha on my contact me page. A friend set that up and it works. No spam there.
    Patricia Perth Australia

  17. James says:

    I have been using WordPress Hashcash with good results. Probably a bit similar to BadBehavior, it blocks much spam before it arrives.

    • Paul Salmon says:

      I never heard of Wordpess Hashcash, but I checked out the plugin’s site and it does look interesting. If it stops spam before it gets to your blog, then it will pretty much act in the way Bad Behavior does.

  18. Mitchell Allen says:

    Paul, this is a great “whole-brain” approach to fighting comment spam.
    I think I had a minor issue with Bad Behavior, so I temporarily disabled it. I should check out Conditional CAPTCHA. Hopefully, it won’t interfere with the Fast Secure Contact plugin.

    Cheers,

    Mitch

    • Paul Salmon says:

      I had had a minor issue with Bad Behavior and IE in the past, but it was something that was installed on my PC that caused the problem. It takes some effort to stop spam from happening – especially if you still want to make it easy for your visitors to leave valid comments.

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