Five Spam-Blocking WordPress Plugins


JTPratt Media, wordpress-plugin-development, October 18, 2011 via Flickr, Creative Commons License

Comment spam is a nuisance. It can slow down your website’s performance, lower your search engine rank and monopolize your valuable time. For those of you who use WordPress, there are a number of anti-spam plugins available that can help protect your site from comments posted by automated bots and other nefarious characters. The following five are among the most popular. 1. Akismet – This plugin comes pre-installed into WordPress, but you need to buy an API key to activate it. Akismet compares each comment submitted to your website to known spam comments. Based on your approval patterns, it slowly learns which comments are spam and which are not. When it recognizes what it thinks is a spam comment, it automatically quarantines the comment for you to moderate. 2. WP ReCaptcha – This free tool filters automated comment spam from your website. It works by displaying two images that must be entered correctly for a comment to be accepted. Bots can’t see the images and therefore can’t submit comments. WP ReCaptcha’s downside is that it doesn’t filter out human spammers, so you will need another plugin for full protection. 3. AVH First Defense Against Spam – This free plugin compares a visitor’s IP address with known spammer IP addresses collected at Project Honey Pot. If the IP address is blacklisted, the visitor will be blocked from posting comments. Unfortunately, some spammers have found ways to hide their IP addresses. For full protection, you will need to use another plugin along with this one. 4. Spammer Blocker – This free program’s approach to comment spam is “one strike and you’re out.” When a comment is flagged as spam (by another plugin or manually by you), this plugin completely blocks the IP address where the comment came from so a visitor from that address can never comment on your website again. 5. Spam Free WordPress – This free plugin, rated 4.5 out of 5 stars on WordPress, claims to block 100% of spam with zero false positives. It does this without any JavaScript, CAPTCHA or cookies that may slow down your website’s performance. Another option you have is to require registration from anyone who wants to post a comment on your website. This will decrease the number of comments you receive, but if you have a spam problem that is difficult to manage then required registration is a great way to keep your comment moderation folder empty.

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