Just a few days ago I got a question from a visitor wondering how much spam this site received. Although I haven’t had any email spam, yesterday the first comment spam appeared on the blog. Hopefully nobody noticed it but I was both mad and confused that someone would do that especially on a site with as few visitors and even fewer comments as I have. WordPress has a few tools to keep spammers from attacking a site but of course nothing is perfect. To battle spammers I’ve come up with a few solutions but I don’t like any of them. I can either stop comments completely or take the time to moderate all of them. I want to take care of this problem while my blog is still small so I don’t have to worry about it as the blog grows.
Stopping comments would prevent comment spammers but it would also prevent me from getting to hear your opinions and feedback. Comments are my way of getting to know you. This was one of the reasons I added the blog so I would hate to stop comments altogether. Plus I think comments help make the posts more enjoyable. It’s nice to see what other readers have to say and it gives you a chance to add your opinions to the blog. Without comments the blog is of no use to me and I become just another rambling teenager. Even if you find the content here helpful, comments allow the content to rise to the next level. They help inspire new ideas in readers and help me make this blog better. Lots of blogs are good, but comments are what make a blog become great.
Another plan of attack against spammers would be to moderate all the comments but I don’t want to take the time to do that either. Not that it would take me too long, but I could be doing better things with my time to improve the blog rather than moderating comments. I’ve made a decent amount of comments on other blogs and I’ve always liked seeing my comment show up right away. Maybe I’m the only person who feels this way, but I like seeing my comments on other websites blogs. When I post a comment I feel that somehow I’ve added something that is either helpful to other readers or the author. If I don’t feel like it would help either the readers or the author for me to make a comment, I don’t. I try to make sure all my comments are sincere compliments or suggestions to the authors or help the discussion between readers.
Anyone who reads a blogs comments can tell which comments are real and which ones are spam so I don’t think spammers are having much success but they sure are annoying. Right now I’m thinking about using the WordPress option that requires comment authors to have a previously approved comment. This just means that your first comment on the blog will be moderated, but once I approve it none of your other comments will have to be moderated. I still don’t like this but it should stop spammers. As of now I haven’t changed the way comments are run because I want to know what those of you with blogs have done to combat spammers and how everyone would feel about this method of posting comments.
Comment spam isn’t to attract new hits, it is just used to get one more site linking to you. That then helps your google rank. So since i left a comment here with my website URL listed it not only might get me anoer hit or two, it will deff, help me on google. Even if only a little bit.
Posted by John on Dec 22, 2005.
Although i’ve yet to be burdened with this issue, I have considered how to deal with it when and if it occurs on my blog. Using PHP to generate an image of random letters/numbers seems to do the trick in fooling any automated spam bots. It adds another field to the comment form, but its comparably light next to the administrative task of moderating comments. I would check out the WordPress Codex to see if such a plugin already exists.
Posted by Martin on Dec 23, 2005.
John: That’s an interesting point that I hadn’t thought of. Even though nobody will click their links, any link will help improve their search engine rank just a little bit.
Martin: Thanks for the link. Those are going to be very helpful. I’ve started using two of the plugins listed there that will stop spammers while not effecting real visitors.
Great information guys!
Posted by Mattbob on Dec 23, 2005.
I hate comment spam! I’m using a plugin called Bad Behavior to stop spam right now…it’s about 99% effective. I’m considering adding another one called Spam Karma 2. The combination of both plugins is considered quite effective. I’ve also had good experience with WP-Hashcash, and only transitioned away from it when I started experiencing some PHP-related problems with my server.
Posted by Dave on Dec 23, 2005.
you know, I had an idea as well, that will make your life easier, but it may risk the safe comments in general, so it is helpful in case there are a lot of comments… Let users post comments and inistantly display, but also, send an email for confirmation, if the next day comes and the link to confirm was not clicked, remove automatically.
You know it takes google about 48 hours to render the web, so in 24 hours, those spammers really need to login their “fake” email accounts and confirm… but it also might cause trouble for those with good intentions…
I dont know there got to be a way, maybe after adding comment, request confirmation immidiately?
Posted by Amal Ayyash on Jan 2, 2006.
Hi Guys since last three day I am facing a Huge Problem on my blog, The comments form is
not working. I tried to revert all the possible changes.
Whenever someone tries to send a comment, it takes them to a blank wp-comments-post.php
Any help will be appreciated and rewarded through Paypal…
Posted by Asher on Dec 12, 2006.