We get it. You hate spam. Everybody does.
As of 5PM on July 1, 2014, Akismet had filtered out 176,453,691 spam WordPress comments since 12:01 AM July 1, 2014.
That’s 176.5 MILLION spam comments that were stopped. And that’s just on blogs that have Akismet installed (WordPress.com by default, and quite a few WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and other CMS self-hosted installs).
Most spammers are spamming remotely; that is, they never visit your site, instead misusing ordinarily useful code in your WordPress installation which allow for comments and pingbacks/trackbacks to be transmitted remotely. You might be tempted to turn on comment moderation, make your visitors fill out a Captcha or solve a word or math problem before commenting, or even verify their humanity (yuck):
I don’t know about you – but any time I hit a comments-moderated blog, I usually don’t go back. I almost always forget to check the “are you human/are you NOT a spammer” box, and I hardly ever get a captcha right.
Why on Earth are we punishing our good users for trying to connect with us?
Look, there are any number of good, FREE options that do not require user intervention to slow and halt comment spam. You should try them out instead of bugging your users.
The first: Akismet. For personal blogs, it’s free. For commercial blogs, it costs a little ($5/mo for one site or $50/mo for unlimited sites). I use it on almost every site I’ve ever had. It works very well and has never trapped a legit comment.
The second: WordPress HashCash plugin. It’s free. It makes sure your user actually went to your site rather than used a robot.
The third: WordPress Spam Honeypot plugin. It’s free. It adds a hidden field to your comment form which bots can see but users can’t. If there’s text in the field, boom. You’ve caught yourself a spammer.
Three totally easy, free ways to dissuade spammers from ever gracing your doorstep again – and not ONE of them bugs a user.
Did I miss your favorite? Let me know in the comments!