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4 WordPress plugins for comprehensive spam prevention on your blog

Happy Birthday, Spam!Anyone that has been blogging for more than a couple of months will be able to tell you that comment spam can be a real problem. Here are 4 plugins to be used together to prevent nearly all spam for your blog. This is achieved by checking for potential spam using a variety of different methods. These plugins do not resort to annoying and hard to read Captcha images or other methods that require your visitors to prove that they are really humans.

  • Akismet – this plugin is automatically packaged with WordPress so there is nothing to install. This plugin will catch nearly all of your spam but can also catch false positives so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your spam comments to make sure that legitimate comments are not accidentally banished to the spam box. In order to use the plugin, though, you must have a WordPress.com API key. This key is obtained by signing up for an account on WordPress.com. Akismet is developed by Automattic Inc and is free for personal blogs that do not generate “significant income” from their blogging. “Significant income” is defined as more than $500 per month. Commercial API keys can be purchased for commercial blogs and those not eligible for a personal license due to income level.
  • Bad Behavior – works along side other spam prevention plugins to look at not only the content of the comment but also the way the comment was created, prevents many automated commenting methods from getting through the other spam software content filters.
  • Simple Trackback validation – This plugin specifically checks trackbacks for possible spam. First it checks to be sure that the IP address that the trackback is requested from is the same as the IP address of the server where the requesting website is located. This catches a large portion of trackback spam since valid trackbacks are almost always pinged directly from the webserver where the other website is located. This plugin will also verify that the backlink to your website actually exists on the website that sent the trackback.
  • Email Obfuscator – this plugin protects any email addresses that might be in your blog posts by either using JavaScript to confuse email scrapers or, for browsers with javascript disabled, the email address is displayed as a fake address and the actual address can be viewed using a mouse hover to display the real email address.

Spammers are not likely to stop attempting to get their comments and emails through the defenses that you put in place to keep them out so it’s a good idea to stay on top of the current plugins available to keep the comments from appearing on your website.

I’d love to hear about how others handle spam commenting and about new and improved ways of keeping the spam out. Leave a comment if you are aware of other great tools and plugins!

Creative Commons License photo credit: billypalooza