Wp-Spamfree – Banish Comment Spam

Wp-Spamfree Comment spam is something every blogger has to endure on a daily basis. The default antispam plugin – Akismet, does a decent job of filtering, but it’s known to get it wrong. And to manually dig out the legitimate comments from hundreds of spam comments is no mean task. Recently, I reviewed two better alternatives to Akismet. However, even with Defensio and Typepad Antispam the aforementioned problems remain. As a result most bloggers are forced to implement multiple antispam techniques. The most popular ones being –

Arrow Challenge-response tests : These tests attempt to distinguish a human from a bot by analyzing their response to a server generated question. The most popular implementation is captcha, which asks the user to retype a sequence of letters displayed in an image. While this may help you in reducing the number of spam comments, it will also aggravate your readers and discourage them from commenting. Due to this more bloggers are switching to less annoying challenge-response tests like Challenge

Even with these newer plugins the main problem remains – the commenter is made to put in extra effort. Not only that, a significantly large number of spam comments manage to get through these challenge-response tests.

Arrow IP Address based filtering : While this doesn’t require any action on the commenter’s behalf, its not very accurate either. And no ones knows that better than me, since almost all ip address based blacklists have Dataone’s (India’s largest ISP) ip addresses on their blacklist.

After trying multiple plugins and multiple approaches, I have finally found a spam blocker that works. It’s Wp-Spamfree. Before using Wp-Spamfree I used to get more hundred spam comments (often in excess of two hundred). Now, on an average I get zero spam comment every day!!

So, how does Wp-Spamfree work? In the plugin developer’s own words :

Few bots can process JavaScript (JS). Few bots can process cookies. Fewer still, can handle both. In a nutshell, this plugin uses a dynamic combo of JavaScript and cookies to weed out the humans from spambots, preventing 99%+ of automated spam from ever getting to your site. It’s important to know that the particular JS and cookies solution used in WP-SpamFree has evolved quite a bit, and is no longer simple at all. There are now two layers of protection, a JavaScript/Cookies Layer, and an Algorithmic Layer. Even if bot authors could engineer a way to break through the JavaScript/Cookies Layer, the Algorithmic Layer would still stop 95% of the spam that the JavaScript Layer blocks. This JavaScript Layer utilizes randomly generated keys, and is algorithmically enhanced to ensure that spambots won’t beat it. The powerful Algorithmic Layer is what eliminates trackback/pingback spam, and much human spam as well. And, it does all that without hindering legitimate comments and trackbacks.

One potential cause for worry is that users with js disabled wont be able to comment. But, such users form a very very small minority.

Off topic rant : A surprisingly large amount of users with js disabled are paranoid Firefox users with no-script plugin. Not only is completely disabling Javascript unneccessary, it actually spoils the web experience as a huge majority of websites (including almost all web 2.0 websites) just won’t work without JavaScript.

Also this plugin has compatibility issues with some plugins that interfere with the comment system. So after installing the plugin don’t forget to check out if a guest can still comment. If you experience any problems, contact the developer (Scott Allen) who provides support for free.

Wp-Spamfree is the best antispam plugin I have come across. Give it a try and you may just be tempted to ditch all other antispam plugins.

28 Responses to Wp-Spamfree – Banish Comment Spam

  1. Corporate photographer in London July 27, 2011 at 11:08 pm #

    Interesting, i’ve tryed using seval anti-spam plug in’s but yet to find one that actually is worth its worth.
    Would also be interested to see if it works o.k with comment luv

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  3. Graciela March 25, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

    There’s definately a lot to know about this issue.
    I really like all the points you’ve made.

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