We all hate spam - the electronic kind, that is, although I haven't heard of anyone except tv presenter James May who likes the tinned stuff! Spammers are sophisticated and relentless, and use 'spambots' - automatic spamming - to leave nonsense comments on your website or contact form data. Typically you receive notification of comments and forms via email, and who needs more junk email? Thankfully there are measures you can take to keep these pests at bay. Mortein for the Internet.
With WordPress' modular construction, we use Plugins to combat spam (as well as add some amazing functionality to sites). One of the most popular for killing off spam is Akismet
, which is free for personal sites or via a donation should you wish, and via a monthly billing system for high-traffic, commercial or money-making sites.
It's very thorough - it stops 99% of spam comments making it to your inbox. Akismet comes bundled with WordPress even though it's a third party application. It is THAT effective. We've been using it until recently.
However... I've recently discovered that Akismet uses its own server to process data. What's the problem with that? Well, as far as your readers are concerned, their data is being sent to a third party server, including their IP address. This could raise privacy issues and potentially make some of your readers annoyed with you.
We are currently trialling Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin
on most of our client sites as a result of a successful trial on this site. It has a growing reputation, and works on the client side, not the server side. In other words it sits on your website and does it work, not on a third party server. People leaving comments have to simply tick a box to prove they're human and not a spambot. Because of the coding behind the plugin, the tickable box is invisible to spambots. So - no tick, no submit comment. For you, the user, it's easy to configure; if you wish you can simply install it and not touch a single option. It's free to use - which is often something our small business clients take into consideration.
We will be trialling AntiSpamBee
next on this site and will roll out to interested clients in the new year if we like it and think it's as good as its reputation. Again, it's a free plugin. It also sits on the client side and doesn't use any third party servers to block spam.
is a big player in the anti-spam stakes, and offers a free version as well as a paid one. The downside with the free version is that you must wear the Mollom logo on your website. Paid plans start from 30 Euros a month, so depending on the rise and fall of the Australian dollar, this could either be a cheap or expensive option for a small business owner. Another possible point of contention is that data is sent to Mollom's servers; there's that third party issue again.
If you'd like to try any of these spam-fighting heroes on your site, contact us
and it shall be done.