Here’s how I dropped virtually all of my comment spam, with no extra challenge fields to hinder human commenters.
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I hate spam. I don’t mean the canned Hormel pork product that is so tasty in Spam musubi or Spam fried rice. I mean all the unwanted comments and links to any manner of dubious websites invading this blog’s comments section.
House of Annie is a WordPress-powered blog that used to get a moderate amount of comment spam. Spambots – computers run by spammers to automatically leave comments on blogs – were becoming an increasing nuisance. Like most WordPress blog owners, I use the Akismet anti-spam plugin as my first line of defense against comment spam.
But sometimes Akismet either lets a spam comment through or shunts a legitimate comment over to the Spam queue (a “false positive”). That’s why I moderate comments as well, only letting previously approved commenters get automatic posting privileges. It’s a second line of defense for the ones that gets past Akismet, but doesn’t help with false positives that may be sitting in the Spam queue.
If there are a lot of comments in the spam queue, it’s not so easy to find these false positives. It’s almost like finding a needle in a haystack. As this blog has gotten more popular, that haystack has gotten bigger. I needed to find a way to reduce the comment spam, but did not want to use CAPTCHA or math challenge-response plugins that stop spambots but slow down human commenters.
I think I found my answer.
As you can see by my Akismet stats, spam comments have dropped off to virtually nil since I installed NoSpamNX.
The few spam comments that do end up in the Spam queue are trackback spam (other sites linking to mine in the hopes of getting a reciprocal link back) or human-generated spam. Those are easily taken care of.
If you’re a WordPress blogger and hate dealing with comment spam, I recommend trying out NoSpamNX and see if it helps you!
One More Thing
I noticed an interesting thing about one of these “human-generated” spam comments. The spammer came in from a Google search for the phrase “powered by WordPress”. This phrase shows up in the footer of almost all WordPress blogs as a way of advertising the popular blogging software. No one really reads it – it’s extraneous. But an enterprising spammer decided to use that phrase to find blogs to spam.
So I took the phrase out with simple edit to the footer.php file. No need to help spammers find me! 🙂
Hate comment spam? What do you do to get rid of it? Leave a comment below and share your antispam tips!