The Ultimate Guide to WordPress Spam Protection
WordPress is a phenomenal Content Management System (CMS), and as such, it’s also very prone to spam. Spammy comments, spammy users, spammy links in the blogroll … you get the picture. That being said, the good news is that there are a variety of ways to keep your blog free from spam. There are quite a few plugins out there that can help you with this, but they all have different features and different levels of effectiveness. Read on to find out which plugin we think is the most effective at fighting WordPress spam.
How does WordPress deal with spam?
WordPress has an anti-spam system available to users called “Akismet”. It’s been keeping WordPress blogs clean since 2005, and works by scanning comments and posts for certain signs of spam. The basic idea behind Akismet is that all WordPress users share the cost of dealing with spam. So if you’re hosting a site on WordPress, you’re also helping to filter out the spam for everyone who uses the system. That being said, there are some downsides. There have been reports of highly-automated spammers that have been able to bypass Akismet. Furthermore, as soon as your website grows to anything near a professional or commercial size then that’s when you’ll need to leave your free plan behind and start paying Akismet’s commercial fees.
Akismet: An effective WordPress spam plugin
Akismet is an effective WordPress spam plugin. It’s been around for years and is an essential part of any WordPress CMS. It’s free to use, but you have to have an account. That being said, the account is quick and easy to set up. If you’re serious about protecting your website from spam, Akismet should be a consideration. There are several pricing tiers available, depending on how large your site is. If you’re hosting a small website and don’t expect a lot of comments, you can use the free account. If you expect a lot of comments, you might want to consider the commercial pricing options.
Stop Spammers: A solid, free alternative to Akismet
Stop Spammers is a free, open-source spam protection plugin that stops spam emails, spam comments, spam registration, and spam bots and spammers in general. Like Akismet, it works by blocking bots based on their public blacklist IPs that are known for spamming and suspicious behaviour. Stop Spammers is a free alternative to Akismet and does a really good job of keeping your website clean. However, you need to buy premium add-ons to add protection to Contact Form 7 – something that a lot of WordPress websites will use. Stop Spammers also displays adverts in your WordPress admin area adding bloat and annoyance for many users.
Spam Shield: An effective alternative to Akismet and Stop Spammers
Spam Shield is a free plugin designed to protect WordPress blogs from spam. It’s effective and reliable and seems to be able to stop almost all types of spam. Whatsmore it’s a ‘one-click’ set-up – just install and forget. Spam Shield is not a spam-detection plugin. It’s a spam-blocking plugin. It uses several different techniques to block spam from contact forms and comments. Unlike when using a reCaptcha system to block spammers, Spam Shield is able to keep a temporary record of rejected messages so you can review them. You can also choose to only allow messages from certain countries. It integrates with Contact Form 7, WP Forms and more, and runs quietly in the background utilising machine-learning to constantly update itself. Spam Shield also allows you to check whether an IP address is known for spamming, probing for vulnerabilities or should be hard-blocked. It returns a “trusted” status for selected network providers like Gmail, PayPal, etc, so you don’t end up blocking a key infrastructure provider by mistake. Its free option allows up to 5 API calls per day, plenty for most small websites. For larger websites protection costs from as little as £3.50 (around $4) per month.
If you’re serious about protecting your blog from spam, we feel that Spam Shield is your best option. Although it’s the newest kid on the block, its free plugin will do for most websites out there, and it’s constantly being updated and improved. For those larger websites, the pricing is still half of what you’ll pay with the others and they also offer an agency-level package that is packed with features like white labelling etc. So if you’re serious about WordPress Spam Protection we highly recommend you look at Spam Shield.