Dealing with Spam

Dealing with spam is one thing which is very important for many WordPress users. When this blog was still quite young, I used to get quite a lot of it – I don’t find it a problem so much now, due to a couple of spam plugins I’ve been using.

I should point out that for any E-mail or WordPress user with spam protection, no plugins are 100% perfect; when I used the default @tesco.net e-mail address from my ISP, the built in spam filter failed to block any spam messages! However, as long as you make an effort to look through your spam list, you will have no problems.

When I logged in to the blog’s admin control panel to check for comments this morning, I noticed a link to another blog appearing in the ‘Other WordPress News‘ section – [registered users – you have this section to. Log in to your user profile to see]. It linked to a blog post about spam.

The user had written about what he feels is the best way to deal with WordPress spam, and gave 2 very important rules:

  1. I never let the spam queue grow over 100. Above this anyone will lose interest in even looking at things beyond the first page (Hint: Set the comments page to show you 100 comments instead of only 15).
  2. I make sure to delete the spam queue after I have looked over it.

Quoted from Weblogtoolscollection.com

I think I have to agree that these are 2 very important rules. If you have no interest in looking through your spam list, you will find it becomes more and more of a problem.

I use a plugin called Askimet to manage my WordPress spam list; its fairly easy to use, and the best thing is that when you pull a legitimate message from your spam list and mark it as ‘not spam’, you are helping other users of the plugin. I return to the Weblogtoolscollection.com post for the reason:

Akismet is centrally managed so everything you do will be noted and used for a better experience for other users.

Quoted from Weblogtoolscollection.com

To be completely honest, I haven’t been using Askimet for that long. I used to use a plugin called ‘WP-Spam Free’. The problem I found with that however, was that it completely blocked comments: they never got to my inbox or the SQL database that runs my installation of WordPress. They simply were completely blocked and I never saw them. That was a problem for legitimate users who got blocked, because I never saw their messages.

Its a problem I first became aware of when a user commented on a blog post from within the BBC network – WP-Spam Free blocked the comments because it was hidden behind several proxies and other firwall related things that are built in to the BBC networks.

If you use WordPress to run your blog, how do you deal with spam? Leave your comments using the form below, or e-mail on admin@fred-hart.co.uk.

Fred Hart

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