WordPress Advice of the Month: How to Get Rid of Spam Comments Once and For All

akismet vs growmapContrary to what you might think this series is not dead yet. And I don’t see it dying in the near future. The thing is, as I said before, that good, really good, genuine WordPress advice is hard to find.

(By the way, check out the previous episodes if you haven’t already: Why Free WP Themes are EVIL, Best WordPress Hacks of All Time.)

“You need to backup your database” … “You need to use nofollow links for WordPress SEO” … “You need to read Problogger” … “You need to install a custom made theme” – those are all general, obvious, therefore not that valuable.

But every once in a while you will stumble upon a real gem…

This month’s advice comes from none other than Pat Flynn (from The Smart Passive Income Blog).

On June 27th, 2011 Pat wrote a post titled “The Dark Side of Successful Blogging“, and in it there was a short story about him ditching Akismet and installing Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin instead.

Even though this blog is nowhere near the size of Pat’s blog I am too getting (scratch that… was getting) a big number of spam comments.

This was really annoying. I had this Akismet plugin installed and active, but somehow it failed to do the job properly. I mean, it did correctly flag the real spam comments and put them into the spam folder, but every once in a while some false positives occurred (genuine comment being flagged as spam), and more than that – every once in a while some spam comments went through as legitimate.

So after reading what Pat had to say I decided to give the new plugin a try too. And guess what? NOT A SINGLE SPAM COMMENT EVER SINCE.

And I don’t just mean that no spam comment make through to the genuine list, I mean that the spam folder remains empty. This means that the plugin doesn’t allow any spam comments to be even submitted. How’s that for improvement?

Without any further ado, just go to the plugin site and get it. It’s worth it.

Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin

How does it work?

It’s quite simple actually… but the simplest ideas often turn out to be the best.

After installing and activating the plugin it will add one more visible field to your comment form (image below – my current comment form).

screen

It’s a simple checkbox labeled as “Confirm you are NOT a spammer.” So whoever wants to submit a comment has to tick this thing. That’s it.

That being said, of course, it’s not a normal field. Because if it were, spam bots would easily spot it and tick it too. This field is created by some fancy JavaScript or something, so spam bots can’t see it. (As far as I know there’s also one more invisible field, which acts the other way around, but it’s not that interesting so let’s just leave it here.)

(By the way, as you can see I’m using one more plugin here – CommentLuv, which is a great thing too. Check for yourself.)

In a nutshell, here’s this month’s WordPress advice: Ditch Akismet, install Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin. Akismet is so last season…

P.S. Feel free to shoot me an email whenever you have some cool WordPress advice, I’d be more than happy to feature it in the next episode.

P.S.2 I’m not affiliated with Growmap in any way. I just think it’s a great plugin.