When I first started blogging, I was hit badly by spam. It took huge time every day for me to clear up those spam. I remember the days, when I had more than even 1000 spam comments hitting my blog. It was seriously a terrible experience, I must say.
I couldn’t delete those comments in a bulk, as I also got some authentic and legitimate comments from many of my loyal readers. I couldn’t delete them all of a sudden. But I had to combat this massive spam too and save my blog from its effects. I remember the days when I did spend more hours cleaning up spam rather than writing quality content.
Then I thought to put it to an end. I started researching and found two great ways, which when combined, reduced the spam comments from above 1000 per day to less than 100 per month. WOW! This was a huge decrease. Now, I didn’t need to worry about cleaning spam any more. Now I just spend less than a minute every day to deal with it. It gives me huge time to work on writing good quality content and do quality SEO for my site.
In this article, I am going to share this experience with you so that you can save your blog from spam, right from this moment. This article is written focussing mainly on WordPress blogs, but you can try similar methods for other platforms too.
Step 1: Install Akismet Spam Filtering Plugin
In the first step, you need to install the Akismet spam filtering plugin. It’s a very powerful spam filtering service, that you can avail for free if you use it for non-commercial/personal purposes. This plugin does its job pretty well. The main thing that I like about this plugin, is its self learning capability. Day by day, it is getting more and better and accurate, in filtering spams. The more it deals with spam, the better it learns how to handle them.
This plugin, alone decreased my spam by thousand’s. Now, I didn’t see any spam comments on my comments section. But the spam folder got flooded with spam comments. It didn’t stop the spammers from posting spam on my site, but it filtered them and did put them in the spam section, so that I can clean them with just a single click.
This is really a very helpful plugin, but I didn’t want spammers from posting a single spam commenting on my blog at all. I just didn’t want to see thousands of comments in the spam folder even. All my legitimate comments were well-filtered and I could respond them with ease.
Step 2: Install The G.A.S.P Plugin
The first step did a pretty good job in filtering out the spam comments from the legitimate ones. All the spam comments got pushed perfectly into the spam folder. But I didn’t want the spammers from commenting on my blog at all.
So, I had the option to use captcha’s to do this. But just like you, I also hate captcha’s like hell. I didn’t want to irritate my readers every time they wanted to put a comment on my blog. I didn’t want them to solve disgusting captchas every time. So I used a simple plugin, Growmap Anti Spambot plugin. It is also known as G.A.S.P. It is a very simple plugin, but it does its job extremely well.
GASP puts a simple check box that you need to check before submitting every comment. So, the visitors who need to comment on your blog, just need to click on that checkbox to confirm that they are humans and not spammers. This is simple and didn’t even irritate the readers. And a bad news for the spammers, that they cannot get past this checkbox in any way, as it is client-side generated checkbox.
Thus this simple step prevented the spammers from posting spam comments in my blog, without even irritating the real humans who were willing to comment authentic stuffs.
So using these two simple steps, solved my big problem with spam. Now, though thousands of spammers everyday try to hit my blog, but they are stopped by G.A.S.P. But there are some spammers who don’t use spam bots, rather they use human spammer at cheap price to spam in a better way. They could get past this check box and post spam comments in my blog. But there was Akismet to the rescue, it scanned them and pushed them to the spam comments section. So, now -a-days I hardly find 2-3 spam comments everyday in the spam folder. Most of them are really spam, thanks to Akismet. If some comments somehow get misplaced to the spam folder by chance, I un-spam them manually.