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Top Wordpress Plugins to Fight Spam

In the past, we presented a list of some of the top WordPress plugins to help you fight spam. While those were some of the bigger names around, there are several more valuable solutions to enhance your spam-fighting efforts, and here they are.

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By: wubayou
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September 26, 2011

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In the past, we presented a list of some of the top WordPress plugins to help you fight spam. While those were some of the bigger names around, there are several more valuable solutions to enhance your spam-fighting efforts, and here they are.

In the past, we presented a list of some of the top WordPress plugins to help you fight spam.  While those were some of the bigger names around, there are several more valuable solutions to enhance your spam-fighting efforts, and here they are:

Defensio Anti-Spam

While many WordPress plugins work well in conjunction with others, Defensio Anti-Spam is the opposite.  Think of it as a loner in the fight against spam, as its creators suggest that you deactivate other anti-spam plugins such as Akismet for it to work without any hiccups.

The fact that you are asked to deactivate other spam fighting plugins may be seen as a negative to some WordPress users.  Luckily, Defensio Anti-Spam was created to serve as an all-in-one solution versus spam, so your overall protection wonít necessarily be diminished.

First and foremost, Defensio Anti-Spam provides solid spam filtering, as one would expect.  Beyond its basic functionality, however, the plugin also handles other content-related problems that can negatively impact websites.  It has a malicious content detection system, and will even filter out any profanity to help your site appeal to visitors of all ages.  The plugin also comes equipped with script detection and URL categorization.  Throw in additional features like detailed statistics, OpenID support, charts, and more, and you can see why Defensio calls itself a one-stop-shop for your spam fighting needs.

Link: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/defensio-anti-spam/

Spam Free WordPress

Created by Todd Lahman, Spam Free WordPress is an effective plugin that touts the ability to block all automated spam without any false positives.  Such a claim is lofty, especially since itís noted that no other plugin can do the same.  To ensure accuracy in its claims, Spam Free WordPress has been tested using real world conditions that include a ton of traffic and a ton of spam comments.  It was developed to work on its own without the help of any other plugins, so if you are looking for a comprehensive solution, Spam Free is worth a look.

While it claims to completely block automated spam, manual spam is handled as well through an IP address blocklist.  Those with banned IPs will still be able to read the siteís content, however.  Besides spam, the blocklist can also be set to ban any users who leave nasty or profane comments.  Local and global manual span ban policies can be set, and you can also strip HTML from comments. 

The plugin does not require the implementation of JavaScript, cookies, or CAPTCHA.  Even better, Spam Free WordPress produces a smaller database load when compared to some of its other anti-spam counterparts.  The author opted for anonymous password authentication instead of CAPTCHA for several reasons.  First, CAPTCHA can be irritating at times and hard to read.  Second, it can be cracked rather easily.  Third, CAPTCHA can negatively impact comment traffic on a site.  With anonymous password authentication, the user will be required to enter a certain password into the form manually.  If the password is not entered, the post will be considered spam.   

Link: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/spam-free-wordpress/

Peterís Custom Anti-Spam

Peterís Custom Anti-Spam helps fight spam by requiring visitors to properly identify a random word before they can leave a comment.  The word is displayed as an image, and you can choose which words you want to use for the challenges.  Beyond simple comments, you can enable the plugin to supply challenges for visitors trying to register to your site.  Likewise, settings can be toggled to allow registered users to bypass the challenges.  Unlike a lot of CAPTCHA solutions, Peterís Custom Anti-Spam offers words that are easier to read.  An audio version of the words is available as well for those who are visually impaired.  The plugin does not require JavaScript or cookies, and it is compatible with caching plugins. 

Link: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/peters-custom-anti-spam-image/


Spam-Stopper is a relatively simple anti-spam plugin for WordPress that presents challenges to those trying to post on your site.  The challenges are basic, logical questions that pretty much any human should know, such as ďis fire hot or cold?Ē  By presenting such challenges, Spam-Stopper ensures that the comment being left is coming from a human and not a spam bot.  The challenges show up if a person is logged out of a site, and there is also a JavaScript validation feature included to prevent visitors from forgetting to fill out certain form fields.  In the end, you can count on fewer spam messages taking up precious space in your database, and you will be able to slowly weed away spammers from your site.

Link: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/spam-stopper/

AVH First Defense Against Spam

As its name would suggest, the AVH First Defense Against Spam plugin helps to add a barrier between spammers and your beloved WordPress site.  The plugin works by basically preventing spammers from adding illegitimate content before they start.  It checks visitors against services such as Project Honey Pot and Stop Forum Spam to identify any with spamming histories. 

AVH First Defense is very flexible in its functionality, and offers a variety of adjustable features to suit your needs.  You can block spammers according to third party diagnosis, or via a local blacklist.  You can add IPs and IP ranges to whitelists and blacklists, report spammers that you identify, and much more.  Thereís also an IP Caching system and a feature that will display a message to the visitor in question when they are denied access to posting content.

As mentioned by the creators of the plugin, the way in which it stops spammers dead in their tracks prior to serving any content is very beneficial.  Not only will it save CPU cycles and conserve bandwidth, but it will also help your site generate visitor statistics that are more genuine.

Link: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/avh-first-defense-against-spam/

WP Spam Hitman

This plugin deserves an award for having the coolest name, as it is designed to essentially assassinate any spam that tries to make its way onto your site.  The plugin works by using specific patterns and hitpoints.  These guidelines allow the plugin to sniff out spam before it is seen by other visitors.  You can customize Spam Hitman by using one of its three modes: Delete, Moderation, or Spam.  There is also no limit as to the amount of rules you set, so the combination of both worlds and expression patterns you indicate is essentially endless. 

Link: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-spam-hitman/

DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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