Destroy WordPress Spam

imagesWordPress is the most popular free blog software on the planet. For this and other reasons, it is also one of the most targeted for spam. Since WordPress 2.0, Akismet has been included by default to manage spam. Akismet is an excellent tool especially for corporate blogs, etc and is not cheap to operate.

What about the little guys?

I run several blogs and one of them was vetted on CNN’s iReport a few months ago. In addition to almost instant increased traffic at my co-lo, I was also inundated with comments on the blog. Over night I had over 1000 comments of which about 10% were the real thing. Because I was excited about being vetted, I didn’t want to just blindly delete all the comments like I have in the past. Once I went through, ¬†approved the real comments and expunged the spam, I began looking for a solution.

Spam Destroyer

A guy by the name of Ryan Hellyer¬†got tired of spam on his wordpress sites and being a code geek, decided to do something about it. Ryan wrote Spam Destroyer, and it lives up to it’s name. Spam Destroyer is the easiest spam plug-in you’ll ever use. Install, activate and you are done. Too good to be true? I thought so as well but after a month of using it on all my blog sites, I am thouroughly impressed. I’ve had no spam and the real comments come right in.

How it works

Being myself a member of the geek community, I wanted to know “how”. I sent an email to Ryan but at the time of writing had not heard back (he seems like a busy guy). There are FAQ’s on the linked site above but in short, Ryan explains it like this:

There are two anti-spam payloads, a cookie and a hidden input field, which are created/verified by javascript.

Any bots attempting to bypass this plugin will need to be able to process both cookies and/or javascript.

If you understand cookies/js then this seems feasible. More or less you are requiring that the spam bot be smart, which most aren’t. Are there ways around it? Sure. Is someone going to take the time to write a bot that gets around it? Probably. But it doesn’t seem like they have gotten around to it yet!


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