Best Advice for Combating Comment Spam

There’s a ton of advice out there for dealing with comment spam, but when it comes right down to it, the best advice is pretty simple. Darren has an outstanding post on spam this morning that talks about the cost of ignoring trash on your blogs. In it, he says this:

My main piece of advice for bloggers is to use up to date blogging software and to use the built in spamming solutions that many of them have built in or available with plugins.

And there you have it, it’s not foolproof, far from it, but it IS good advice. So, if for no other reason at all, make sure your software is up to date, and that you subscribe to whatever update mechanisms your software/plugins have for keeping you current.

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9 thoughts on “Best Advice for Combating Comment Spam

  1. Richard: I’ve got both spam karma and akismet on my wordpress blogs, but I haven’t actually activated them both simultaneously. I’ll give it a go and let you know what I find. I know Akismet is now available for MovableType, but I’m not sure if spam karma is.

    Hatem: Spam karma has a captcha built in. You just have to activate it.

  2. Point well taken. Guess I’ve been somewhat shy about requiring registration from my users since my blog is still quite a fledgling in terms of its user volume; didn’t want to alienate my already small numbers of visitors. Especially since 75-80 percent of my traffic is new visitors, I felt user registration might not be a good idea for my blog in its current form.

    Even so, good advice and much appreciated!

  3. Thanks for the tip on Spam Karma. Just installed and configured it and am looking forward to the results. Any idea whether this can coexist with Akismet or are they mutually exclusive?


  4. The best way to prevent comment spam, is to stop accepting comments. Should work always 🙂 No but seriously I use captcha and stopped worrying about comment spam forever.

    Solutions such spam karma, Akismet, …etc are good but very resources or time consuming and not 100% efficient.

    Another solution to allow users to register, it will be more easy to manage and have other benefits. And by the way I took many months before posting my first comment on Darren’s blog, his spam karma always detect me as spammer !

  5. I use the WP plugin spam karma, which keeps an IP blacklist and, if you want, forwards your list to a central server so that other publishers can benefit.

  6. I use WordPress 2.0.2 as my blogging platform, installed on my own domain (vs. hosted by WordPress), and have the Akismet anti-comment-spam plugin installed. Akismet has caught virtually all of my comment-spam since I installed it but the volume of catches has also steadily grown since installation; curious coincidence, eh?

    Anyway, yesterday I implemented IP blocking in my .htaccess file for perhaps a dozen IP addresses and this morning Akismet only caught 2 comment-spams (vs. 241 the day before that!).

    Anyone else using their .htaccess to block IP’s?

  7. Oh dear. I’m not sure which feature you’re referring to, Chris, but if you’re talking about WordPress 2.0, upgrading does indeed change the database such that there is no easy going back.

    Backups are always a happening thing. However, WordPress upgrades are usually fairly seamless.

  8. My host has an auto-install and a button to upgrade. Unfortunately I was in such a rush to get wp2 (which I was quite disappointed in) that feature is now broken for me. Just so you know and don’t make the same mistake as I did.

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