Moderating blog posts for spam on your WordPress site can be a big time suck chore for most site owners. Spam filter plugins or premium content plugins are the only real ways to control it. I’ve been using the Akismet and G.A.S.P. plugins together for some time. Let me tell you why this is a great combo that really cuts my spam and moderation time to a trickle.
Akismet is a Must Have
The number one plugin for protecting your blog posts from spam is Akismet. It comes preloaded with WordPress, but you need to get an API key to enable it. (And pay the little bit of money they request and/or make a donation. It’s worth every penny and more compared to the time it saves you moderating comments.)
Plus, Akismet integrates with so many other plugins that you’ll use, like contact forms. It helps protect them from spam too.
Akismet catches everything it thinks is spam and sequesters it for you to moderate. But it’s not perfect. It has a few too many false triggers and places good commentors in the questionable pile too.
Adding G.A.S.P. to the Mix
Early last year I was contacted by the creators of G.A.S.P. (Growmap Anti-Spambot Plugin) who also happen to be the creators of CommentLuv. They asked me to give the plugin a try and I did. I deactivated Akismet first, so I could see how G.A.S.P. performed on its own. I had zero spam caught in the filter, which was great. I spent no time sifting through to find false triggers.
About a month into the trial, catastrophe struck. G.A.S.P. let through a comment that appeared on my site which had a word for a male body part in it that any decent spam filter should catch. I turned red with embarrassment and annoyance that such a thing had happened. So, G.A.S.P. alone was certainly not the answer, but I really enjoyed the lack of false triggers.
Kristi Hines to the Rescue
About a month later I read a post by super blogger, Kristi Hines titled WordPress Comment System, Plugins and Moderation. In the comments, she declared that she used Akismet and G.A.S.P. together. I thought it was odd, but gave it a try. That was in March 2011. It’s now January 2012 and I’m delighted to report that I have very few comments to sift through for false triggers and NOTHING inappropriate gets through to the public. Everything that is caught in the filter is supposed to be there and it’s super easy to bulk delete it.
It may sound odd to do, but it works. Using Akismet and G.A.S.P. together is a great way to stop comment spam and lighten your load on moderation time. I’ve also decided to close comments on posts that are over a month old. You can find that option in Settings > Discussion. Some say to leave them open forever, and that strategy probably works better for content that is evergreen. But, with techie type content, like the kind on BlogAid, things change rapidly and the info in some posts ages quickly, like every time there is an update to a platform such as WordPress, YouTube, or social media sites.
What’s working for you to block comment spam?