Help Me Determine if We Can Eliminate Spam Forever!

Last Updated on: September 27th, 2016

This is a picture of a stick man I created who I like to call Gimpy. He's frustrated because he doesn't know what is going on! He's trying to comment on my blog, but can't.

Are you sick of spam? I know I am, and want to eliminate it once and for all.

Akismet just isn’t cutting it, so I’ve switched to Anti-Spam. It might have to do with the current commenting system I’m using (as Connor Rickett points out in the last half of his video), but I’m just not sure.

Anyways, these are both FREE WordPress plugins, but one seems to be better than the other!

So far, Anti-Spam is doing the trick, and there is NO spam in my spam folder, but I’m not sure how it is going to affect people who want to comment on my posts, so I need your help!

My Commenting Plugin Experiment

I experimented with this in the past, but for only a few days. I wasn’t sure if I lost commenters. I know that Akismet sometimes classified a couple of my commenters as spam (a couple of times Adrienne Smith was considered spam, and I know for a fact that she is a real person), but, I’m tired of hunting for such commenters in my spam folder. Wading through spam comments is a time-waster, and my time is better spent elsewhere. I’m willing to bet yours is, too.

A New Commenting Problem

The problem that I’m facing now is wondering whether or not my commenters are going to make it through the filtering process. I’m afraid I’m going to lose commenters. I actually activated this plugin about 10 days ago, and so far have had no problems (that I know of) with peoples’ abilities to comment on my last post… so this post might be a waste of time on my part… but I don’t think it is.

At the very least, it will teach you about the Anti-Spam plugin!

What to do if you cannot comment on Wording Well

It’s no secret that I moderate comments on this site. I do this for three reasons:

  1. because of the spammers.
  2. because I want to see what is being posted on my website.
  3. because I reply to every comment and I cannot do this if I don’t know who has commented, and on which post. (I don’t close comments on any of my posts because there are a few posts that help people on an ongoing basis and I want to be there for anyone who reaches out to me for help. This is especially important for some of my top posts, including the one I Want to Kill Myself – What Should I Do? as Google sends many people to my site each day who are feeling suicidal and are seeking help.)

If you cannot comment on my site, please let me know.

I’m on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. I’m sure you are on ONE of these! I have three Facebook pages – my main family and friends page, my writing and editing services page, and my author page. Go on, give me a LIKE while you’re at it. 😉


I have three Google+ pages, too. I use my main one for pretty much everything, and my author page for book and publishing-related stuff, and a poetry page that page doesn’t get much action. 🙁 Of course, I also have a contact page on my blog, if all else fails.

The Catch-22 of Commenting on Wording Well

Here is the question YOU are going to ask yourself: How am I going to know if my comment made it through, given that you moderate comments?

Here is my answer: If your comment doesn’t appear after a maximum of 3 days, it didn’t make it through. I am generally on my computer every day, or every second day. It’s rare for me to take three consecutive days off, unless I’m really sick.

The only thing I can hope for is that you ARE able to comment without any hassles. I’m not sure if having an avatar in place (through gravatar.com) is absolutely necessary in order to make it through the spam filter of Anti-Spam, but I’m sure it will help.

UPDATE: So far, everyone is making it through the filtering system and I have had no reports of anyone experiencing any problems. GREAT! 🙂

The only problem I noticed was one that was not related to this plugin at all. Because I noticed it after installing this plugin, I thought the plugin was to blame. For more information on this problem, read this article and the solution (found in Greg Narayan’s comment).

How I Learned about the Anti-Spam Plugin

Before Keisha Easley sold her blog We Blog Better, she wrote a post about how to secure your WordPress blog. I have no idea if that post still exists; I believe the blog has changed hands a few times since then. If you want to read some useful posts about comment spam, I’d suggest reading Stopping Manual WordPress Comment Spam – 5 Ways to Help.

A Question for You to Answer in the Comment Section

Getting back to the topic of comment spam, I’d like to know if you use this plugin on your WordPress site, or if you have ever tried it.

Have you had good results with this plugin?

Have you even heard about it before?

Are you going to try it out?

Do you like Akismet? Why or why not?

Please share your thoughts about these plugins in the comments… if you can. 😉

Side note for Writers:

Oh, and be sure to check out my recent post on my author site. It’s about BookVetter, a site for authors, writers, and book-review bloggers.

68 thoughts on “Help Me Determine if We Can Eliminate Spam Forever!

  1. Gaurav Tripathi says

    Thanks Lorraine for explaining in details. I have been using Akismet plugin for spam protection but didnt try this plugin. In internet world, their are lots of spammers who are using blog commenting as a strong weapon to build backlinks to their site.
    Thanks to wordpress for providing these good plugins to protect site from spammers.
    I will test this soon

  2. Connor Rickett says

    Lorraine,

    Thanks for the shoutout. Keep fighting the good fight!

    You continually impress me with the promotions you think of. Free editing for comments? Brilliant. Remember me when you retire rich.

    Connor

  3. hi lorraine; well here i am leaving my comment in hopes that your new plug in doesn’t send me to the spam folder. since we email regularly I’m sure I wil hear about it when you get this. and if i don’t, well then i surely know where you are. 😀 best of luck with it. if it keeps working i may switch too. take care, max

    • says

      Max, all is well. The plugin is working perfectly, as far as I can see, and I didn’t have to rescue you from the spam folder. My spam folder has remained empty since installing this plugin! I love this plugin!

  4. Vernessa Taylor says

    Hi Lorraine,

    I’m using Chrome to write this comment, specifically because Adrienne mentioned it. I hadn’t heard of this issue until Adrienne mentioned it but it might be the reason that sometimes my comments end up in spam on other blogs. I never know which browser I might access a site with, so this is an annoying issue.

    Like others, I rescue people from my spam folder whenever I’m reviewing comments. I still use CommentLuv (Premium) and love it for the engagement features, because it has GASP built-in and it has an anti-backlink function. I hardly get the levels of spam you get so I understand your desire not to have to figure out whose legit and who is not.

    I’d be interested in your final results. Have a great week!

    • says

      Vernessa, I’m going to have to write up my results in another post. I’m still figuring them out myself, as I found a glitch. 🙁

      Thanks for your comment… and the email… and then this comment… again.

      Sigh.

  5. Hi Lorraine,

    Thank you for sharing this post. I’ve enabled Akismet plugin on my blog and It’s working well and detect to many spam comments on daily basis.
    You’ve shared amazing stuff to eliminate spam comments. I’ve also shared post about spam comments on my blog too 😀 lol

    It’s my first visit on your blog. I’d found your blog on Donna Merrill Tribe where she’d mentioned you in her list.

    I’ll now visit your blog soon to know more techniques 🙂

    • says

      Mustafa, thanks for visiting, and for commenting. I’ll have to thank Donna, too. 😉

      I’ve actually switched plugins, and now I am testing another one out. I’ll have to check your post on anti-spam plugins, too. Thanks!

  6. says

    Hi Lorraine,
    I have no words about how much irritated i feel whenever there is a spam comment or even email. Its so ridiculous.
    Despite of taking certain measures, sometimes it still shows up.
    I would definitely try this Akismet.
    Thanks
    Ajay

  7. says

    I hope my comment will not go in spam. But I think I have picture, not sure if it will appear here or not.
    There are so many useful links in this blog and it will surely take some time to get through these, I really want to thank you for all links, You went off the topic but every thing is really important that you shared so it was worth doing.
    I have not used Akismet and do not know about the results. I hope some day I will try it. I have book marked this page to come again and check the name of plugin , when I will need that. I have not heard about this before.

    Thank you Lorraine and I will also like your Facebook page.

  8. It’s kind of frustrating isn’t it? So much effort devoted to keeping out the trash. And this is only one aspect of it. There’s also email and social media accounts. Spam is like an oozing gunk that comes creeping in through all the cracks.

  9. I hate spam too. I have Askimet and it seems to work about 70% of time. Spam comments still trickle in from time to time. I have never heard of this Anti-Spam plugin but I will give it a shot.

  10. says

    I was getting a lot of spam comments when i had my own website. I learned to add spam controls on it. Now, with blogspot, i am not getting any spam comments at all.

  11. Interesting! I’m all for eliminating spam, so I’ll be paying attention to see how it works for you. I use Akismet and it seems to work fine, but I think that’s just because I’m a very small fish in a very big pond. 🙂

    • says

      Meredith, I hate to say it but I think you’re right. However, I’ve run into a glitch with this plugin. Watch for my next post; I’m going to update everyone with my findings.

      I also shared your latest post on Facebook – the one about the wreath. Neat idea!

  12. says

    Hi Lorraine – thanks for telling me about Anti-spam. I’ve been using Akismet and like you, have had little success and have been receiving a lot of spam. Will try your plug-in.

  13. Deidre M. Simpson says

    Akismet is what I’ve used for years now. I monitor it when responding to comments on my blog. It also helps to limit the commenting timeframe. If I start having problems with spam, I’ll certainly try Anti-Spam.

    • says

      Deidre, when your site starts to get noticed by the search engines (instead of the bloggers from BHB), you’ll start to see a lot of spam comments coming in, and then Akismet won’t seem to cut it anymore. You’ll be thinking of this plugin then!

      I’d like to know if you considered linking your blog to your writer website? You could simply add a page or even a button to do this…

  14. Lyn says

    Hi Lorraine,

    I hope this gets through! :))

    Wanted to thank you for sharing this issue and what you’ve decided to do about it after testing the Anti-Spam plugin.

    My site in underway but not live yet and I was planning to use Akismet however now I’ll use Anti-Spam instead!

    Cheers!

    • says

      Lyn, that’s good to hear. With this wise choice, you have just saved yourself hours and hours of time! 🙂

      I appreciate your comment. It came through just fine. 🙂

  15. Hi Lorraine

    Hopefully this will make it through. My son set up my website and it uses Askimet. It also uses a capitcha which is apparently hard for bots or other non-humans to get through as well as easy (I hope) for people visiting. It has things like add an olive to the martini glass. Since using that as well as Askimet I have virtually no spam. I’m crossing my fingers and touching wood as I say that.

    • says

      Pat, I can see why your current strategy is working. However, the problem with Captchas is that not too many people like them. They are a hassle and are also difficult to see on mobile phones (so I hear). At least, that is what I was told before when I had Captchas on one of my sites. I was told to remove it to make the user-experience better. Readers who were commenters and much more experienced with websites than I was encouraged me to remove it, so I did.

      I’m not suggesting you have to do the same thing, but it might be interesting to get some feedback from your readers/commenters on this. If you ever decide to use a different plugin (one instead of two?), then Anti-Spam is a good solution. 🙂

      Thanks for your comment, Pat. I’m sure you’d rather be writing romance and mystery instead of thinking about plugins, though… LOL

  16. I loathe spam! I lie awake at night imagining I’ll learn how to code in the future and create something to rid the world of spam! I don’t just want a plugin that hides it or blocks it. I want something that sends sparks back through the interwebs and MAIMS whoever is sending it out to my site! Oops – did I say that out loud?

    Until that day I might try this new plugin you’ve suggested. I’ve tried a few different things and they all seem to work for a little while and then the spam comments start to sneak through. My best solution has been to rotate through them but even that is becoming less useful these days.

    Judging from the comment above yours is working fine!

    • says

      Tracey, in a perfect world the spammers would get what’s coming to them! LOL

      I agree with your thinking. LOL

      Thanks for commenting. Looks like everyone is making it through… so far. 🙂

      Oh, and welcome to Wording Well! 🙂

        • says

          Tracey, you’re welcome for the welcome. LOL

          I hope you like Anti-Spam. I hate spam (I’m sure everyone does) and I think you’re already amazed… right?

          I mean, if you just installed it, you’re probably already noticing that there’s no spam in your folders.

  17. Well, I’ll have a go at your test. See if this one goes through. I hope everything goes smoothly and the new plugin does what you want it to – save you time.

    • says

      E.G., you made it through! Yay!

      Thanks for your comment and YOUR time. 🙂

      The plugin’s working well on Wording Well, and IS saving me time. Double-YAY! 😉

  18. Herb says

    Hi Lorraine, I wish there were a spam killer for my telephone.
    As noted, I started a WordPress site, but got bogged down on
    the question of where and how to publish. I think “self” publishing sites recommend such a tool. And after reading your Spam entry, I’m sure to have this one on my site when I launch it (hopefully before I publish). Thanks.

  19. I’ve never heard of the anti-spam plugin. I’m probably not going to try it, because I’m not as tech savvy as you.

    Do you like Akismet? I’m not sure. As I said I’m not tech savvy, so sometimes I add things on my blog or website and don’t know what they do. Stupid, I know.

    I will check back to see if my comments are posted.

    • says

      Jo Ann, I know you like simple directions, so here they are:
      1. Download the plugin file for Anti-Spam from https://wordpress.org/plugins/anti-spam/. Save it to your computer – create a folder called Plugins and save it there.
      2. In the side of your blog’s dashboard, click on Plugins. Hit the Add New button.
      3. Choose the file from your computer that you downloaded. Then hit Install Now.
      4. When it’s finished installing, just hit Activate. That’s it.

      You can repeat this process for the differnent plugins you want on your site.
      Would you like me to write a post about the different ones I use, and why I use them?

  20. This is an interesting topic and one I am very interested in. I am currently not on the WordPress platform and so don’t use these plug-ins, but I had experience this summer with CommentLuv and Akismet flagging many of my comments on other blogs as spam. The best answer I got from them (they did help me work through the issue) was a discrepancy between the use of .ca or .com at the end of my Blogger based blog home page and blog posts. To this day, there are some sites I need to list my blog url with the .ca extension and others with the .com extension or I still go into spam. I don’t think a commenter who wasn’t also a blogger would do as much work as I did to resolve the issue.

    A couple of things I hadn’t considered until reading your post. I am looking at moving to a WordPress platform and would need a plug-in for spam detection. I’ve been concerned about how well they detect spam without flagging legitimate comments, but hadn’t considered the possibility that some may actually attract more spam. I check my spam folder regularly for any comments that aren’t really spam.

    The other thing I hadn’t considered is that my browser may have an impact on whether I’m flagged as spam. I use Chrome most of the time.

    I am very interested in hearing how well Anti-Spam works for you.

    • says

      Donna, so far it’s been working ever since I activated it ten days ago. Everyone seems to be making it through, too; at least I’ve not heard any reports yet from anyone who hasn’t.

      I have had zero spam comments since installing it, too. I love this plugin! I’m so grateful it’s free. 🙂 It’s working like a charm!

      The only thing that bothers me is that I don’t know about other platforms and plugins to recommend to my readers who do not use WordPress. 🙁 I can only speak to WordPress users, because my sites are all WordPress sites.

      Sorry, Donna!

      If there is anyone out there who can speak to Blogger sites, don’t hesitate to add your two cents worth!

  21. Brian K. Morris says

    No spam? So I can’t plug SANTASTEIN or BLOODSHOT: THE COLDEST WARRIOR incessantly any more? Curse you evil advertisers (and I hope to be one of you someday).

    Sorry for the extra work because of those reprobates. But for a nifty, informative blog like this, I appreciate the extra mile you travel.

    *closes eyes, steps forward, hopes he makes it through*

    • says

      Brian, you and your hilarious comment made it through the dark gates of the filter. YAY for you. Funny man!

      Thanks for checking!

      I do wish you’d upload a pic to your gravatar file, though. *hint hint*

      I’ll expect to see your mug shot next time you comment!

  22. Martha Gail Moore says

    Hi Lorraine,

    The Anti-Spam plugin is new to me as well as G.A.S.P. Since I’m not blogging on my own website, I have only been using Akismet. It rarely lets a comment through.

    I, like you, moderate everyone though.

    So, I, too, will be following this post.

    I use Chrome for my browser.

    Very good post, Lorraine!

    • says

      Thanks, Martha Gail. I sure appreciate you taking the time to comment, and I’m glad you liked this post. I aim to inform even when asking for favours. 😉

  23. Adrienne says

    Hey Lorraine,

    Spam will never go away, that’s just a sad reality bloggers have to deal with. We do the best we can to block spam from our sites but then we have a totally separate issue here too.

    The reason I “sometimes” land in the spam folder has to do either with my browser not liking your particular blog or my URL. As you know I wrote about this last year after Mitch Mitchell and I did some tests. I’m back to using Google Chrome but every time I commented on his blog using Chrome I went to his spam folder. When I comment on his blog using FireFox I don’t go to spam.

    I have the same issue over at my blog where legitimate commenters land in the spam folder too. They’ll test these different ways out and sometimes they go to spam and sometimes they don’t so it’s not an issue of them being flagged as spam nor even your plugin that’s putting them there.

    The plugin is meant to send those to spam that have been flagged by others as spam. That’s what we all are trying our best to cut down on but as I just said, it’s not always going to be the case.

    All I can say is if I continue to go to your spam folder and you’re not willing to rescue your legitimate commenters then I guess I’m wasting my time being heard here. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that’s not the case and I know it gets tiring but I rescue my legitimate commenters from spam every single day. One of those happens to be Cori, she always goes to spam so think about what would happen if I just left her there. Not good in my opinion.

    So good luck with this test and I hope I make it through. Hope this all works out for you.

    ~Adrienne

    • says

      Adrienne, you made it through! Yay!

      I didn’t consider the issue with different browsers. Huh. Thanks for throwing me a curveball…

      I only hope that others make it through…

      Time will tell.

      I also use a Chrome browser. I like it, for the most part, but have had a couple of issues with some of my free extensions. That’s a whole other conversation though! 😉

      Thank you for your comment and for bringing to light the browser issue. I didn’t consider that!

  24. Hi Lorraine,

    Aren’t we all affected by SPAM!? That was the main reason why I removed CommentLuv from my blog, besides a few other reasons.

    Spam will always be there as long as you’ve the comments enabled on the native WP commenting system or its improvised version with the CommentLuv plugin. I’ve experienced the least spam with the Jetpack commenting plugin and Disqus. BTW – Discus I think has NO spam as compared to all the rest of the commenting systems or plugins.

    However, as far as the plugins dealing with spam are considered, I use Akismet and though its not perfect, it does help a lot. I’ve never tried Anti-Spam but might do so. Can you use both Akismet and Anti-Spam together?

    Even CommentLuv’s G.A.S.P. at times considered Adrienne as spam at my end and even not allowed many regular commentators to comment on my blog. So, these things do happen unfortunately because no plugin is perfect.

    There are many other ways to tackle spam – use captchas, math problem, simple questions, animations, etc at the bottom of the comment box, though I personally don’t like any of those. If you don’t like them, then there are a few paid plugins at nominal cost that can work for you.

    Right now I’ll stay put with Akismet as that also helps me filter the spam for my new blog community activities, which I’m not sure if Anti-Spam will do.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

    • says

      Harleena, the very question you asked me was what I had asked Keisha – can Akismet and Anti-Spam be used together? I didn’t get an answer from her. 🙁 However, after playing around with these plugins, I’ve determined that Anti-Spam is 1000 times better than Akismet, and I have had NO spam comments whatsoever since I deactivated Akisment and activated Anti-Spam.

      I love this plugin and think I am going to keep using it. You made it through, and so did a few others, and so obviously it works. I was getting more than 150 spam comments per day with Akismet. I get NONE with Anti-Spam.

      Try it, and see if it works for you. You could always go back to Akismet if you don’t like it. I think you will LOVE it though! I know I do!

      I don’t like any of the other options you mentioned either. I doubt any of us do.

      I’ve considered switching commenting systems, too. I’m trying to tackle one thing at a time, though. 😉
      There are pros and cons to different systems, and have read a few different posts on this subject. I’ve even tried the free version of CommentLuv on my blog, but people were using it only for the backlink so I removed it and went back to the WordPress system. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” is what I was told. LOL
      I agree.

      Thanks for commenting, Harleena, and adding to this discussion. I appreciate that you mentioned the alternatives, even though none of them are very good solutions. It’s good to make others aware that we are out to offer only the BEST solutions to them! 🙂

  25. Dr. Nicolas Rao says

    Thank you Lorraine,
    It felt good to swim around in the ocean you have been surfing in. I followed ever so many links and saw many facets of your enterprise and skill.
    I am most happy to be in touch with you and see you lead into greater heights of achievement.
    Thanks again for the experience.
    With best wishes.
    Nick

    • says

      Nick, your comment made it through, but you didn’t answer any of my questions. I was tempted to mark it as a spam comment myself. However, I wanted you to know that it made it through the Anti-Spam filtering system. I also know you have commented on this site in the recent past, so I know you are human. 😉

      That all said, I would like for you to make your comments relevant to the topic of discussion in the future. Comments which don’t add value to a post are considered useless and may even hurt my site’s ranking within Google. While I want to cultivate relationships with my readers, I certainly don’t want to be penalized by Google for doing so!

      I hope you understand my position and will continue to comment on my posts – relevantly – in the future.

      Thank you.

  26. Bren Lee says

    Hi Lorraine!

    Who isn’t tired of SPAM! OMG! It’s a huge pain in the bum! I’ve heard and I’ve actually tested it, the Akismet is not all it’s cracked up to be. I seem to get more SPAM comments when using it! Isn’t that odd? When not using it, there aren’t any SPAM comments, plus I use G.A.S.P. I’m intrigued to find out more about Anti-Spam. I think I read about it on someone else’s blog recently.

    Good luck keeping SPAM away. I’ll be following your posts!

    B

    • says

      Bren, I have the G.A.S.P. plugin uploaded but not activated. I wanted to see if I needed it in conjunction with Anti-Spam, and so far, it seems like I don’t. We all know that the more plugins we have, the slower are sites are, so using Anti-Spam instead of Akismet and G.A.S.P. together is better, if you ask me!

      I have had NO spam comments by using Anti-Spam, so I think I am going to continue using it if it is user-friendly to commenters.

      Try it. It’s free, so what have you got to lose? Nothing. Except spam comments, of course, which is what all bloggers want! 😉

      Thanks for following, too. 🙂

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