An anti-spam plugin for WordPress: Peter’s Custom anti-spam plugin

Comment spam is one of the biggest nuisances that blog writers can face. You write an article about something you like, your blog starts getting more comments, and are over-joyed to find that there are a large number of comments on your posts. You review these comments, only to find to your disgust that these comments are nothing but advertisements for different types of porn (and mind you, don’t click on these ads even if you are interested in porn :-), since a large number of the sites you will reach are actually sites than install spyware or other bad things on your machine), or for medicines (bogus or otherwise), and for selling other sort of things. You certainly don’t want such comments listed on your blog (they will make your blog be unattractive, or even reduce your Google PageRank if you have a large number of such comments). So what can you do besides reviewing and deleting such comments (something that can take a lot of effort):
1. You can install a plugin for WordPress called Akismet (it is shipped by default with WordPress), and activate it by getting an account with WordPress.com. Akismet does not prevent spam comments from your reaching your blog, but prevents them from getting automatically posted. These comments are put in a special spam moderation queue for reviewing, and if you don’t bother to review, they are deleted at regular intervals. I have already written a post on Akismet, you if do a search, you will be able to find the relevant psost.
2. The other way is to make it more difficult for spam bots (a lot of the comment spam is done through the use of scripts rather than humans doing it); how is this done ? This is done by something called a ‘captcha’, where before writing a comment, there is need to enter a text that is right there in front of the user. Spam scripts will typically fail at this point and the comment will not be entered. Captcha is viewed by irritation by users to some extent because it is an extra step, but it is a great help in reducing spam. It also fails for some of the visually handicapped users, but there are many captchas that allow the user to listen to the text rather than having to see it.
This post is about one of these plugins, called Peter’s Custom Anti-Spam Image Plugin for WordPress (current version 3.0.7). The plugin is located at the following page (Plugin page for WordPress.org) or at the site directly (link). You need to download the plugin, install it in the plugins directory of your WordPress installation, then activate it from the plugins page of your WordPress Admin page.
Features as per the site:
– Toggle whether registered users need to enter the word
– Random font display
– No cookies required
– No JavaScript required
– Auto-generated audio for visually impaired users
– Easy-to-read
– No mapping of words from the code — words are used once or removed after 24 hours
– Reminder of what was entered if you get the word wrong
– Selective blocking of trackbacks, pingbacks
– Easy to translate
– Purposely no obscuring techniques so that the anti-spam word is easy to read
– The more people who use this plugin, the more motivation for spambots to target it
If you want to see an installation of this plugin, refer to the following site (link). So, if you are worried by spam comments on your WordPress Blog, then give this plugin a Swirl along with the Akismet plugin.

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