KillerSites Blog

Protecting against blog comment spam.

May 9, 2008


First things first: thank you for Akismet!

wordpress screenshot

… I just wanted to offer my sincere appreciation for the WordPress anti-spam plugin: ‘Askimet’.

This nifty plugin has saved me countless hours (and possibly days) of work by filtering out hundreds of spam post each and every day!

I can easily say that for me, Askimet has proven to be the most important plugin for WordPress.

… Just in the time it took me to write this post, Askimet has caught 7 spam comments!

If you see a spammer, smack him!

It is clear that blog spammers are among the worst of Web citizens. They are the hyena’s of the Web, trying to steal traffic they don’t deserve.

Blog spam protection tips

Being a high value spam target (the juicier the traffic …), I can offer the following advice:

  • If you are a WordPress user, you should be sure to activate Askimet … it will save you time. Big time!
  • By default, keep comments disabled for your post and only enable them manually. And after a little while, shut off the comments.

… I used to keep my comments on by default. Then one day I got hit with so much spam, that it effectively became a denial of service attack – my whole server began to grind to a halt.

How comment spam nearly took down my dedicated server

As you may know, WordPress can be configured to send you an email alert every time someone post a comment. So when I got hit with thousands of spam comments in the span of an hour, my mail server started to flood with email confirmations from WordPress.

This in turn flooded my email in-box with thousands of emails and had the PHP engine working overtime. All this put together .. hogs up a lot of server power.

To fix the problem, I first shut off all comments in WordPress, restarted the web server and then I had to manually flush all the remaining emails from the mail (smtp) server.

Anyway, even with Askimet running, I still found myself up to my neck in spam … because I was a little to relaxed with regards to blog comments.

Final tip

Even if you are not a WordPress user, you can still use Askimet in your blog or forum – you just need to know a little PHP to hook into it.

Hey .. yet ANOTHER reason to learn PHP!

Stefan Mischook