Tag Archives: spam

Dealing with Spam

We’ve all had junk come through our e-mail – but the same thing can happen on our web site.

Spam actually comes in two kinds of forms – posts from live users and posts from computers.

Posts from Users
When we allow discussions on our site (see Settings–>Discussions) we allow people to express themselves and their opinions. By approving discussions first, we can control what appears on our site, but sometimes that’s more trouble than it’s worth. Quite often all we want to do is ensure people participate in a respectable way.

For many of us, respectable does not include swearing, so WordPress provides a way to create a list of words that if they appear in a post, that post must first be approved by an administrator. From the Discussions settings, just add the words you want to the list (to get you started you can use this sample of curse-words.)

Posts from computers
Like the spam that hits your e-mail, there’s much generated by computers. Rather than try and manage these yourself, you can enable the WP-SpamFree plugin. It will look after deleting any computer generated spam before it even is posted to your site. As a side benefit, WP-SpamFree can also generate a simple contact form for your users to submit message to you directly.

Discussion and Comment Settings

WordPress tries to create relationships between you and your readers by enabling comments on your posts. As you create your post, you can override the default settings, but before you do that you should decide if you want comments on your site and set the global settings accordingly.

To start, select Discussions from the Settings tab. You’ll be presented with a screen where you can choose:

  • Do you want people to comment on your posts?
  • Do you want to approve comments before they’re posted?
  • What words do you want to flag as not acceptable?

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WP-SpamFree plugin

Just like the spam you receive in your email’s inbox, robots scrounge the web for web sites for the opportunity to submit their messages using your site’s comment function. WP-SpamFree is a plugin that helps reduce robot spam. All you have to do is enable it and the plugin does the rest.

The plug-in also provides a simple contact form that you can place on your site as well. Once enabled, enter the following using the HTML editor:


You can even customize elements of  the form – just select WP-SpamFree from under the Plugins menu.