How to stop WordPress spam?

stop_spam

About this article: Posted in: Learned along the way
By: Blockcoder ( Admin ) / 24.10.2012
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The Spam Bots are among us

Hello, today I’m writing about how to stop spam post what is coming via plain text e-mail addresses forms. Spam bots are always awake and they are continuously digging for weak spots of all websites. They are searching for example for e-mail addresses that are plain text, any contact/feedback forms, any weak spot from what they can send spam mail etc.

Isn’t it annoying that you know that the bots are among us? I think so too. I have plenty of personal experience about them. And it’s not nice. No. Not anymore.


How to stop the spamming of the bots?

Well, there are several ways with you can prevent the spam. One way is to use the WordPress’s built-in function called “antispambot“.

Another way is to add “CAPTCHA” plugin to all of your contact forms you have in your website. It stops most of the spam using different security questions to make sure the person is human which is sending the mail. Okay let us demonstrate how to use these.


The WordPress antispambot

What it does? You can read the complete description from WordPress official website, but I’ll borrow the description here.

It converts email addresses characters to HTML entities to block spam bots.

How to use it?

<?php
echo antispambot("example@mail.com");
?>

The antispambot function converts the e-mail to a hash string. When you try to read it from html-dom it looks like this:

&#101;&#120;am&#112;&#108;&#101;&#64;m&#97;i&#108;&#46;&#99;o&#109;

The bots won’t recognize it so easily as being an E-mail address. It will render in the visitor’s browser like this:

example@mail.com

Yes, I know it is a handy function — so PLEASE USE IT if you want stop that part of the spam.


And second one was — a CAPTCHA? What?

So, what is it?

“CAPTCHA is a type of challenge-response test used in computing as an attempt to ensure that the response is generated by a human being. The process usually involves a computer asking a user to complete a simple test which the computer is able to grade.” – Wikipedia.

Okay, simply put it will test that the one who are sending you a message via a form is a human being. Altough, It won’t always work, but again, it will stop the most the spam posts. You will not be receiving them daily anymore, maybe one in a month so to speak.

I can suggest you couple of these add-ons which adds the captcha –thing– for WordPress forms:

  • Captcha -plugin.
  • Custom Contact Forms -plugin. You can also make custom forms with it. You can decide if you would like to include the captcha in the forms you make.

CAPTCHA example

This is what CAPTCHA usually looks like in forms. It generates a random number or words that doesn’t mean actually anything — and user need to write those down. This is the security test that Wikipedia was talking about.


The Spam Conclusion

So, here’s couple of advices about how to stop the WordPress spam. If you don’t block the spam, the spamming will continue. If you don’t get any spam, your website isn’t like visible in Google or something or it doesn’t have any visitors. Bots will utilize any form and e-mail address they find. And they won’t ask you “can I send you spam?”.

Be sure about that. Thank you.


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