Akismet is one of the most popular WordPress plugins for preventing spam comments or spam trackbacks on WordPress blogs. In my two year blogging career, Akismet has been the best friend – detecting close to 50,000 spam comments on this blog.
However, sometimes the perfect tools may fail and you can’t assume this philosophy – “Oh ! Everything is perfect. Akismet is doing it’s job brilliantly. If it ain’t broken, why fix it ?” [ Bad idea ]
Akismet Can Sometimes Fail And Mark Legitimate Comments As Spam
Let’s take an example.
I get hundreds of spam comments everyday on new as well as older blog posts. I do not waste time checking the spam folder, instead I let the spam comments accumulate in the “Spam” folder and delete them in bulk on weekends.
This is because I have hardly found any legitimate comment getting flagged as “Spam” due to Akismet’s spam filtering technology. And checking the spam folder every other day is such a tiring job.
Guess I was wrong. Just today I checked my Akismet spam folder and found a legitimate comment from one of the loyal readers of this blog, waiting to be rescued from the Akismet Spam folder. I had to hit the “Not Spam” link and then moderate the comment before it appeared in one of my blog posts.
A Note to the above commenter – Really sorry Udegbunam, you see Akismet caught it among hundreds of spam comments and I was totally unaware of this. Sincere apologies to other commentators whose valued comments may have accidentally been deleted because I was reluctant and hit the “Empty Spam” button before manually checking each comment in the spam queue.
The problem with Akismet is that the plugin uses too many parameters to detect spam bots – IP address, email address, words, URL’s and keywords. A single suspicious attribute and your comment is most likely to end up in the spam folder.
Meet the Akismet Alternative – G.A.S.P (Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin)
The Growmap Anti Spambot WordPress Plugin performs a very good job in detecting spam bots who try to post fake comments using your site’s comment form. The plugin adds a simple checkbox just below or above your comment form area which reads:
Confirm you are human by selecting the checkbox
Neat idea ! The bots can not trigger a user generated browser event (checkbox selection) and hence the plugin will never allow any comment to be posted on your blog, if that checkbox isn’t selected. You don’t need to judge the IP address, email address, website, URL, keywords to check whether the comment is spam or not.
And there is no manual spam checking, just because you were curious whether Akismet flagged a fare comment as spam.
Here is how the comment form of a WordPress blog looks, once the plugin goes to work:
Advantage of Using G.A.S.P over Other Comment Spam Plugins
1. The first advantage is of G.A.S.P over Captcha plugins is that the user does not have to perform a math or type in a pair of words, before the comment is allowed to approve.
2. The second advantage is that the Plugin does not create any database tables, hence no extra load on your blog’s database.
3. The third advantage is that you can specify the maximum number of URL’s or completely disallow URL’s in WordPress comments. This will stop “Comment signature spam” forever.
Note: G.A.S.P is developed by Andy Bailey, who is also the author of Commentluv – another popular WordPress plugin.