Spam Reduction

Posted by @ 6:52 pm on Tuesday 5th May, 2009.
Categories: Plugins, Site update

I think it's fair to say that this blog is small change in the grand scheme of things, and as such doesn't attract too much attention from spammers, but I still like to maintain the defences to keep the yoghurt-sucking mutants at bay.

For a while I relied solely on the supplied-as-standard Akismet plugin, which does a fine job of preventing spam from appearing on post/page comments, but it didn't prevent further attempts by the same spammers.

The required prevention was added by the installation of the WP-Ban plugin, into which I put all of the IP addresses of the spams caught by Akismet. This meant that spammers no longer got a repeat chance, as WP-Ban prevented access and reduced the throughput into Akismet. The only hassle there is that the IP addresses have to be cut&pasted manually, which is a PITA. If only somebody could produce a bit of code that would allow these two plugins to talk to each other, life would be a tad easier. At about the same time, I installed the Simple Trackback Validation plugin, which is fairly self-explanatory.

That setup worked fine for many months, but just into the New Year I started to get a higher incidence of spam, so I looked at further lines of defence. As the majority of the spam was aimed at some older popular posts, the first thing that I did was to automatically close comments on posts that are over 150 days old, using the options in admin > settings > discussion > other comment settings. This cut down the spam even further, and I thought that I had installed enough protection. Spam-rates were down to about 15 a day, which was manageable.

Then a friend called me and said that he thought that a lot of his spam was coming in from sites that were scraping his content and displaying it in frames, and he was wondering if I was experiencing the same. To be fair, I had no idea what he was on about, but I thought I'd see if a preventative measure would make any difference, so I installed the No More Frames plugin to see if it had any effect. That was back in mid-March.

Today I had a look at Akismet Stats to see what the score is. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the spam-count since mid-March was down to just one a day at the most, with many days being spam-free. I like that!

Here's the spam-graph (click the pic for a larger version):

 

Spam-stats screenshot from Akismet


Of course, there'e always a downside to these things. In this case, I now have precious little new material to add to my "Spam: choice cuts" page. Never mind, eh?

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6 Responses to “Spam Reduction”

  1. Christopher Ross says:

    I'm glad to hear my plugin could help a little. I'd never heard of it being used to stop SPAM attacks before but it makes perfect sense, thanks for the link back.

  2. BG! says:

    @Christopher Ross - Thanks for dropping by, Christopher, and thanks for the plugin.

  3. Spam is the bane of my existence as I have, and write for, far too many blogs. Glad you triumphed over it.

  4. BG! says:

    @Kristine Shreve - Fight the good fight, eh? I shudder to think just how much spam you must get.

  5. Christopher Ross says:

    My pleasure, you have a great blog here and I'll be sure to come back to check it out often. I hope that DIY store doesn't defeat you 🙂

  6. Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-05-10 :: Christopher Ross says:

    [...] an interesting observation of how my No More Frames plugin for WordPress helps to cut down on SPAM http://beardedgit.com/?p=2217 [...]

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