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Spam Free plugin combinations (5 posts)

  1. richards1052
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    I'm considering switching from Spam karma to Spam Free on the recommendation of someone who's using the latter successfully on multiple blogs.

    I currently use SK in combo w. Bad Behavior. Does anyone use Spam Free either standalone or in combo w. BB & if so what's been yr experience?

  2. Samuel Wood (Otto)
    Tech Ninja
    Posted 6 years ago #

    WP-SpamFree is not a plugin that I would recommend, because it makes sites inaccessible to the handicapped. The use of javascript to set cookies is a poor way to do things. There's better ways to achieve the same results which don't cause these sorts of issues.

    I recommend Akismet and Simple Trackback Validation. Bad Behavior is okay, but it can be heavy on CPU load.

  3. richards1052
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Thanks for letting me know about that issue. I hadn't even thought of that. Can you explain to me how this would work (i.e. how it prevents them fr. commenting) for someone who is handicapped?

    I find Akismet entirely unsatisfactory for many reasons. I don't get that many trackbacks so I don't need the Validations plugin.

  4. Samuel Wood (Otto)
    Tech Ninja
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Sure. WP-SpamFree works by doing the following:
    1. Comment forms get some javascript code added to them which sets a cookie in the users browser.
    2. The comment receiving side of things checks that cookie and rejects comments without it.

    Easy and effective. But the problem is that Javascript is generally not enabled for handicapped users. Browsers for the blind use screen readers and similar, and javascript interferes with that at times, so it defaults to off. Similarly, many normal users are using javascript blockers and such these days, so you cannot rely on it being enabled for a lot of people. Throwing up a message saying "you can't comment without javascript" is kind of a pain to these users, after they've taken the time to attempt to comment on your site.

    A better way would be the simple hidden form field. It's almost as effective and it is fully compliant with standard HTML. I use this method myself, it blocks quite a lot of spam. This method is simply adding a hidden field to your comment form and then checking for its presence in the comment. Not difficult, but spammers usually don't load your comment form, they just spam the comment directly into your blog, ignoring the form.

    In the long run, however, both these methods are flawed. Bypassing either of them is trivial. And realistically, they don't address the problem: Blocking spam. Neither one attempts to block spam, they merely attempt to block automated commenting systems. Akismet and such try to detect what is spam and what is ham and let the ham through, and so are more reliable in the long run because they cannot be bypassed by the spammer.

    BTW, the reason you don't get many trackbacks is that Bad Behavior tends to block them. Turn it off for a while, and you'll find a deluge of them. This is the main means spammers hit blogs, through the trackback door. Simple Trackback Validation is lightweight and blocks spam trackbacks about as good as BB does, but without the large overhead.

  5. richards1052
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    I've now turned off both Spam Karma 2 & Bad Behavior. So far almost no spam is getting through. I'd estimate maybe 20% of what was getting through before. Much more effective than the previous plugins though I understand the issues you raise against using cookies & javascript as being substantial ones.

    My biggest beef w. Akismet was that there was no way you could actually approve someone if the domain they were using was in the plugin's blacklist. I had one commenter using a Yahoo URL & he couldn't get a comment published come hell or high water. Akismet is too centralized for my needs. It should be more customizable in terms of having personal white & blacklists imo.

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