Support » Plugin: Conditional CAPTCHA » Best WP Spam solution

  • I say “nearly perfect” only because nothing is perfect.

    I run a pretty busy blog site — with an average of 6,000 or so visitors a day. Akismet was excellent for flagging spam and learned to be nearly 100% accurate. But Akismet only puts the comments in a spam bin which has to be emptied, and we were getting hundreds of spam comments a day by October 2012. I was desperate and tried a number of different plugins that were supposed to solve the problem — some claiming to be the all-in-one solution that would ensure that we would never see spam again, because the plugin would delete them. One boasted that there were “zero false positives,” but I tested it and found that perfectly good comments could get lost with that plugin. (The author got quite upset with me when I pointed this out.)

    Then I installed Conditional Captcha and set it to auto-delete spam that did not pass its test. Eight months later, I am still very pleased. We get the occasional spam that is manually submitted. The human spammer will fill out the Captcha, and the comment will end up in our spam bin. But we don’t get more than a dozen or so a month, as opposed to hundreds a day.

    Probably the two best things about this solution are
    1) our legitimate visitors never have to fill out a CAPTCHA. (I dislike filling out CAPTCHAS!! How about you?) Neither do they have to check a box saying they are not a spammer. 😉
    2) we do not give control over to a plugin that could block legitimate comments. Any comments that could possibly be legit will land in our spam bin to be manually deleted.

    If you have a spam problem, I highly recommend the combination of Akisment and Conditional Captcha.

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • Plugin Author Samir Shah


    Thanks for your very comprehensive feedback!

    I couldn’t edit my comment any more, but in the interest of transparency, I need to add something:

    About three times in the last 8 months we ran into a sudden flood of spam which lasted one to almost three days.

    I was guessing that some spammers had figured out how to defeat the plugin. But after one to three days, everything went back to normal.

    So I’m checking: Were there actually incidents in which spammers defeated the plugin and you updated it?

    Otherwise, it would have to be human spammers who were very busy for one to three days. 😉

    I figure that a plugin with a check box would run into the same problem with busy human spammers.

    Plugin Author Samir Shah


    Nope, nobody has reported any incidents and I haven’t changed any of the captcha code for a long time.

    However there was a patch some time ago when Akismet’s servers seemed to be down, which might explain it. When there is no response from Akismet then the comment doesn’t get intercepted and would look as though it had passed the captcha.

    If it happens again, let me know ;-).

    Ah, yes, the 3-day incident was probably the time that Akismet was not functioning properly. Vaguely remember that.

    The other times were probably just busy human spammers. 😉

    I realize that the effectiveness of Conditional Captcha is dependent on the effectiveness of Akisment. While I’ve seen complaints about Akismet lately, it’s been amazingly accurate for us.

    I think you mentioned some place else that you were building into Conditional Captcha a function to delete unnecessary database entries by Akismet. Is that part of the current version of Conditional Captcha?

    Plugin Author Samir Shah


    Yes, there is an option at the bottom of the plugin settings page to prevent Akismet from storing these unnecessary database entries.

    Since the last version, the plugin no longer requires Akismet to work. If Akismet is not present then it will present a captcha to any new commenters. If Akismet is active then it will only present a captcha if the comment is flagged as spam. The second is still preferred, to avoid serving captchas to legitimate visitors.

    Thanks much for the reminder re the Conditional Captcha setting. I hadn’t thought of settings for a while since everything was working fine.

    I thought that Akismet learns through the history it stores? (It seemed to get a lot more accurate with time.)

    It would seem to me that a feature to delete Akismet history should be deleted after x number of days. But I guess that’s not your responsibility. 😉

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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