The AVH First Defense Against Spam plugin gives you the ability to block spammers before any content is served.
I've used this plugin on several sites and use all 3 of the 3rd parties with it. It's been very solid for me and very reliable (I get results just as good as Akismet). However, the settings may be a bit confusing for beginners or those not familiar with WP and how spam setups work.
I want to break down the 6 reasons why I love this plugin:
1) This plugin brings together the power of numerous blacklisting networks into a single tool. Now I have the power to easily fight back against the spam.
2) It's not a single click install but it's close. Some minor configuration is required getting API keys, etc but I believe it's worth it.
Why is this a selling point? To me it highlights that it isn't a "black box of voodoo magic" and suggests it is legitimately protecting my blog. I am highly suspicious of dodgy plugins that pull you in with "magic" and try and make you pay.
3) Speaking of which it is completely free and makes use of free blacklisting networks such as StopForumSpam, Spamhaus and ProjectHoneyPot. I have my fingers crossed they'll add support for OpenBL.org in the future (hint hint).
4) It doesn't try and pretend it stops every and all spam or malicious attack - however I'm yet to see a solution that does without a high level of false positives. Beware of anyone promising everything. However that said my spam comments have dropped by 95% after installing AVH First Defense Against Spam.
5) With the bad traffic stopped, I can more clearly distinguish legitimate traffic in my webstats and analytics from all that noise.
6) There is next to no performance hit against my blog loading especially with the built-in caching layer. There can be a very slight delay if the third-party network is slow but this is a) rare and b) worth the half a second wait.
Fantastic plugin, excellent work and great quality. I look forward to seeing it expand into other networks into the future. :)
It reports IPs that try to comment on your blog. You can then add the bad IP address to the Blacklist. You can also Whitelist you IP address and others you don't want blocked. Connects to Spamhaus, Honey Pot, and Stop Forum Spam to check IPs against their lists. You can add your HoneyPot catcher link in the settings.
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