Comment spam is one of the major problems in WordPress, that many website owners have to deal with. There are currently a number of anti-spam plugins available that makes it easier for site owners to stop spam comments.
Akismet is by far the most popular choice, with over 24 million downloads at the time of writing this post. It is developed by the team over at Automattic, and is completely free for personal use. No other plugin comes close to it, in terms of downloads.
For business use, you have to $5 / month. I think the price is fairly reasonable as it will save you a lot of time in long run. I mean, if you don’t use Akismet, you will attract hundreds of thousands of spam comments every day. At WPKube, we get around 3000 spam comments every day, which automatically gets deleted by Akismet after 15 days.
But there are some great alternatives to Akismet. GASP is one such plugin. The plugin is developed by Andy Bailey, who also happens to the guy behind CommentLuv, another useful plugin for site owners.
In this article, I will show you how to stop comment spam on your WordPress site using GASP plugin.
GASP (also known as Growmap anti spambot plugin), uses a simple function that adds a checkbox in the comment form. With over 200,000 downloads, it is pretty clear that GASP is a great alternative for site owners. I don’t use GASP on this blog, but I know a lot of bloggers who do.
The plugin has been downloaded over 200,000 times and has an amazing 4.6 rating on WordPress.org. The plugin is designed to do one thing, and that is — blocking automated spam comments.
Although, this is great plugin for stopping automated comments, the plugin fails on stopping human spammers and trackbacks/pingbacks. It does lets you set the maximum amount of comments a user can have in the moderation queue to protect your site from human spammers.
Installing and Configuring GASP
GASP is a free plugin and available for download on WordPress.org. First thing you need to do is install and activate Growmap anti-spam plugin. After you have activated the plugin, you will see a new item under Settings » G.A.S.P, which is where you will configure the plugin settings. The options page has two sections – Basic and Heuristics (optional).
The basic settings page allows you to change the checkbox text and disable trackbacks. You can also change the text that will be shown to users if they forget to tick the checkbox.
As you scroll down, to the bottom of the page, you will see Heuristics settings — this is where you create more advanced spam detection settings. I have not completed any fields in the advanced section. The page is used to exclude commentators if they have less than a specific number of comments in the moderation queue, set maximum number of links allowed in comment text, set maximum number of words allowed in name field, and where to send the suspicious comments – you can set it to either spam or pending.
Overall, this is a great plugin for handling spam comments in WordPress. Much easier than using captcha or a third party commenting system like Disqus or Livefyre.
We hope this article helps you solve your comment spam problem in WordPress. If you have any questions or thoughts please let us know in the comments below.