Mar 192013
 

There is no guarantee that you can stop spam on WordPress installed sites, but these plugins will definitely help.

For the last few weeks I have being working on a new large site. We went into beta and within a couple of days there was hundreds  of spammers registering. They had found the site before we even had it launched.

Now a site does not want spammers and a new site especially,  does not want spammers. Besides the messages and links they leave, they can crash your site. Also Google does not like to much spam on sites, they could think its a spam site and ban you from their search engine.

The problem is thought, checking who is registering. Are they spam or could they be normal readers wishing to leave a comment or join your website.

So you have to check their IP numbers on forums like StopforumSpam or use a blacklist check, which checks ip numbers against 75 odd spam lists. This is ok if you only have a couple of people registering a day, but what happens if you have hundreds?

Think it would not happen. This photo is from the new site we were working on and this is the results. Do the maths yourself.

spam history 1

Those top figurers shows how many they stopped today, the 14th, 329 stopped so far. Its 3am local time, another 9 hours for the spammers to keep working so I am sure the figure will rise. Do not forget we have not launched that site yet.
Imagine checking all those IP numbers every day, it could not be done, well, unless you had lots of cheap staff.

On your WordPress install you have a plugin called Akismet installed by default. This is an excellent plugin, but, one of the rules of using it is, if your site is commercial you have to pay to use the plugin. Now we could start a discussion on what is a commercial site or not, but I feel, if you hope to make money from your site, either directly or indirectly, then its commercial.

I needed to find a plugin or plugins that would help me with  spammers registering.   After a lot of research I chose two. Stop Spammer Registrations Plugin  and Register IP – MultiSite

The reason I chose two was in case  the plugin Stop Spammer Registrations, let some spammers through I can check the numbers on the register ip plugin.

The list of spammers that has being stopped, in the photo above, is from the Stop Spammer Registrations. It does not only stop them by IP numbers but also by speed of registration, bad servers and red herrings.

Install the two plugins. The first thing you need to do with the settings of the Stop Spammer Registrations Plugin is make sure your IP number is not listed as a spam IP number. If it is you could be blocked out of your own site. On the settings page you will see a link to Check your IP. If it turns out to be ok, the plugin lists your IP number in the white list (The good list)

Then you test to see if the plugin has network access to the StopForumSpam.com database. This is so it can see if the IP numbers of new registrations are listed on the stopforumspam database. Click on the button Test network access.

There is another three  spam databases that the plugin also can check. You have to register on these sites and you get a API key which you put into the Boxs headed API Keys. You do not have to do it, I did not as I find the stopfoumspam database is excellent.    The sites are Project Honeypot, BotScout and WordPress.

I left everything else on the settings page at the default settings. If your happy to do this, Click on Save Changes.  Your plugin is not set up.

The second plugin is to check the IP numbers of people who have registered and passed the checks of the Stop Spammer Registrations Plugin.

Go to the settings page of the Register IP – MultiSite (I have the multisite installed in case we set up multisite. I have not got it set up at the moment and its working perfect on our single install.)

Click on the  Moderate New Members box, change the emails if you wish, to suit your site. Click on save options and your done. The two plugins are now set up.

If  new members have passed the test with the Stop Spammer Registrations Plugin, when you login into your dashboard you will see a sign similar to this one.  This is the Register IP – MultiSite asking you to approve or not to approve a new member request. Click on the member requests link.

spam 2 members request

You will come to a page with the lists of membership requests. Under the Additional Data heading you will see their IP number. I copy and paste the number, then go to blacklist check and paste the number in. The ip number is then checked against the 75 spam listed databases on the site. If the number does not appear as being listed, chances are its safe. I then would allow the member.
If it appears on the list and some how got through the Stop Spammer Registrations Plugin checks, I go to Settings, stop spammers, go down the page until you see lists and I copy and paste the ip number into the black list and click on save changes. The ip number will now be blocked in future.
Likewise, if you have a new member request that is being blocked but you do not want them blocked, again do as above, but put their ip number in the white list.

These plugins have really helped me and saved me a lot of time and hopefully keep my new site spam free.

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  One Response to “How to Stop Spam on WordPress”

  1. Hi Donald,
    You may want to look into Profile Builder as well. Besides reCAPTCHA for front-end user registration forms, it has features like custom redirects, admin approval or email confirmation which can eliminate user spam completely

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