A Faster, More Advanced Anti-Spam Plugin that Stops Spam Cold
Many of you have noticed that I was gone for a while…four years. And so was WP-SpamFree. In 2010 I enlisted in the Army, which meant I was going to have to be out of the development game for a while. In preparation for this, I passed the plugin on to another developer hoping it would be maintained and improved upon.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t much progress made on the plugin while I was gone, which was pretty frustrating to see. The developer who I handed it off to ended up simply not having the bandwidth to maintain it. They thought they would, but you know, things change. I do understand…things happen. In that time, WordPress evolved, and so did spam and the Internet. In the anti-spam game, you’ve got to keep up on things to have a fighting chance.
Plugins that don’t get updated in fours years are generally considered unsafe to use. For one example, as PHP (the coding language that powers WordPress) evolves, some of the functions used get deprecated (phased out) and have to be replaced, among other things. So, it’s generally best for plugins that haven’t been updated in this long to be put to rest.
I first developed WP-SpamFree in 2007. Wow, it’s hard to believe it’s been that long. It’s kind of crazy to think it was over 6 years ago. I remember when I first started the plugin, it was SO basic and had so few features. It really developed a ton and got very popular in just a couple years.
So, I finished my contract with the Army late last year, and got back into everything.
WP-SpamFree Has a New Little Brother, on Steroids
I dug out the old archived WP-SpamFree files, and started making some tweaks to the old plugin code as a test development version. I toyed with the idea of trying to fully revive the old plugin and work with other developers to develop it going forward. There were several options on the table…continuing to work on the old plugin, or creating a new one. After looking at the options and seeing that there just wasn’t enough interest in collaboration, and then deliberating quite a bit, it became clear that the best path was to create a brand new plugin as a fork of WP-SpamFree (126.96.36.199) and push forward with some awesome new developments.
The WebGeek is back. Well, sort of. Let me back up a second and explain.
In case you’re not familiar, WebGeek was a blog about Internet marketing, SEO, and web design, that I authored between 2006-2009, while I was running my previous company.
You might have wondered what I’ve been up to for the past few years since I’ve been pretty quiet. Well, I have a little story for you.
Today I read an article on CNET, Study: Young Adults Haven’t Warmed Up To Twitter. It reported the findings of a recent study about youth engagement with Twitter vs. other social media platforms such as Facebook and MySpace. (Original study: Gen Y’s Are Not Yet Taking Flight on Twitter, Participatory Marketing Network)
Both miss the boat in their assessment of why more youth aren’t on Twitter.
First off, the facts.
Everyone who has taken on clients either as a consultant or in a firm setting will be able to relate to this hilarious video about vendor-client relationships. It had me laughing so hard that I had to share it.
The Vendor-Client Relationship – In Real World Situations
Recently Digg has overstepped its bounds by framing the content of websites it links to with its new “Diggbar”. Internet marketing savvy site owners are, shall we say, less than happy about this. It’s tough to tell if they are being obnoxiously greedy or are just plain ignorant of internet etiquette. Not to be quick to judge, but I have a hard time believing they are that ignorant.
On many WordPress blogs, the Blogroll may be hurting your site’s search engine optimization.
Linking out to other sites from every page of your site (sitewide links) can hurt because it bleeds link juice out unnecessarily, lowering your site’s PageRank, authority, and search engine rankings. Sitewide links tend not to have as much value, so a site only really benefits from one good incoming link per site. There is absolutely no need to pass link juice out to Blogroll links on every single page of a WordPress blog.
I recently live-blogged the Search Engine Strategies NY session: “Search on a Dime” for Search Engine Guide.
This session covered organic SEO and paid search strategies for small business.
Read the full post:
Search Engine Strategies New York – Search on a Dime
I recently live-blogged the Search Engine Strategies NY session: “Small Voices, Big Impact: Social Media for the Little Guy” for Search Engine Guide.
This session covered practical social media strategies and tactics that small business owners can employ.
If you’re using SPF Records with email powered by Google Apps, you most likely have a problem — a BIG one. Your email is likely getting flagged as spam, and not getting to important recipients. The (incorrect) SPF Record recommended by Google is:
v=spf1 include:aspmx.googlemail.com ~all
Unfortunately due to a problem with how Google is routing email internally, this WILL cause your outgoing emails to be flagged as spam, even when being read by another Google-based account. Great…thanks, Google!
WP-SpamFree version 2.0 is here! Your favorite spam fighter for WordPress is better than ever with new features you’re sure to love.
What’s New in Version 2.0
- See what’s been blocked! This release adds “Blocked Comment Logging Mode”, a temporary diagnostic mode that logs blocked comments and contact form submissions for 3 days, then turns off automatically. If you want to see what’s been blocked, or verify that everything is working, turn this on and see what WP-SpamFree is protecting your blog from. It writes to a simple text file to keep the spam out of the database (for security) and minimize database access. The log is cleared each time you turn on this feature. Also, if you experience any technical issues, this will help with diagnosis, as you can email this log file to support if necessary.
- Added option for small graphic counters to display spam stats in addition to the existing normal-sized ones.
- Added Widget for displaying spam counter. Shows small counter #1. Now you can show stats without knowing any code.
- Miscellaneous minor interface enhancements.