WP-SpamFree WordPress Comment Spam Plugin Released

by Scott Allen - November 12, 2007 
Filed Under Bad Bots, Blogging, Spam, WordPress Plugins, WP-SpamFree

PLEASE NOTE: WE NO LONGER DEVELOP OR SUPPORT WP-SPAMFREE. SINCE 2010, IT HAS BEEN MANAGED BY ANOTHER DEVELOPER. THIS INFORMATION IS HERE FOR ARCHIVE PURPOSES ONLY. TRY OUT OUR NEW, MORE ADVANCED ANTI-SPAM PLUGIN, WP-SPAMSHIELD.

Eliminate Blog Comment Spam with WP-SpamFree Plugin!

I’ve developed a powerful new WordPress plugin that is extremely effective in combating blog comment spam. WP-SpamFree virtually eliminates automated comment spam from bots, WITHOUT using CAPTCHA’s or challenge questions. It poses no inconvenience to the site visitor — it just works!

The Problem: Blog Comment Spam

Comment spam has been a problem for bloggers since the inception of blogs, and it just doesn’t seem to go away. The worst kind, and most prolific, is automated spam that comes from bots. Spammers use these automated programs to place comments containing links to a site they want to quickly rise to the top of Google. These sites typically sell all the seedy products you receive unwanted spam ads for in your email. Over the years, a lot of brilliant minds have been working hard on the spam problem, and have devised some ingenious ways of fighting spam, resulting in some great plugins and filters. However, even with all of these, blogs still get spammed. Sometimes the most effective solutions are simple, and right under your nose. I came up with a simple but effective method to defeat blog comment spam.

Before I developed this plugin, our team and clients experienced the same frustration you do with comment spam on your blog. Every blog we manage had comment moderation enabled, Akismet and various other anti-spam plugins installed, but we still had a ton of comments tagged as spam by Akismet that we had to sort through. This wasted a lot of valuable time, and we all know, time is money. We needed a solution.

The Solution: WP-SpamFree

Comment spam stems from an older problem — automated spamming of email contact forms on web sites. I developed a successful fix for this a while ago, and later applied it to our WordPress blogs. It was so effective, that I decided to add a few modifications and turn it into a WordPress plugin to be freely distributed. Having an anti-spam solution implemented on one site or group of sites is an entirely different animal than having it implemented on thousands of sites, so that did present some challenges and I had to make the plugin more robust, because spammers would surely target it. After a few versions of the plugin, that was accomplished, and it’s stopping spam by the thousands for bloggers across the world. Blogs we manage used to get an excessive number of spam comments show up on the Akismet Spam page each day — now the daily average is zero spam comments. This plugin will allow you to have a virtually spam-free WordPress blog.

 

Download Plugin / Documentation


End Blog Spam! WP-SpamFree Comment Spam Protection for WordPress

Latest Version — 2.1.1.0: Download Now

Plugin Homepage / Documentation: WP-SpamFree
WordPress.org Page: WP-SpamFree
Leave Comments: WP-SpamFree Release Announcement Blog Post
Tech Support/Questions: WP-SpamFree Support Page
End Blog Spam: Let Others Know About WP-SpamFree!
Twitter: @WPSpamFree

Donate to WP-SpamFree

 

If you like WP-SpamFree, please let others know by rating it on WordPress.org!

Features Overview

  1. Virtually eliminates automated comment spam from bots. It works like a firewall to ensure that your commenters are in fact, human.
  2. A counter on your dashboard to keep track of all the spam it’s blocking. The numbers will show how effective this plugin is.
  3. No CAPTCHA’s, A counter on your dashboard to keep track of all the spam it’s blocking. The numbers will show how effective this plugin is.
  4. Includes drop-in spam-free contact form. Easy to use — no configuration necessary.
  5. No false positives, which leads to fewer frustrated readers, and less work for you.
  6. You won’t have to waste valuable time sifting through a spam queue anymore, because there won’t be much there, if anything.
  7. Powerful trackback and pingback spam protection.
  8. Easy to install — truly plug and play. Just upload and activate. (Installation Status on the plugin admin page to let you know if plugin is installed correctly.)
  9. The beauty of this plugin is the methods of blocking spam. It takes a different approach than most and stops spam at the door.
  10. The code has an extremely low bandwidth overhead and won’t slow down your blog (very light database access), unlike some other anti-spam plugins.
  11. Completely compatible with all cache plugins, including WP Cache and WP Super Cache. Not all anti-spam plugins can say that.
  12. Display your blocked spam stats on your blog.

For more information and up-to-date documentation, visit the WP-SpamFree Plugin page.

Changelog / Version History
For a complete list of changes to the plugin, view the Version History.

Support

First, check the troubleshooting guide. Then submit any support requests on the WP-SpamFree Support Page.


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Comments

72 Responses to “WP-SpamFree WordPress Comment Spam Plugin Released”

  1. Spam Free at The official Factor 1 blog on November 12th, 2007 10:28 am

    [...] Scott Allen of Hybrid6 created a great new WordPress Anti Spam Plug in. It is a javascript plug in that was super easy to install, and should eliminate 90% of all [...]

  2. FruityOaty on November 22nd, 2007 11:00 pm

    Hi, thanks for visiting my site (and your comment about my About page). :)

    I’ve been using your plugin for about a week now (I wanted to ditch my CAPTCHA plugin as that kind of spam protection turns off a lot of would-be commenters).

    Gotta say… THANK YOU. Works great so far and I haven’t received any complaints about rejected comments or anything weird in functionality… so far, crossed fingers.

  3. WP-SpamFree Updated - Version 1.03 Released | WebGeek on December 1st, 2007 11:00 pm

    [...] Download Plugin / Documentation Latest Version — 1.03: Download Now Plugin Homepage / Documentation: WP-SpamFree Blog Post: WP-SpamFree Release Announcement [...]

  4. I Feel Like I’m Taking Crazy Pills! | WebGeek on December 2nd, 2007 2:54 pm

    [...] So, lately the buzz is that some nutty bloggers are deciding to turn off the comment spam protection on their blogs on December 15th, in order to show how how important and effective their anti-spam [...]

  5. Gavin Holcroft on March 3rd, 2008 1:39 pm

    Not been using your Spamblocker for very long a week but its already blocked a few SPAMMers. I came across your plugin on wordpress and it does what it says on the tin.
    I can’t believe how easy it is to install plugins in wordpress.
    Anyway many thanks for your time and effort in producing a top plugin

    Thanks Gav

  6. Frank on March 5th, 2008 8:21 pm

    I’ve installed your plugin last weekend and i must say, works better than Askimet.
    Thanks for your great work!

  7. Ian on March 9th, 2008 9:17 am

    Is something in the works to see what spams it catches in case a comment from a human does get caught in the spam catcher.

  8. Scott Allen on March 9th, 2008 3:43 pm

    @Gavin,Frank: Awesome. :) You’re welcome!

    @Ian: That’s the beautiful thing with this plugin…there’s no need for anything like that because it works completely differently than other anti-spam plugins. Other well-known plugins (like Akismet) try to use some kind of low-level AI to determine if a comment is spam, and it is “captured”. There is no “spam catcher” with this plugin. WP-SpamFree stops spam at the front door by using technology that bots statistically can’t handle, and a user would be alerted at the time of submission if their comment is blocked, and they are given the option to fix this, so there is no possibility for false positives.

  9. admino on March 13th, 2008 8:12 am

    I have this plugin installed for about 2 months and since then plugin blocks about 99.5% of spam, i had more than 200 comments per day (before installing the plugin), now i have about 100 comments per day and maybe a 1 spam message in a few days, so you see how many bots are stopped!

    Fantastic plugin! A+++++

  10. Lian Dyer on April 4th, 2008 4:50 pm

    Thank you. Readers often decide not to comment just because anti-spam protections require too much work for them to leave a comment. Thus, this plugin is really useful. I will suggest it to some friends of mine. I have WP 2.5 and I’m trying it.

  11. Scott Allen on April 4th, 2008 5:53 pm

    @Lian Dyer: You’re welcome! I agree…I personally hate CAPTCHA’s (with text that’s barely legible), or answering questions, etc., and I know a lot of others get frustrated by these as well. Before creating this plugin, I actually did a lot of market research to see what users like/dislike, and statistics agree with you. (I had my suspicions based on experience but I wanted to back it up with facts.) Thanks for the feedback, and I hope you and your friends enjoy having a spam free blog. :)

  12. Boris H on April 20th, 2008 1:13 pm

    I’m extremely satisfied with Wp-SpamFree. Haven’t had a single spam comment since the install. Way to go :)

  13. tom on April 20th, 2008 3:52 pm

    there was a little controversy over at the wordpress forum about why wp spamfree is not the best solution… but I dont understand why they were giving you a hard time about it… it seems to do an outstanding job… what possibly could the mods over there think is wrong with this plugin or that it is ‘bad’ ??

    enlighten me :)

  14. Scott Allen on April 20th, 2008 9:11 pm

    @Boris: Thanks!

    @Tom: Thanks. :) Yeah, I remember the thread you’re talking about. That thread was a was a ridiculous display of ill-will from that moderator. It all boils down to two things: 1) Bias, and 2) Distrust of the new kid on the block. It’s unfortunate when web developers lose sight of why we are doing what we do. We’re not programming for the sake of programming – we’re doing it to meet a need – in this case to solve the spam problem. As soon as that perspective is lost, it’s time to hang it up. There are a lot of anti-spam plugins out there, and each one is doing a service to help people stop spam – and that’s a good thing! If someone else can help people stop spam with a plugin they’ve developed, then that’s awesome, and I would never harass the plugin author, even if I disagreed with the particular method or thought I knew a better way – because they are doing a service, and a good thing for people. Hopefully, as more people use the plugin and see how effective it is against spam, it will develop a reputation that people can trust.

  15. Owen S on April 26th, 2008 3:15 am

    I was pleased to see the amount of spam caught with this after installing it — my Akismet spam queue has been reduced considerably, and I don’t have to use the reCaptcha plugin anymore. Keep up the good work!

  16. Marc on April 26th, 2008 5:27 am

    Scott, this plugin is excellent. Works perfectly and no one has reported a comments missing or comment posting problems.

    I used to have hundreds of spam comments in the same format and was wondering why Akismet kept letting it through. Your plugin has reduced it to 0. Incredible. Your techniques work really well.

  17. Glen Lipka on April 30th, 2008 11:38 am

    Great plugin, thank you. One question: I have been seeing alot of versions pushed recently. Is there an up to date changelog?

  18. David on October 2nd, 2008 1:12 pm

    Scott, this plugin is excellent. Works perfectly and no one has reported a comments missing or comment posting problems.

    I used to have hundreds of spam comments in the same format and was wondering why Akismet kept letting it through. Your plugin has reduced it to 0. Incredible. Your techniques work really well.

  19. Pasha on October 10th, 2008 9:34 am

    Thx for a great spam free plugin

  20. Lisa Vollrath on October 13th, 2008 5:26 pm

    I would just like to say that this plugin has deflected over 800 spam comments since I installed it on Thursday night!

    Thank you so much for making this plugin available to the WP community. I can’t tell you how much work you’ve saved me.

  21. Dee on October 30th, 2008 8:29 pm

    I absolutely love WP-Spam Free and it has cut down comment spam on my blog. I am new to the blogging scene and when I first start blogging my blog kept getting hit with comment despite having Askimet installed. I never understood it. I found your WordPress WP-Spam Free accidently while looking for plugins to add to my WordPress blog. Thanks a million for making this wonderful tool for my blog.Keep up the excellent work.

  22. Vardis on November 11th, 2008 11:38 am

    Works great. Nice one!!! Keep up the good work!

  23. John Sylvester on November 20th, 2008 6:15 am

    Thanks for the information. it is starting to work. Before I was getting bombarded with spam and now I see that the numbers diminishing rapidly. Thanks.

  24. Martin on January 22nd, 2009 6:40 pm

    Thanks works great!

  25. John Biddle on January 24th, 2009 6:07 pm

    Thank-you for your excellent product. I installed WP-SpamFree last night after receiving over 40 spams that day. Your plug-in has already blocker 107 comment spams and it isn’t even 24 hours yet. Best of luck to you with this great anti-spam weapon, and if you’re product is stil getting grief I say to heck with them, they don’t know what they’re missing.

  26. Mar1o on January 29th, 2009 2:03 pm

    Thanks a lot!!!!

  27. Scott Allen on February 6th, 2009 2:03 pm

    @steve: The Comments and Contact Form are two different things. Being that they sound similar, I can see how it could get confusing. Comments are found on blog posts at the bottom of each post. The form here is unaffected by WP-SpamFree – it just blocks the spam. A Contact Form allows a user to email the site author a message through the site without the author having to expose his/her email address. It usually has a dedicated page for this. WP-SpamFree adds a spam-free contact form feature (in addition to blocking spam on the Comments – I added it because people were requesting that function all the time). You create a ‘Page’ in WordPress (not ‘Post’) and add the code.

  28. steve on February 6th, 2009 12:16 pm

    Hi, I must admit to being slightly confused by your plugin. It feels to me as if will replace my current comments form? My problem being I already have a HTML tags plugin & wouldn’t want to lose this upon activation.

    Also, I don’t understand the drop-down box options; do we have to enter some kind of a category in these? How do they get implemented into the overall layout of the Comment form?

    Do you have a working demo for this?

    Sorry to sound so ignorant but have read all your instructions but could not find answers to these questions.

    Thanks.

  29. Shadowfox on February 9th, 2009 1:14 am

    Hi Scott

    Installed your plugin about 4 months ago, and its done wonders – blocked over 7,000 spam comments since then – I think only one has managed to get through since I installed it.

    It’s really saved me a lot of work and moderation, thanks alot.

  30. jason on February 17th, 2009 7:18 pm

    Hey how do i remove User-Agent

    and
    IP Address:
    Server:
    Reverse DNS:
    IP Address Lookup:

    from the emails.

    By the way AWESOME plugin dumped all other spam plugins now just using yours.

  31. Scott Allen on February 17th, 2009 7:55 pm

    @jason: Thanks for the feedback! :)

    UPDATED: In version 1.9.8.4 I added an option to the plugin options page in the admin to let you choose whether you want to include this info in the emails you receive from the contact form.

  32. Imerso on February 18th, 2009 2:47 pm

    This is an effective spam killer, working great for me. I was tired of all those spammers posting daily, and now they’re gone! Thanks.

  33. Richard Silverstein on February 23rd, 2009 3:40 pm

    A number of contact forms provide the blog owner the IP address of the person contacting them. I get some abusive & sometimes threatening comments & it would be important for me to have this feature to better identify such trolls & track them if necessary. Can you consider adding it?

  34. Scott Allen on February 23rd, 2009 11:10 pm

    @Richard: Totally agree. It’s already in thereā€¦just enable it (“Include user meta data in email.”) in the plugin options in the WordPress admin.

  35. Menaya Garces on February 24th, 2009 12:14 am

    Thank you so so so much! Now I get to blog without getting tons and tons of spam, like I used to. You’re my hero! Keep up the good work.

  36. Kay on February 26th, 2009 3:59 pm

    I heard so many good things about this plugin that I also try it now.

  37. Ben on March 5th, 2009 10:12 am

    Hi thanks for the plugin, trying it now will give feedback in a few days :)

  38. Felix on March 5th, 2009 3:55 pm

    Hi there!

    It just works perfect!

    Thanks!

  39. AIR on March 10th, 2009 4:57 am

    Thank you. The plug-in is really perfect.

  40. Xu on March 10th, 2009 2:51 pm

    Hi Scott. Many thanks for this plugin that is way more efficient than akismet.

  41. John Biddle on March 10th, 2009 3:27 pm

    Been using WP-Spamfree for about 6 weeks now and I’m still quite happy with it.

    I have one request. Can you offer an option to put the javascript in the footer rather than in the header. My blog has gotten slower over time and I noticed that most plugins, and WordPress itself to some extent, don’t follow good practice when it comes to performance.

    If the code would work in the footer it would likely speed up the page loading somewhat.

    Thanks, and keep up the good work

  42. Scott Allen on March 10th, 2009 3:55 pm

    @Menaya @Kay @Felix @Air @Xu @John: Thanks for the positive feedback! :)

    @John: I totally understand the need for improving performance, and that’s one of the things that’s a constant part of WP-SpamFree’s evolution. Unfortunately right now, placing the code in the footer wouldn’t be a practical solution for us to implement, but know that we will continue to make sure the plugin is efficient as possible in all future development.

  43. Rico Penguin on March 10th, 2009 5:00 pm

    I don’t have a single plugin that makes me happier than this one.

    It has blocked over 1k spam attacks since I installed it and I haven’t received a single complaint of false positives :).

  44. Dr. K on March 14th, 2009 8:45 pm

    I’m using it, and it seems to be miraculous. I confess, though, I’m nervous that I can’t see what it’s deleting. Anyway to get access to the spam, just to check that it’s working right?

  45. Scott Allen on March 14th, 2009 9:24 pm

    @Rico: Awesome! ;)
    @Dr. K: I hear ya – when something is that effective, it can be a little unnerving! We’re actually beta testing version 2.0 of the plugin right now, which has a new feature called “Blocked Comment Logging Mode” that allows you to turn it on and see what spam you’re missing. (We expect to release it within the next week.) Also, the plugin doesn’t actually “delete” comments, it blocks them at the front door, and lets the submitter have another chance to comment. For more info, read the questions about “Where did all the spam go, and can I check it?” and “How is it possible to have no false positives?” in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s). Hope that helps put your mind at ease. :)

  46. Dr. K on March 15th, 2009 12:52 am

    Thanks so much. Wow, what a great plug in. I’ve already recommended it to two people. It’s fantastic.

  47. Jan on March 16th, 2009 4:19 am

    I’m very happy with the anti spam tool for my blog. Thank you

  48. Zen-Moments on March 18th, 2009 1:51 pm

    I enjoy using WP-SpamFree because:

    I was getting spam comments that averaged 2000 words in length on certain posts. I would have to scroll through them every day before deleting them (Akismet page). Now I am freed from that task.
    I was using a separate plugin for my contact form and employed a quizz to combat spam. With WP-SpamFree I could delete that plugin, and instead, use the included contact form, which is more easily configured to the features and sizing I require than the full-featured contact form plugin I was using. One less plugin, better functionality, and no quiz for readers to cope with.
    The clear, complete, and concise information that the developer has detailed on this site.

    Many thanks :-)

  49. Scott Allen on March 20th, 2009 8:01 pm

    @Dr. K: You’re welcome. Thanks!

    @Jan: Glad to hear it’s helping you out!

    @Zen: Thanks for the positive feedback! It’s great to hear real life examples of how WP-SpamFree helps fight spam. :)

  50. Andrew S. on April 6th, 2009 9:48 am

    An excellent plug-in! Thank you! I use it on two blogs :)

  51. Volkmar Seifert on April 6th, 2009 10:05 am

    WP-SpamFree is quite nice, because it takes the load of scanning through uncountable numbers of spam-comments just to remove them. Really great work.

    You have really done a great job with this plugin.

  52. Jan on April 7th, 2009 8:54 am

    This plug in installed a few weeks ago and so far more than 800 spams blocked. A very helpful tool.
    On my pages most of the spam was coming through my ‘about’ pages. I don’t know if that’s always the case with everybody. I would like to know.

  53. AIR on April 9th, 2009 12:48 am

    Thank you! After install result is 100% effective.

  54. Roberto Sebestyen on April 11th, 2009 1:43 am

    This thing is amazing! It worked much better than expected, great job!

  55. Jay on April 15th, 2009 12:11 pm

    It’s weird…it’s like I still don’t believe it works. I keep logging in to check the spam and ……yep..its spam lol. Great job!

  56. Buzz Lightyear on April 28th, 2009 6:52 am

    Hi Scott,
    thanx for this great plugin…
    I’d like to ask you, if it will handle (in the future?) registration spam too..
    I use HashCash right now, which is also very good, but somehow, in last few days, i am geting reg spam again… :(

    thanx
    buzz

  57. Alex on May 2nd, 2009 3:26 am

    Wow. I’m impressed. This incredible plugin has blocked loads of spam since I popped it in.

    Two got through the net, but I can live with checking two, instead of wading through lots of spammed comments to see if something genuine has been missed.

    Great plugin – don’t know how it does what it does, don’t want to know.

    Cheers,

    Alex

  58. Gerrit Jahn on May 5th, 2009 3:30 am

    I am very happy with this plugin. It has stopped hundreds of spam comments already on my site :-)

  59. Jay on May 12th, 2009 10:37 am

    Amazing plugin, and the support was even better. The issue I had was 100% my problem and they still helped me through it, and stuck with me until it was confirmed to work…and work it does!

  60. Jean on May 27th, 2009 9:40 am

    I have been plagued by spam and it was driving me to start searching for ways to stop them. I use WP and was hoping that some brilliant person had put together a nifty little plugin and I found him!

    Scott not only put together this awesome tool, but he even took the time to respond to my ‘less than technical skills question’ which I find very professional, thank you Scott. I installed this plugin less than 24 hours ago and it has already killed 12 and I was up over 1000 when I found his site/tool/plugin.

    It works great and is very compatible ‘as he said in his reply’ with Akismet. I plan to tweet this plugin/site and write a post on my own site because I think what he has created and provided is worthy of blabbing to the world. Let’s stop the moron’s and bots who don’t have a life and kill spam!!!!

    Cheerz 2 You!

  61. covalic on June 1st, 2009 1:10 pm

    Hi Scott!
    Good work. Greating from Poland.

  62. Dan McCoy on June 12th, 2009 7:38 pm

    Awesome… installed it on two blogs, and it’s caught pretty much all the spam messages. Thanks!

  63. Raymond Frenken on June 23rd, 2009 5:12 am

    Spam free for 24 hours! Thanks!

  64. Tom on June 23rd, 2009 10:27 pm

    WOW!!! Love it! Love it! Love it! :-D

    I must admit I was somewhat skeptical, because it definitely sounded “too good to be true”…

    Anyways, I was getting several hundred spam comments per day across over more than a dozen blogs; since installing it, I haven’t had a single one!

    I can totally understand the concerns that some have expressed about not knowing what it’s deleting… I kind of felt the same way. But so far I haven’t found it to be a problem.

    This is definitely a MUST HAVE plugin!

    Thanks, Scott. :-)

  65. Scott Allen on June 24th, 2009 10:36 am

    Thanks to all of you for the the positive feedback!

    @Tom: Glad to hear your blogs are spam free now! You’re welcome!

    Don’t forget that as of Version 2.0 you can see what spam comments are being blocked by turning on “Blocked Comment Logging Mode” in your options. :)

  66. Kay Jarchow on June 26th, 2009 2:23 pm

    Hi Scott,
    300 SPAM comments in 1 day – my new record ;) and I don’t have to read and verify them all. Many, many thanks for that great work.
    Kay

  67. mercime on August 1st, 2009 11:15 pm

    I would also like to add to the chorus of praises for your plugin. I use it for both single WP and WPMU installs it’s thumbs up for comment spam blocking. Thank you!

  68. EasyWPAdmin on August 4th, 2009 12:02 am

    Very happy with your plugin. We recommend it for all our blog installations!

  69. Effectively Combat Comment Spam on Blogs with WP-SpamFree | Software Critics on August 18th, 2009 1:03 pm

    [...] have used Akismet for quite sometime until I discovered an alternative. WP-SpamFree is an amazingly powerful anti-spam protection plugin for WordPress including trackback and pingback [...]

  70. Matt on August 24th, 2009 1:41 am

    Great plug-in! After monitoring my spam log for a couple of weeks, I am glad I’m using this. Not a single spam comment has made it through the filter on two websites over the two months I’ve been running WP-SpamFree. And, just as important, no live comments have been blocked. Customer service was fantastic also. How much do I like this plug-in? It is the only one I’ve donated to. Keep up the good work.

  71. G on September 5th, 2009 8:58 pm

    I was a bit leery of advertised effectiveness however, hats off to you. This plug-in is VERY IMPRESSIVE. When I say it works, it WORKS. Nice work, Very nice indeed!!

    Many Thanks

  72. Fabio Biondi on October 31st, 2009 9:28 pm

    Great plugin!! Thanx

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