Introducing WP-SpamFree’s Successor – WP-SpamShield

A Faster, More Advanced Anti-Spam Plugin that Stops Spam Cold

WP-SpamFree has a powerful new replacementMany 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 (2.1.1.0) and push forward with some awesome new developments. Read more on Introducing WP-SpamFree’s Successor – WP-SpamShield…

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The WebGeek Archive

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. Read more on The WebGeek Archive…

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WP-SpamFree Version 2.0

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

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WP-SpamFree Update – Landmarks and What’s on the Horizon

The WP-SpamFree WordPress spam plugin has come a long way since its launch just over 14 months ago. Today it passed the landmark of 100,000 downloads on WordPress.org. Wow, that’s more than I could have ever expected in such a short time. It’s also become one of the most popular comment anti-spam plugins for WordPress, as well as one of the most popular plugins for WordPress in general (according to WordPress.org).

One of the best parts of this process is the feedback we’ve received from all of you, the users. From positive feedback to suggestions, it has all been extremely valuable. Many of the suggestions have directly resulted in improvements and new features for the plugin. Your feedback really does make a difference, and it benefits all the other users of WP-SpamFree. Read more on WP-SpamFree Update – Landmarks and What’s on the Horizon…

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Thoughts on Blog Comments, Moderation, and the Conversation

Every blogger at some point has to wrestle with his or her own philosophy on blog comments and moderation. Each blog has different goals and a unique target audience so there is no “one size fits all” answer. The particular solutions will have to be different for each blog. I think about blog comments a lot. More so since developing WP-SpamFree, because now I’m always thinking about how to help improve the quality of blog conversations – that’s really what the comments are – part of the conversation. I’ll share some thoughts that may affect your particular strategy for handling blog comments. Read more on Thoughts on Blog Comments, Moderation, and the Conversation…

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Why SEO-Conscious Blog Owners Need WP-SpamFree

Spam Steals Time and Money

Most of us are familiar with blog comment spam. For some who don’t have adequate protection, it can cost many hours of valuable time trying to clean up spam, or trying to wade through a spam queue. Those of you who are business owners are keenly aware that time is money, and this deluge of spam can have negative financial effects on your business.

Spam is an SEO Problem

Another problem with spam is its effect on your blog’s search engine optimization efforts. Search engines measure the quality of your outbound links, and if you aren’t moderating your comments, there could be comment links on your site to bad neighborhoods, which are spammy sites that search engines have identified. Sites that link to these will often be penalized. Read more on Why SEO-Conscious Blog Owners Need WP-SpamFree…

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WP-SpamFree Update – Version 1.8 With New Drop-In Spam-Free Contact Form

Due to popular demand, I’ve added a spam-free contact form feature to WP-SpamFree. Apparently you guys all like blogging without spam, and have requested quite a few times to have me create either a new plugin or add a feature that adds a drop-in contact form for your blog, and uses the WP-SpamFree secret sauce to keep spammers away. Well, your wish is now a reality. Read more on WP-SpamFree Update – Version 1.8 With New Drop-In Spam-Free Contact Form…

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Joining the Blogging Team at Search Engine Guide

Recently I was recruited to join the team of bloggers at Search Engine Guide. If you aren’t reading (or subscribing to) their blog yet, you should. It’s a great site that gives practical advice about internet marketing. I could not be more impressed with the people behind Search Engine Guide (SEG). They have a passion for helping small business owners, and are the ones who put on the recent Small Business Marketing Unleashed conference I recently blogged about. I’m honored to have met and become friends with this great group of people. Read more on Joining the Blogging Team at Search Engine Guide…

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WP-SpamFree Update – New Features, Including Trackback Spam Protection

Those of you who have kept up with recent updates will probably have noticed your trackback/pingback spam going down. Well, recently I added a powerful trackback/pingback spam protection algorithm. So far, from all the tests and reports I’ve gotten back, it seems to be working really well. If for some reason, you do have a trackback or pingback spam get through, please let me know by submitting your spam sample, including as much info about it as possible at the WP-SpamFree Support Page. Read more on WP-SpamFree Update – New Features, Including Trackback Spam Protection…

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Say No to Technorati’s Forced Upgrades – Bad Information Spreads Like Wildfire

Today I read an article on Sphinn that I have to strongly disagree with. (Original article source here.) According to Technorati’s official blog, they will be de-listing WordPress blogs that have not upgraded to either version 2.3.3 or version 2.5. They are issuing strong warnings to bloggers that they either upgrade or risk getting canned. I want to go on record as saying that I dislike strong-arming tactics like this, and think it’s dangerous, for several reasons. Read more on Say No to Technorati’s Forced Upgrades – Bad Information Spreads Like Wildfire…

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