WP Hashcash – Powerful Anti-Spam Plugin for WordPress

WordPress is not new to me, but I haven’t been a ‘constant user’ until recently.  My favorite content management tool and site creation software has long been Joomla! and still is for most sites I build or work on.  However, there are times that WordPress is simply the ideal choice — especially if the site’s main purpose is to be a blog, like this one is now.  Thus my switch to WordPress for my own use; I need to eat my own dog food, so to speak.

One aspect of hosting a blog site, especially one running on a popular open source platform such as WordPress, is dealing with spammers.  This isn’t because the open source software is somehow more vulnerable to such attacks, as I actually think the opposite, but more because hackers are going to develop automated scripts that will work with the largest segment that the they can.  WordPress is very popular and thus a bigger target.

Cutting down or eliminating spam can be a major chore for anyone.  Fortunately, there are several tools available that help filter out the spam from the legitimate comments submitted.  Here are two that I have found to work extremely well and am using on several websites.

  • Akismet – This is a WordPress standard and while far from perfect, a very useful tool to use.  It will help identify a great deal of the spam messages that come your way.
  • WP Hashcash – A client side JavaScript tool that does an excellent job of blocking spam bots.

It’s WP Hashcash in conjunction with Akismet that really works well.  You can have WP Hashcash kick out the obvious spam it finds and then have the rest moderated by Akismet.  WP Hashcash works on a simple principle that automated spam is not going to be entered by a human in a browser.  Most spam bots aren’t going to have JavaScript enabled, and fewer still are going to use a real form submission from a browser; their spam bot will be an automated affair.  WP Hashcash detects this and flags the comment (or trackback) as spam.  Brillent!

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