A couple of weeks ago I was getting hit by spam that wasn’t picked up by Akismet and Spam Karma and marking the same kind of message as spam multiple times a day for several days made me look into this combination. I started looking in to different anti spam solutions for WordPress and found three options.
The three options I found were:
Akismet + Spam Karma
All of these options use a central server, except for Spam Karma. Comments are send to the server, the server runs the check to determine whether or not the comment is spam and lets the plug-in know what it thinks it is. This means you have to sign up for the service to get an API key, and for all three options this is free. By marking a comment as spam the plug-in sends this information to the server and that way the server learns about new schemes spammers use.
My thoughts on the three options:
Akismet + Spam Karma
I had noticed a thread on the WordPress mail listing about Spam Karma going GPL, it comes down to the fact the original developer has decided to stop the development of Spam Karma and gives the project to the world to for further development. I don’t think this is a very positive development at this moment.
This combination didn’t identified the spam I received, even after marking several messages them as spam they still wouldn’t be identified. Akismet checks comments on a central server and reports back whether or not they believe the the comment is spam.
I know you can run Akismet by itself but when I started my blog Akismet didn’t do a good job by itself, the combination with Spam Karma was doing very well.
Typepad AntiSpam is the same thing as Akismet it just uses a different central server. The plug-in is exactly the same as Akismet. I ran this plug-in for a day or two and ditched it as 99% of the spam comments I received weren’t detected as spam, including messages that were identified as such by the Akismet/Spam Karma combination. I loyally marked them as such but it didn’t seem to help.
I installed the plug-in and found a bug within 10 minutes of usage. When a comment was added the plug-in would throw an error and “crash” my website. The response of the developers was terrific when I posted the bug on their forum and it made look into the code. I made a change in the way the plug-in determined the users right and it worked. I send the patch to the Defensio developers and they implemented the patch in their newest version
After the rough start I decided to still give this option a try, mostly because of a very neat feature which I’ll explain later. The plug-in did a great job, all the comments I received were identified as spam. I kept it running and after a week or so it falsely identified one comment as spam and after a couple of days it didn’t identify a comment spam. I reported the comment as spam and the next day I received a similar comment but this time it was marked as spam by Defensio.
The neat feature is was talking about earlier is that you go to Defensio website and get an overview of how the plug-in is doing for your website. It shows the accuracy, the amount of spam and innocent comments received.
I’ve been running Defensio for a while now and I am very happy with it. I have an accuracy of 99.15% and the total server has an average accuracy of 99.77%