There is a new Anti Spam wordpress plugin out called Anti-Sapm Bee which several people are making claims to being a better product over other plugins. At first glance, I found it hard to truly compare.
Since the creators site is in German, its hard to tell exactly what you’re getting. Especially since the description of this plugin’s features tell you basic features without actually telling you how it works. So here’s to remedying that…
The script checks that “wp-comments-post.php” is being requested properly. Checks if the method used is “POST”, and that $_POST isn’t empty.
Comment Box Switch
It creates a md5 hash string of your URL address, grabs the first 5 letters/numbers of that result, and uses it as your textarea’s box name. For example (and completely made up): name=”comment-x2nsk”. Working example:
<?php echo ‘comment-’ .substr(md5(get_bloginfo(‘home’)), 0, 5); ?>
This is in addition to your old comment box, which still exists after the new text box is added in, the old one set with a css style to display:none;.
This means a regular browser cant see it. Thus if its filled out, Anti-Spam Bee knows that its spam. However, the plugin attaches this style directly to the old form, which to me, sounds like it would be very easy for a bot to detect. It would be better (not unbreakable, but better) if this was in an external style sheet somewhere.
If you want to understand this concept better check out this post: Hidden Form Fields To Prevent Bot Spam
Checks Pings & Trackbacks
For pings and trackbacks it checks the remote address, comment author URL, and comment contents were entered.
If they are filled out, it gets the hosts name that sent the pingback or trackback and compares it to the author comment URL
Pending the results of these actions it throws the results at a filter which then puts it in a spam or approved bucket.
Akismet VS Anti-Spam Bee
So, is this really better than Akismet? For me, no, but for you , that answer could be different. Here’s why:
Akismet is unique in the way that it works and learns on a continual basis. It blacklists IP’s and does a few other checks when the data gets processed through their servers. Any spam inevitably ends up in your database so that you can see it and unmark it as spam.
AntiSpam Bee has an option to “save” things marked as spam or to get rid of it so that it never shows up in your database. Using the methods of prevention in this plugin, this is probably somewhat warranted. However, it will never prevent someone from coming to your site and filling it with junk manually.
Since Akismet blacklists “bad doers” IP addresses, that last scenario would still be blocked by Akismet but not Anti-Spam Bee.
The nice thing is, both of these plugins will work together. The Main thing I like about Anti-Spam Bee is how light weight it is. Its a ridiculously small plugin and very “out of the box” type of functionality.
If you use both, make sure you configure Anti-Spam Bee to “Mark as Spam, do not delete” in the settings panel.
You can also alternatively use Simple Trackback Validation. See my guide here: HowTo Eliminate WordPress Trackback Comment And Pingback Spam. Which means you should check the box “Do not check trackbacks / pingbacks” in the Anti-Spam Bee settings.
Why I Wont Be Using Anti-Spam Bee
The SINGLE thing that Anti-Spam Bee does not provide that eliminates my need for it entirely is my Enhanced Numbered Equation CAPTCHA. This is because I would rather read through ANY spam that someone enters into the form manually which is NOT blacklisted by Akismet.
You can read up on that and a few other tactics that I posted on in this series: 5 Spam Blocking Posts – A Fight For Future Free Time
At the end of the day there are ways around everything. If you can find a way to use all these features at once, the more the better! Just avoid repetition of features and multiple spam admin panels. You want to save time, not create a workload of spam filters to sort through.
Make sure you understand how your spam filters work before implementing one and especially before using 2+ at once!
Spend some time and experiment with what’s out there. Comment below and let us know what combination(s) have worked for you.
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