This site runs on WordPress, and like all WordPress sites, it attracts more than its fair share of comment spam. For a long time, I used Akismet, which is the anti-spam plugin developed by the WordPress team, so I knew I could trust it to work well with WordPress.
I was happy with Akismet, but after a while, I noticed that it was letting a lot of false positives through. I crossed my fingers and hoped it was just a temporary thing, but after a couple of updates, it was still happening. One of the problems with being a popular plugin (5+ million installs) is that a lot of people are trying to figure out ways around you. Additionally, I did not like the fact that Akismet requires an API key, which although free for personal sites, cost money for commercial sites. It was time to move on.
After some testing, I found WP-SpamShield, which worked great—no API key required, no fees, no false positives. I was very happy with WP-SpamShield and installed it on all my WordPress sites.
Alas, nothing good every lasts, at least on the internet. I noticed there hadn’t been any updates to WP-SpamShield for a while, and when I looked for it in the plugins repository, I couldn’t find it. But I did find an article on WPTavern that told of a dispute between the creators of WP-SpamShield and another plugin, with the result that both plugins got booted/pulled (your choice) from the plugin repository. I’ve since learned that WP-SpamShield has become a commercial plugin (i.e., you have to pay for it), and I seriously considered paying for it—it’s that good, and I like it that much. Unfortunately, my IP is blacklisted on their website, so when I try to go to their website, I get this rather rude message:
I reached out to them on Twitter, with no response, so it’s time to move on.
Right now, I’m trying out Antispam Bee, which, in addition to having a really cool logo, also has excellent reviews and is updated on a regular basis. It also has 300,000+ active install. I’ll give it a spin for a few weeks and let you know how it works out.
Update Information:August 18, 2018: Yep, Antispam Bee is working out fine. There’s a bug in it that keeps letting spam through from a particular IP in South Korea, but that should be fixed in the next update.