Dealing with Spammy Comments

I manage a number of web sites, including our own blogs and sites for my customers.

Most blogs allow visitors to post comments and some of my customers’ sites have forms that visitors can use to request information.

I’ve always written my own code to deal with spammy comments and form content. My code simply checks the content against a list of words and phrases commonly used in spam and acts accordingly.

Recently though, spammers have really upped their game with automated “spam-bots” that scan web sites and automatically post comments and fill out forms with spammy content.

It got to the point where my home-built spam tools just weren’t enough so I went on a hunt for a better solution.

Enter CleanTalk. CleanTalk is a company that specializes in tracking spammers. They provide tools to access their data and take advantage of their anti-spam algorithms. Specifically, they provide a plug-in for WordPress (the software that we use for blogs), and an “application programming interface” (API) that can be used directly from custom code like all of my customers’ web sites.

The WordPress plug-in is great. It’s truly plug and play. Install it, enter your CleanTalk account information and spammy comments disappear.

I had to write some custom code to use their API on my other sites, but, for me, it was pretty easy and I wrote it in such a way that I can use it for any other sites that I create.

All in all, I have to say that I really like CleanTalk. Their system has eliminated a lot of junk from my email in box. 👍🏻