It’s Spamuary – Check Your Filter

If you are not to blogging in 2011 then you haven’t  been through a Spamuary season.

When you started your blog you were probably hit with the initial greetings from those that troll for new sites to salt with their comments designed to garner back-links to their sites and customers with the expectation that a newbie won’t know what’s really happening.

But this is different.  Like snow in winter, it is Spamuary and we are all seeing heavy spam falls in our spam filter (or worse, waiting in moderation if you don’t have a spam filter setup).

You might even have your site setup to automatically delete spam comments after 30 days so you can leave it to do the job and never think about it.  Most of the time that strategy works.  But Spamuary is a unique situation.

When you get hit with a few hundred spam comments going into your spam folder, it can overwhelm the auto delete feature.

Proactive Spamuary Deletions

No need to panic, here’s my suggestion.  When you log into your dashboard check to see how many comments are in your spam filter.  If you find more than 50 click on the spam folder link and empty the spam filter.

Why?  Because I’ve found that anything over 200 can choke the process and you end up looking at a blank screen (which usually brings about a moment of panic).  No need to panic if this happens.

Hit the back button, then hit the refresh on your page.  You will then see how many are left in your spam filter, run the delete again.

Ex.  This morning I logged into the lab and we had a very productive 24 hrs.  220 comments in the spam folder.  I ran the manual delete and got the blank screen, back button, refresh, 10 comments still in the spam folder.  One more round and the folder quickly was empty and I was back on my spam comments page.

This too shall pass

Like allergy season this too shall pass, eventually.  There’s not set date when it stops, but it will eventually slow to a trickle if past seasons are any indicator.

Happy Deleting Everyone !

Comments

  1. Thanks Dave, this is really helpful information on how to manage my spam filter.

  2. Debbie,

    You are welcome, It has become a big issue the past couple of weeks and I know some are wondering if they are doing something wrong to be getting so much spam. Tis the Season 🙁

    Dave

  3. Dave,
    Last year I installed WP-SpamFree on my blogs, to use along with Akismet, and don’t think I’ve had 1 spam comment since then.
    You may want to look into it, it’s in the repository and doesn’t require captcha.

  4. Thanks Matt,

    I’ll take it for a spin here at the Lab.

    Dave

  5. Thanks for the useful tip. I think I have been experiencing not only Spamuary, but Spamembers and Spamust. I will keep a better eye on that spam filter from now on:)

  6. I’ve had SpamFree WP on the site since Matt suggested it. The plugin recommends all other spam filters be turned off. I did so for the test. It let through about a dozen comments that were obviously spam.

    I’ve just turned Akismet back on and will run in conjunction as Matt does on his site.

    PS anyone want to see a Well optimized site for page load time check out Matt Fox’s site.

  7. Dave, great stuff! We have tried askimet and a couple of other captcha plugins with no real results, we will try out Spam Free WordPress, thanks for the tip! We were about to try Disqus which allows you to login with your social network of choice, but wondered if that would have just been another burden on the user.

  8. CarmelaJones says:

    Spam is sometime not avoidable that can ruin my day… Thanks for the info.

  9. First Dave, I appreciate the comment on my page load time. I’d rather be checked out for the content but I’ll take what I can get. 😉

    I’m glad it’s working out for you. As I’m typing this I see it’s blocked 339 comments (it shows the number right above the comment box). I use it on all my sites and didn’t realize what a pain all the spam was until it was gone. I’m eager to hear how it has helped you (or didn’t help).

    Keep up the good work. I’ve been following this site for a couple years now and appreciate what you’ve shared.

  10. I’m not a fan of Disqus for one simple reason. I want control over my site. I don’t like having to log into any SM site to leave comments. When I hit a site with Disqus I simply leave.

    Dave

  11. Matt,

    It has been years since I saw the outside of the site without being logged in. I see what you mean about showing comments blocked. Wish there was a place on the admin side where that figure showed up.

    I figured the geeky side of our readers would be interested in seeing the page load time. After that, they are all yours.

    Dave

  12. Dave, you can turn it off so that doesn’t show on this side of the site (logged out visitors). My sites show how many comments wp-spam blocked on the Admin Dashboard in the “Right Now” widget. I don’t know if you have that enabled on yours but both Akismet and wp-spam are there.

  13. Matt,

    I have it, but only Akismet stats show up in the Right Now. Not a biggie.

    Dave

  14. Love it. I was wondering if I was the only one getting so much spam. I’ve noticed though that my Dad is also getting a lot. I try to delete each morning after checking my emails.

  15. This is going to be a life-saver. Kat recently started a non-real estate blog with WP, and has struggled with the spam coming in (being a new site) but, not wanting to close the door to real readers and their comments. We’ll be implementing these tips!

  16. Glad I could help John.

    Dave

  17. Trying to minimize spam on my WP site was something that used to be a nightmare until it was recommended I install Firewall and Bad Behavior plugins — both of which have made spam almost non-existent.

  18. I’ve not used either, I have had a few times I needed to remove Bad Behavior for behaving badly blocking things it shouldn’t.

    Thanks Peter for the suggestions and insight.

    Dave

  19. Good tips. Also, I find that simply using the Akismet plugin can greatly reduce spam.

  20. Mike,

    Using akismet does not reduce spam. It traps spam, but it doesn’t stop spammers from leaving comments. Akismet will auto delete after 30 days, if ckecked. But you don’t want to wait that long. If your spam filter gets over 50 comments in it I still recommend emptying it.
    Dave