Spam is an amazing beast. Like a hydra-headed dragon, as soon as you slice off one head, another grows in its place. There’s no real stopping it – instead, there’s only a constant battle to keep it at bay as it shifts from emails, to comments and forums, to Facebook, and even to the back-end of your website: registration spam.
If you’ve got a blog that has open registration to allow for guest posting or the ability to register and leave comments, you have probably seen this. What’s striking about this kind of spam is that it’s invisible to the end-user of the site; only you, as the webmaster, get to see (and deal with) all the bogus registrations.
It can be rather frustrating separating the real registered users – the ones who intend to share something of value with you and your readers – versus the spambots, who are only registering for who knows what reason.
So how can you fight WordPress spam registration? Here’s a number of tips and tricks that can help reduce unwanted registrations.
1. Get Rid of Open Registration
This will certainly solve the problem – if there’s no way to register, then registration can’t be spammed. However, it means you either shut down your guest posting program or shift from registration to having interested bloggers-to-be email you. This means either a contact form or an email address on the site – both prone to spam as well. Some find this easier to deal with though as the spam filters on email tend to work quite well.
2. Avoid Phrases like “Guest Post”,”Write for Us”, “Register Here”, etc.
Bots use these terms to find places to register. If you can somehow get around using these words, then you will be further down the line than the next blog that gets spammed.
3. Install the SABRE WordPress plugin
SABRE stands for Simple Anti Bot Registration Engine and it’s a free plugin for WordPress. It provides a number of options for limiting automatic registrations, mostly relating to various CAPTCHA methods and their level of difficulty. What I like about this plugin is that it also will block registration if the users IP address is on the associated ban list.
Learn more about this plugin by clicking here.
As you can see, the options are rather limited when it comes to fighting registration spam. In my opinion, the best method is the installation of SABRE’s plugin followed by stringent CAPTCHA settings.
What’s your experience with phony WordPress account registrations and what have you done to fight it? Have you used SABRE and what are your thoughts on it? Additionally, have you found any other plugins to be effective in fighting registration spam?
This is a guest post by BenJ who is a blogger from USA. If you would like to write for TricksDaddy, check our guest blogging guidelines.