CleanTalk Anti-Spam Plugin
Recently, I fired my spam control plugins.
Even with a rather elaborate setup, there was just too much getting through, and too many false positives.
False positives are when a valid post by a real person lands in the spam bin… you have to go dig these out. It’s time-consuming. And you know what they say…
I’ve been using a combination of GASP Pro + AntiBacklinker to control the spam coming in and then Akismet to sort it out from there. (In addition to Cloudflare “over the top” of the whole blog to help control an assortment of related problems.)
I must say that I poo-poo’d on the first mention of CleanTalk as a possible solution since, frankly, I’m more than a little cynical about spammers at this point. (And I’ve tried dozens of other combinations with
However, I beta test lots of plugins right here on the blog, live in front of lots of traffic so that we can see what they do in real world testing.
And I’ve gotta say… I like it!
Introducing CleanTalk Anti-Spam Plugin For WordPress
CleanTalk is the deceptively simple anti-spam service that controls a wide variety of spam types.
Yes, I said service, which I know will put a lot of readers off.
However, for a VERY AFFORDABLE $8 you get a whole year of service (and a generous 14-day trial beforehand to decide if it’s right for you).
When I first installed CleanTalk I was sort of put off by the fact that there were very few configuration options:
I mean seriously… at this point spam is such an aggressive problem that I’m used to having to jump through a ton of hoops.
But… it just worked.
I have spent HOURS AND HOURS combing through the spam folder results (on the CleanTalk page because those comments never get to my blog unless I approve them) and have found only a SINGLE comment that was “questionable” if it might be a real comment.
There were ZERO blatantly obvious false positives what you get with other tools like Akismet.
And if there were, I could easily click a button to have the comment MANUALLY reviewed and re-checked by the CleanTalk team so that it wouldn’t happen again.
That’s infinitely better than Akismet’s signalling method which uses the fact that you DIDN’T remove a false positive from spam as a feedback mechanism that tells Akismet that it is spam.
You could be hurting your fellow bloggers (and your blog) every time you empty your spam folder if you fail to find the false positives first.
I also haven’t had much spam get into the inbox erroneously.
When it does, I just jump out to the CleanTalk page and push a button “Report SPAM and blacklist” and it’s taken care of in good order.
My first couple weeks using the service I did have some statistics errors in the little reporting panel in CleanTalk but an email to the devs got that minor bug sorted out. It had nothing to do with the service working correctly.
The developer’s English is a little rough but that hasn’t stopped them from doing a good job with this so don’t let it cause you to shy off of the plugin/service.
One of the things that this service has – that others don’t – is a tool to re-check old comments for spam.
Unfortunately, that recheck is the tool that I still find to not be working correctly (tons of false positives). This is disappointing because it’s something we REALLY need out here in the industry and would help set this plugin apart from it’s competition. The results lack a feedback button so I can’t manually make the system more intelligent (and I wouldn’t want to have to do that for several thousand comments.
Overall, when it comes to fighting incoming spam, this plugin is solid enough that I’m GLAD I paid the $9 to use it.
I’d give them a 4-star rating with the hope that they can fix the comment re-check tool shortly.
Check out CleanTalk Anti-Spam here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/cleantalk-spam-protect/
It’s a sigh of relief to have spam under control again!
What are you using to fight spam on your WordPress blog? How well is it working? How many false positives are you getting regularly?
~ Kim ~
Smart Tech For Smart Marketers
PS: Yes I’m still using CloudFlare in addition. Cloudflare does a lot of different things for me and so it isn’t going away any time soon!