The single most important WordPress plugin you will ever need

When I sent my first email while in college in the late 80’s, we didn’t even call them such. They were “network messages“; few of us had access to the gateway that would send these messages outside of the local network and into the wild unknown. In fact, there was nothing of interest out there, until the early 90’s.

But enough with these old tales. Roll forward a couple of decades and email is as common as picking up the phone. At times, it’s faster to communicate via email than by phone, as it can be delivered through several media.

The problem is of course, spam – the sheer amount of junk email that ends up clogging your mailbox. Nowadays, there are several methods to block email spam effectively, including filters and even forwarding through Gmail that seems to catch a lot of it.

But what about comment spam on blogs?

For blogs that run WordPress, you should enable Akismet as soon as you set up your blog, although unfortunately it doesn’t keep the spammers away; the comments are sent to your spam queue along with several false positives. You still have to go through the queue to read them.

On a given day, I get 75 to almost 100 spam comments sent to the spam queue. I used to skim through them to see if anything was caught by mistake but after a while it became tedious.

So I tried installing various captcha plugins that were forcing commentators to enter a jumbled up code into a form field along with their message. Aside from being an extra inconvenience to those wanting to leave a comment, the captchas were cracked in 3 days by various spambots peddling cheap pharmaceuticals, flooding my mailbox like wild jellyfish in an old port’s waters.

The solution?

The single most important WordPress plugin that will effectively block all spam from ever reaching the queue, is called WP-SpamFree and it works wonders. It has various parameters to do what you ask it to do; you don’t have to worry about how it does it, but it works.

Having tested WP-SpamFree at the recent traffic onslaught of after a post made Digg’s homepage, the plugin logged no less than 350 spam comments that never made the spam queue. These blind spambots released their scummy digital farts into the air, never reaching the database. Not a single false positive!

Download it, install it, and forget about comment spam for good. And while you’re at it, follow me on twitter


  1. Just turn comments off or use Blogger which does all this kind of stuff for you. Not a single spam in 5 years@

  2. Owen, turning comments off defeats the purpose of having an interactive blog 😀 As for using Blogger, I did that years ago at Blogspot. The platform is far inferior to WordPress.

  3. If you can use Disqus in association with akismet, then you will be done with 99% of the protection.

  4. Great find Acro, I’m downloading and installing this right away! I have enough trouble with email spam, it takes up at least 5-6 minutes a day sifting through those… this will save a lot of time.

    I agree, turning comments off isn’t exactly a good solution. That would be the same as having an email address that didn’t accept email.

    Anyway, excellent find and I’ll be very grateful if this works for me.

  5. The most important plugin is got to be the All in One SEO plugin because without this, you wouldn’t be found and thus you wouldn’t even have to worry about spam!

  6. Expensive Domain – While an SEO plugin is useful – and I do use the particular one – your sanity does not depend on it, you can still be found.

    Shay – You’re welcome and do share your finds after you test it.

    NeazMH – The problem is that a lot of people don’t want to use their facebook/twitter/etc identities to post, so you’d be cutting down on the number of comments accepted.

  7. I use akismet for filtering both, comments and site emails.

    Works like a charm.

    All you need a working api key which is free with any account.

  8. Samit, while akismet blocks a lot of spam outright, it sends a lot of it to the spam queue. WP-Spamfree doesn’t allow any spam to make it through; it never enters the queue.

  9. Acro, You sent the first email in late 80’s, but when did you get your first spam? 😀

  10. “These blind spambots released their scummy digital farts into the air, never reaching the database. Not a single false positive!”


    I may have to try out WP-Spam Free, thanks

  11. Michael – sadly, not until the early 90’s.

    Mike – it works wonders.

  12. Thanks for the info, helped me with my blog spam.

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