Late last week, I quietly released my new WordPress plugin, Comment Warning. Over the weekend, I added some extra functionality and it’s now reached the point where I’m ready to announce it to the world. So here goes.
Who Is Comment Warning For?
Comment Warning is aimed at DoFollow and ex-DoFollow blogs that have become a target for comment spammers, including those running the CommentLuv and KeywordLuv plugins.
Although DoFollow and related plugins can reward your commentators (and help increase traffic), it also attracts comment spammers. These spammers often hunt for blogs through DoFollow lists or Google searches for terms related to the CommentLuv and KeywordLuv plugins.
The level of comment spam I get on this blog has become untolerable. I turned off DoFollow, but the spammers keep coming.
Comment Warning helps deal with this problem. In the 7 days that I’ve been running the plugin on this blog, 113 visitors have triggered the warning. The number of borderline spam comments have dropped.
Of course this means that the total number of comments I’m getting has dropped as well, but I’ve decided I only want genuine comments at this stage.
The plugin has been tested on WordPress 2.7 and 2.8.
I suspect that this plugin will NOT be compatible with the WP Super Cache plugin. I will be doing some testing in the near future and, if necessary, changing the plugin so it does work with WP Super Cache.
How Does It Work?
Both the list of triggers and the message are customisable, allowing you to control who is shown the message and what they are shown. If you come across another site or term that should be added, please let me know.
It is possible to redirect potential spammers to a URL of your choice, either immediately (bypassing the warning) or after a certain number of visits from the same IP address. However, my own personal view is that redirecting visitors is harsh.
A log of visits that trigger the warning is kept. This allows you quickly jump to any comments left by these visitors. It also adds a message, letting you know that the commentator has been warned in the past, to all new comment email notifications and to comments appearing in the Admin area.
What It Doesn’t Do
Comment Warning won’t help if a comment spammer comes directly to your site, rather than from a search or a page with a URL that contains one of the trigger words.
However, if they have been warned previously, this will have been recorded in the log and a message indicating this will appear next to their comments in the Admin panel and in comment notification emails.
How Do I Get It?
You can read more about Comment Warning and download it on the plugin page. Alternatively, you can get it from the Official WordPress Plugin Directory (or search for Comment Warning in the install plugin page in the WordPress Admin area).
The Official WordPress Plugin Directory
This is the first time I’ve added a plugin to the official WordPress Plugin Directory (when did it change from Repository to Directory?). The process wasn’t too hard, but it would have been much harder without the excellent Listing Your Plugin at the WordPress.org Plugin Directory post by Ronald Huereca on WebLogToolsCollection.
Other WordPress Plugin Development News
It was with some surprise that I noticed that this is my first release for almost 18 months! Time flies…
I’m working on some other WordPress plugins in the background and I’m still holding to my statement that I’ll update my old plugins and move them into the official plugin directory. I’ve also started thinking that I should tidy up and release some of the custom plugins that I use on my sites.
Time will be an issue, but I’m hoping I can get most of this done.
Last updated on July 20th, 2011