1. Captcha, reCapthca and the like have serious usability issues. And basically anything that requires a user to fill an extra field (other than the comment) each time the user posts a comment, is considered bad usability.

    (NOTE: I hope you do realize that users need only enter their name and email address once when it comments on a website, unless he clears the cache.)

    So, plugins like Better WordPress reCAPTCHA, WP-reCAPTCHA, Spam Free WordPress, etc. although are extremely good at what they do, are out of the question considering the aforementioned concerns.

  2. Plugins like Bad Behavior, WP-Hashcash Extended (successor of WP-Hashcash), .htaccess rules for preventing recognized spamming techniques and bots, etc. aren't without false positives.

    Sometimes, they are known to even block search engine crawlers coming from a new IP address range. Also, depending on JavaScript to basically authenticate comments isn't really a great way, IMO. Just saying.

As I see it, it all boils down to Akismet, Impostercide, and Cookies for Comments anti-spam plugin combo.

(AntiSpamBee, Defensio, and TypePad AntiSpam, among others, are aimed to be Akismet alternatives. While many don't like Akismet because it's from a company that believes in open source, but isn't free, many of us still acknowledge that it's next to none.)


  • What else should I do? (rather, should I be doing something else that's more effective?)

  • Has anyone tried ZigTrap? How does it compare to others? (Too many false positives is a moderation/spam queue overhead.)

PS: I am sure that there's no "best for all" solution. But it will help if you can share what works best for you.

TLDR: How do I prevent spam on WordPress comments without requiring manual approval or user login/registration?

  • To those who've close-voted this as "not constructive," with all due respect, I am not trying to rep-whore here. This question is aimed to help me and the community at large. And well, feel free to mark it as CW if you find that appropriate.
    – its_me
    Jun 7, 2012 at 13:41
  • This post has been helpful. I didn't know that there was a newer, more refined version of the WP-Hashcash plugin. The old one still works in identifying bots, if the new one is even more effective, that's something good to know. Jun 7, 2012 at 15:16
  • I concur with the close votes in this case. It is a combination of "not constructive" (there is no single, definitive, correct answer), "too localized" (based on the premise regarding what is acceptable/unacceptable UX), and "off topic" (since the underlying issue is WordPress-independent). Jun 7, 2012 at 15:34
  • @ChipBennett lol! I didn't know my question had so many loopholes! :D
    – its_me
    Jun 7, 2012 at 15:48

1 Answer 1


Okay, I've (probably) done just enough reading since asking this question, and apparently this combo of anti-spam plugins, works to a very appreciable extent in mitigating spam:

Akismet + Cookies for Comments + Impostercide

Knowledgeable people agree:

  • Alex aka Viper007Bond uses Akismet and Cookies for Comments on his own blog, alongside having Trackbacks disabled. (Source)

  • Donncha O Caoimh says (via email), "I use cookies for comments and it works just fine with WP Super Cache!" — He also happens to be a co-developer of a number of anti-spam plugins. He also, most probably, uses Akismet.

The need for the use of "Impostercide" plugin should be obvious, unless the email you administer your blog with is unknown to the world, or you just don't care even if the spammers post comments on your blog using your Name and Email (and hell if you use Gravatar).

And yes, this setup may not fit everyone. Especially those blogs that want to enforce a stricter set of rules and techniques.

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