How To Avoid Spam in WordPress, Vbulletin And Xenforo

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If you are managing a blog or forum then you know the pain of managing and handling spam. One fine day you woke up in the morning just to find your website bombarded by Viagra or porn related content stuffed with links and you end up saying“what the heck is that?”

This is called spam.

How To Avoid wordpress spam comments, vbulletin and xenforo spam


Honestly, I don’t understand why these people do it because I don’t think any site can grow with these techniques.

But this world consists of all kind of people and these obnoxious people are intoxicating the internet like worms intoxicate our body.

These spammers use software tools to register and post content on your site. They use proxies to further extend the strength of their attacks.

These are SEO tools; it’s just that they are in wrong hands.

There is nothing much you can do in stopping them from happening but you can use tools to reduce your vulnerability, considerably.

Spammers mainly attack blogs and forums.

Handling spam in blogs is considerably easy than a forum.

The reason being, just by the virtue of being a blog, you can easily set your blog comments and post for moderation.

As posts are not more, it is easy to control them and in case of comments also, it is fairly easy to control spam.

Controlling spam is a major challenge for online forums owners.

Again, the problem is the nature of content management system and the type of web page.

Any user can easily sign up for forum and start posting content without your control. So even if you leave your forum unnoticed for some time, you come back to see your forum flooded with spam.

And if you set your each post for moderation then you end up annoying your genuine users and they may leave you.

So spam not only eats up your resources like bandwidth, they also create situations which may have severe impact on your online business.

So it is critical to implement spam controlling measures even before it happens.

There are three major content management systems in the world used by webmasters to run their websites;

  1. WordPress
  2. Vbulletin
  3. Xenforo

There are other systems also but as I am using them, I am going to focus on these systems.

Now let’s look at the tool which can be used to reduce the spam in these systems.

As we are using wordpress on this site, let’s begin with WordPress.

Spam in WordPress

WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems and as it is a blog you can easily control who publishes post on your blog but you cannot control who leaves comment on it. Even if you are moderating comments manually, imagine the kind of unnecessary load you will have if your sites is receiving high number of spam comments.

As a result, you are extremely vulnerable to spam comments. But if you do your due diligence and use correct tools, you can significantly reduce spam on your wordpress blog.

Now let’s take a look at some of the most popular wordpress plugins to control spams.

Akismet–  Akismet is probably the first anti-spam wordpress plugin. It is so important that it comes bundled with wordpress. So when you download wordpress first times, it is the first plugin which you will see in your wordpress plugin dashboard.

Akismet delivers on its promise of stopping spam. You will need to get their API in order to use it but once you have configured it, it automatically control spam on your blog without any manual intervention.

WP-reCaptchaWP-recCaptcha is another famous and quite popular wordpress anti-spam plugin. It is widely used by bloggers. It ask user to enter the character displayed by it in the text field in order to complete the action. Then it validates the field entered by the commenter to verify if it is correct or incorrect. Most of the spam can’t enter the correct characters displayed by it.

So you can use WP-reCaptcha to control the spam for comments and registration also.

It uses the old books character and it has been quite effective in restricting spams. Though, now there are lots of seo tools which are able to crack captcha but still it can be very effective if you are using it while moderating each comment on your blog.

Spam Free WordPress – Spam Free WordPress plugin is another great plugin to handle spams in your blog. It has been quite popular among webmasters and it is evident from the fact that it has been downloaded more than 2, 50,000 times.

It promises to check 100% spam and delivers well on that.

There are anti-spam wordpress plugins also but as task is simple and objective is clear, I am not adding any more names in the list to keep it simple. More options may lead to more confusion.

The best way to tackle spam in wordpress is by moderating each comment manually along with using some plugin to reduce the number of spam comments.

Spam in Vbulletin

Vbulletin is one of the most widely used forum content management system and as mentioned earlier, it is even more complicated to manage spam in forum applications than blogs.

You can use GlowHost Spam-o-matic mod to control spam on your sites powered by vbulletin. It uses Akisment and Stop forum spam API to monitor spams.

I have implemented it on my form and I must say it is very effective.

You don’t need to get stop form spam’s API and it is ready to go from the install.

It is quite simple to use and you can set limits for keeping post for moderation or publish them automatically for new users.

It will automatically restrict registrations of the user ids based upon the data it fetch from stop form spam database and if it doesn’t find anything from stop form spam, it will allow successful user registration.

You can set a limit to monitor each user so that no spam goes unnoticed. So for example you have set a limit of five minimum posts required for automatic publishing for new users. Then when a user registers at your site, their first five posts will be kept for moderation and if you approve them then only those posts will be published on your forum. Once user has crossed this limit of minimum five posts, post will be automatically published and not kept for moderation.

It is extremely effective for new forums as member registration and posts are less. And for big forums, stop form spam API is quite effective and most of the spammers are denied registration by it.

In my opinion, it is one of the best options for those who are using Vbulletin to run their forums.

Spam in Xenforo

Xenforo is relatively newer forum software and there are fewer mods available for it but the problem of spam is old. So there is nothing new even if you are using xenforo.

Xenforo is a better application in term of control spam but still you need to use some mod to control spam registration on your forum.

[8wayRun.Com] XenUtiles (Tools) v1.1.6 is a good mod to control spam in your xenforo forum.

It also uses stop form spam API along with and’s API. For using this mod, you will have to get API from these sites which are free.

As mentioned earlier in the post, spams are a big pain and even they have been adapting to the newer technologies. So it is becoming exceedingly difficult to control spams.

This is a battle between ethical and unethical webmasters which doesn’t seem to end soon. But in the meantime, you can prevent your sites from spam by using the above mentioned plugins and mods.

If you have any question or addition to the list, please leave your comments.

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About akhilendra

Hi, I’m Akhilendra and I write about Product management, Business Analysis, Data Science, IT & Web. Join me on Twitter, Facebook & Linkedin


  1. Good to know about How To Avoid Spam in WordPress, Vbulletin, And Xenforo. It’s really interesting and informative content for us, thanks for sharing it.

  2. Baldwin Jackson says

    Great effort mate. However, you can use several different anti-spam plugins as well for spam protection. I have been using WP-SpamShield on my various website which is working perfectly fine. I would like to share resource which has list few other spam plugins.

    Anyway thanks for sharing.

  3. Thanks for sharing the info..

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