How to Stop WordPress Comment Spam Using WPBruiser

How to Stop WordPress Comment Spam

I think you’ll agree with me when I say:

WordPress comment spam can be really annoying and difficult to stop.

Or is it?

What if I told you that you can dramatically decrease and stop comment spam by adding one plugin?

In today’s post, I am going to show you how you can stop WordPress comment spam with the WPBruiser WordPress plugin by Mihai Chelaru. Not only does WPBruiser stop comment spam, it has additional benefits that will make it a must-have plugin in your WordPress security arsenal.

The WordPress Comment Spam Problem

Comment spam on WordPress posts has been not only an annoying problem, but it time consuming, too. Spambots that are specifically designed to post spam on online forms, many with unsolicited advertisements, are a real threat.

Website owners have been forced to pull out the battle gear with Captchas, math quizzes, picture quizzes, or alternative commenting plugins.

That’s not all…

The problem with traditional methods of combating comment spam is that it forces visitors – the good guys – to fill out one more thing or, to sign up for a commenting system in order to comment.

By forcing visitors to take these additional steps, we may be keeping such a tight ship that we are hindering great comments from being posted while we battle the bad guys.

How I Discovered WPBruiser

Over the years, I have been consistently using the WordPress plugin, Akismet. At the minimum cost of $5.00 per month for businesses, non-profits, schools, and power users, I started looking for an alternative comment spam solution over the past year when obvious spam began to sneak through the filters.

I did a great deal of research and testing on various plugins including the Growmap Anti Spambot plugin, the Antispam Bee plugin, and more.

Then, I read the reviews…

I came across WPBruiser in the WordPress Repository and was intrigued by the rave reviews. I installed and set it on one of my websites to test it out and haven’t looked back. It has completely stopped all comment spam.

WPBruiser anti-spam plugin

What is WPBruiser?

Previously GoodBye Captcha, WPBruiser is an anti-spam and security plugin developed by Mihai Chelaru. It uses algorithms to identify and stop spambots without the use of frustrating Captchas.

The Bonus?

WPBruiser not only eliminates comment spam, it stops spam on signup, login, and password reset pages – and annihilate brute force attacks.

The plugin’s extensions, available for a nominal fee, integrate with popular form plugins including:

  • Contact Form 7
  • Gravity Forms
  • Ninja Forms
  • Formidable Forms
  • Fast Secure Contact Form

Now that I’ve introduced some of the amazing features of WPBruiser, let’s take a quick look under the hood.

1. General Settings Tab

After installation, WPBruiser offers a number of different settings from the general settings to reports.

WP Bruiser General Tab

2. Security Tab

WP Bruiser Brute Force Settings
On the security settings page, you will have options to enable different options to fight brute force attacks. The next section gives you the ability to white list IP addresses to be sure they don’t get locked out. Finally, you can add IP addresses to the plugin’s blacklist list (not shown).

WPBruiser Security Tab

3. WordPress Tab

Under the WordPress tab, you are given the options to enable protection for WordPress standard forms Settings as shown below.

WPBruiser WordPress Tab

The WordPress tab page also provides you with the ability to enhance security from hiding the WordPress version to hiding comments from notes fields.

WPBruiser WordPress Tab Part 2

4. Contact Forms Tab

The Contact Forms tab offers you the ability to enable protection for popular contact forms. If you have purchased a contact form extension and have it installed, it will be listed here.
WPBruiser Contact Forms Tab

5. Membership Tab

The Membership tab provides options to protect membership plugins settings.

WPBruiser Membership Tab

6. Others Tab

The Others tab offers options to provide protection for subscription plugins from WordPress to other popular plugins as indicated below.

WPBruiser Others Tab

7. Notification Setting Tab

This tab offers the ability to receive notifications when brute force attacks are detected.

WPBruiser Notification Setting Tab

8. Extensions Tab

The Extensions tab shows the different extensions available for purchase from Contact Form 7 to BuddyPress.

WPBruiser Extensions Tab

9. Licenses Tab

The License tab is where you input the license to any extensions that you have purchased.

WPBruiser Licenses Tab

10. Reports Tab

The Reports section shows you how effectively WP Bruiser is working for you with blocked WordPress, forms, and brute force attempts.

WP Bruiser Reports Tab

Reports Screenshot 2

WPBruiser Reports Tab 2

Stop #WordPress Comment Spam Using @WPBruiser http://bit.ly/1ZwVGWg via @rrwebdesignClick To Tweet

WPBruiser Support

Since installing WPBruiser, I have reached out to the author, Mihai Chelaru, with a few questions. His prompt responses and attention to detail have been outstanding.

When I asked Mihai about a contact form that was not included on the list of extensions, he replied in under 24 hours with the extension – specifically created because I asked about it.

The Case of the Bombarding Comment Spambots

Now that you’ve had a preview of WPBruiser, I would like to share the case of the comment spambots that took place last month.

I received a “Help” email from one of my friends. The WordPress driven website that she manages was being bombarded with comment spam.

Imagine this:

There were over 300 spam comments and notification emails sent to the site owner within one hour.

Apparently, this website had been targeted by comment spambots. The current form antispam plugin in place couldn’t stand up to the assault.

I quickly installed WPBruiser and configured the settings. The comment spam stopped immediately.

Conclusion

Comment spam is the thorn in many a WordPress website owner’s side. Not only does comment spam take up resources, it wastes valuable time. Having an effective way to stop the spam assaults is essential.

If you are having a problem with comment spam, you may like to consider trying WPBruiser. I would love to hear your thoughts about it after you have had the chance to give it a test drive.

To learn more about WPBruiser, please visit the WordPress Repository where it is available for free.

Extensions are available for nominal fees at www.wpbruiser.com/extensions/.

About WPBruiser’s Author, Mihai Chelaru

Have you ever wondered about the authors behind WordPress plugins?

The author of WPBruiser is Mihai Chelaru. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and brings to WordPress ecosystem over 15 years of software development experience with a wide range of technologies including web development on a LAMP stack, Java, C++, .NET development in C# with SQL Server, front-end development in HTML/CSS/JavaScript and native application development on iOS devices.

Since 2006, when he moved to United States, he has worked for well-known companies like Yahoo!, Sony, and Disney. Currently he’s with NBC as a Senior Software Engineer.

With a portfolio of over 50 web sites, most of them created using WordPress, Mihai, like all of us, was facing the most common WordPress’ issue: comment and registration spam.

In 2010, he created the first version of this plugin and successfully used on all of his projects. Encouraged by friends and coworkers he publicly released it almost a year ago.

Disclosure
I am not being nor is R & R Web Design LLC compensated in any way for this review of the WPBruiser WordPress plugin.
How to Stop WordPress Comment Spam Using WPBruiser was last modified: June 9th, 2016 by Robin Strohmaier
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Robin Strohmaier

Lead web designer and owner at R & R Web Design LLC
Fascinated with the growing potential and power of the Internet, Robin founded R & R Web Design LLC in the Chicago area in 2000. As creative director, she is passionate about helping others reach their Internet objectives through a strategic online presence with results driven custom web design, ethical SEO, and social media marketing.

Fascinated with the growing potential and power of the Internet, Robin founded R & R Web Design LLC in the Chicago area in 2000. As creative director, she is passionate about helping others reach their Internet objectives through a strategic online presence with results driven custom web design, ethical SEO, and social media marketing.

This article was published on: June 8, 2016 and was last modified June 9, 2016
Posted in Product Reviews, WordPress
16 comments on “How to Stop WordPress Comment Spam Using WPBruiser
  1. Thank you, Robin! I’m always on the lookout for spam and security plugins and I hadn’t heard of WPBruiser. I like the fact that it stops spam on many of the popular contact forms, too. If I’m understanding correctly, WPBruiser can also be used to solely stop brute force attacks?

    Also, I think it’s wonderful to give the plugin author, Mihai Chelaru, a shout-out. So many plugin authors work tirelessly to provide us with free plugins and I think sometimes we take for granted just what they do for the WordPress community. Thanks again for this informative post!

    • Hi Michelle,
      You are very welcome! Like you, I am constantly looking for and testing spam and security plugins. When I first tried WPBruiser the first part of this year, watched it at work and monitored the reports, I knew that I had found a gem. It is now part of my WordPress security artillery. I have purchased the “unlimited” annual plan for $9.99/year for one of the contact forms and have been installing it on many of our clients websites.

      Yes, you are correct! WPBruiser also annihilates brute force attacks. I’m happy to hear that you like the bio of Mihai Chelaru. You are right. I am sure that many of the plugin authors work tirelessly to provide us with free plugins with little reward.

      Thank you for taking the time to read this, and for sharing it on Twitter and Facebook!

      ~ Robin

    • Mihai says:

      Hi Michelle,

      As Robin stated, WPBruiser stops Brute Force and DDoS attacks on WordPress sites. Once such attack is detected, WPBruiser automatically changes the algorithms and an email notification with some vital informations will be sent to the administrator.

      Also, I’ve seen you’re using wpDiscuz on your blog. For the last couple of weeks I’ve been working with gVectors Team and the last versions of both plugins are compatible (wpDiscuz 3.2.8 and WPBruiser 3.0.10) Therefore, you can use WPBruiser to protect the comments form and get rid of the captcha. There is no extension for this. Just download WPBruiser and activate protection for WordPress comments.

      ~Mihai

      • Hi Mihai,

        I really appreciate that you took the time to give additional information about how WPBruiser handles brute force attacks. And you are correct, I am using wpDiscuz on my blog with captcha. I would love to remove captcha as I know it’s an extra step that most visitors don’t want to deal with. Thank you again for your assistance and for all that you do for the WordPress community!

  2. Pat Moon says:

    Looks like something to keep in mind. I’ve used Akismet ever since I first started blogging and 1st experienced 100’s of spam. It has worked well for me as far as I know. WPBruiser does sound like a good deal.

    • Hi Pat,
      I have used Akismet for years on 100s of websites. Unfortunately, there were some false/positives and a number of sites are getting spam. The price has also discouraged some of our clients at $5.99 per month for businesses. I have been looking and testing different options for quite some time now. I have been very please with WPBruiser’s performance. If you are ever in need of an alternative solution to Akismet, I highly recommend this plugin.

      ~ Robin

  3. Mihai says:

    Robin,

    What a surprise! Thank you so much for this awesome review!
    Glad to hear you are very happy with WPBruiser.
    I’ll stick around to answer any questions folks might have.

    ~Mihai

    • Hi Mihai,

      Thank you for stopping by and for creating WPBruiser. It is now a vital part of my WordPress arsenal. I appreciate you sticking around to answer any questions. As always, you customer support goes well beyond the extra mile!

      ~ Robin

  4. What a great plugin, Robin!

    Definitely going to check it out.

    I use Akismet myself… it seems to catch 99.9% of spam comments, but every now and then, I get a false positive and a good comment goes to spam.

    So I review my spam comments daily… and usually there are 30-60+ so it takes a bit of time.

    Perhaps WPBruiser would be a better choice? I like the way it automatically can block spam IPs and stop brute-force attacks, too.

    Nice find!

    Brent

    • Hi Brent,

      WPBruiser is a great choice. I would love to hear what you think if you do decide to give it a try. 30-60 spam comments a day is a lot to go through.

      Thank you for stopping by!

      ~ Robin

  5. Hey Robin,

    This looks like a great plugin to use for comment spam. I like the way you gave us the how-to on using it.

    I use Comment Luv Premium myself, as I was using several plugins to cut down on spam, Akisment included, but now I just use the one.

    This plugin seems unique though, as it helps with brute-force attacks. I may have to check this one out for this feature.

    Thanks Robin for sharing this with us and I will be off to share.

    I hope you have a great week!

    –Rob

    • Hi Rob,
      Thank you for taking the time to read this review, for you comment, and shares. I’ve been very happy with WPBruiser and have put it on a number of websites.

      Thank you again for stopping by. I hope you have a great week, too!
      ~ Robin

  6. Hi Robin,

    I’m have just configured this plugin on a client site and switched to test mode to test plugin settings. So far so good! I’m guessing I can deactivate and uninstall the other security plugin now.

    Are the settings you show above your default settings when you put the plugin on a client’s site?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Michelle,
      Thank you for letting me know about testing out the plugin. The settings above are the basic settings that I have used on many websites. I did purchase the unlimited license for a contact form to be sure it worked on the forms that are being used.

      I look forward to hearing how it goes once you have it fully enabled and have the chance to fully test it out.

      ~ Robin

    • Mihai says:

      Hi Michelle,
      I am happy to hear you’re testing WPBruiser. If you have any questions or you encounter any issue, do not hesitate to contact me directly.
      (http://www.wpbruiser.com/contact/)

      ~Mihai

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