Fighting form spam, whatever platform you’re on

Posted by Pixafy Team


The power of the Internet includes the power to collaborate, communicate, and connect. That’s the idea anyway, as the idea of social networking, posting reviews, interacting with site owners via forums and comments, and otherwise adding value to a given site.

For a site owner, the biggest challenge is fighting spam. Anytime a form is open to the public to submit questions, there’s the opportunity for a robot to submit spam messages with the hopes of it auto-posting to a site. Most site owners are wise enough to set forms to be reviewed first, but over time the spam counts can become unwieldy.

Fortunately, there’s services like Akismet, which can filter spam messages out and allow site owners to focus on legitimately posted comments. Akismet for WordPress is incredibly simple, given the plugin is preinstalled with fresh copies of WordPress.  But the service is available for other platforms too, which is fantastic given Akismet’s minimal cost ($5/mo. for most businesses) and its exceptional level of performance.


For Magento, the biggest concern is review spam.  Magento by default has a nice review system that allows reviews to be queued and approved by the site owner.  However, it’s a form that is a high-profile target for spam.

MGT Commerce has developed a free extension called Spam Killer that leverages Akismet to filter out spam posts in the reviews, as well as on contact forms.

While rated and verified by MGT Commerce only for community, we have successfully implemented the plugin on both the Community and Enterprise Editions without incident, and the performance is stellar. The extension comes highly recommended.


Similar to WordPress, Drupal has spam issues from the nature of being a flexible CMS with form submission capabilities.  A Drupal module exists called AntiSpam that not only works with Akismet, but a similar service from Defensio that includes malware scanning as well.  The module works with both Drupal 6 and 7.

A secondary Helper module exists that adds a feature native to WordPress which allows users that have previously been OK’d to post without being filtered, allowing those posts to go live directly.

The list goes on

Because Akismet’s APIs are open, and their WordPress module available under the GPL, enterprising users have worked up modules for a number of different platforms, including other CMSes like Movable Type and Joomla, as well as bulletin board software such as phpBB. A fairly lengthy list of supported plugins can be found here.

Also available at that page are downloads to integrate Akismet into a number of development frameworks, including .Net, Ruby on Rails, Python and PHP.  This allows those working on custom development to get a leg up by having Akismet capabilities available to them where needed.

We’re big fans of the relief Akismet gives clients from having to deal with spam all the time; if you’re a site owner soliciting feedback, it’s worth looking into options like it to reduce your workload.