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The Menace Of WordPress Registration Spam

The threat of spam is one that we all have to deal with one way or the other. Spam emails, SMS text messages, Web comments, are just some of the different type of spam that people have to deal with on a daily basis. Whilst these types of spam are somewhat common, registration spam-types particularly in relation to WordPress blogs is a different ball game as there are only present in blogs that allow guest authors or contributors to register. Furthermore, registration spam is only visible in the back-end and not to ordinary users.

How To Identify Spam User Registrations

If you decide to invite others to register on your blog, then you might not notice registration spam immediately. From our experience, they only begin to appear as more and more people become aware that you are accepting user registrations and then wham! you gradually become overwhelmed. There are two major ways to know if you are a victim of registration spam. First, there is an unusual increase in the number of user sign-up you receive per day. For example, from 7 per week to around 60 per day. The second sign is the number of error delivery messages in your inbox will go up dramatically,  particularly if automatic verification emails are sent out to those who register.

Stopping Spam User Registration

As this is a new experience for us, we are trying out various ways and still looking for the best solution. However, there are three possible ways of managing the situation effectively. Firstly, install security and anti-spam plugins such as, Akismet and Sabre. Secondly, ask registered users to confirm they are real people by sending you a private email to signify their intentions (as you may have observed on here). You could even ask them to quote a particular word or sentence just to be double sure. Last but not least, disable registration entirely.

Consequences Of Spam User Registration

At the moment, there are no fatal consequences of user-registration spam if those who register do not possess more than basic user roles such as subscriber or contributor. However, the major problem lies in the difficulty and confusion that is caused when it comes to separating fake registrations from authentic ones. Also, if false registrations are not removed or deleted, you stand the risk of overloading or clogging up your database although there are various plugins that can deal with this by removing users who do not verify their accounts in X number of days.

Talking Point

Can you suggest other ways of removing spam user registrations?

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14 Comments

  1. Hi there, these are really great tips to block spam registrations. 🙂 It’s just now that I’ve known about Akismet and Sabre, thank you for this info! Very very useful 😀

  2. From what that I know, has the AKISMET that I use it, and he succeeds to avoid 95% of spam that you get to your blog. I do not know who the idiot that using these methods. There are still people who believe it can work for them
    ?

  3. First, there is an unusual increase in the number of user sign-up you receive per day. For example, from 7 per week to around 60 per day. The second sign is the number of error delivery messages in your inbox will go up dramatically, particularly if automatic verification emails are sent out to those who register.

  4. The major problem lies in the difficulty and confusion that is caused when it comes to separating fake registrations from authentic ones. Keep on sharing.

  5. I’m just wondering what’s the point… what do the spammers have to gain.
    I run a shopping cart website for my employer and we are getting around 200 new user signups per day.
    I have had to turn off “Membership Anyone can register”
    and just have to post an apology on the signup page….

  6. The reason you are getting all of those automated spams is because you do not have the Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin installed. If you also install the KeywordLuv plug-in, then people who comment can be rewarded for contributing to your blog (just as this site is doing now.). Install the GASP plug-in and you will see a dramatic decrease in comment spam. AKISMET is not a good plug-in. It blocks a lot of legitmate posts. It is recommended to stop using that service. You will lose a lot of great content by having that plug-in.

  7. You’re quite right to take these steps to secure your site. It’s the responsible thing to do in these times and no-one wants to fall foul of Google.

  8. Registration spam is a true menace indeed… Due high its high increase, people who are eager to publish some actual quality guest content cannot register as guest contributors at inflicted websites anymore.

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