It’s a new year and we will be conducting our first little experiment of the year in the next couple of days or so. Basically, the test in question is in relation to Growmap Anti Spambot Plug-in (GASP) for WordPress (WP). Brought to my attention by one of our readers, this plug-in appears to have been quietly increasing in popularity amongst WP bloggers for a while now (by virtue of the number of articles already written about the plug-in). GASP claims to ‘defeat automated spambots by adding a client side generated check-box asking the comment author to confirm that they are not a spammer’. It currently relies on the inability of spambots to tick check-boxes on active Websites, at least for now.
As the idea behind GASP is a relatively simple one, one cannot help but feel that it only a matter of time before spammers catch up with it. However, one thing that seems to go for plugin is the fact that it was created as a result of collaboration from several WP bloggers hence one can be forgiven for hoping that the collaborators will continue to be one step ahead of the game particularly as the battle against spam comments is a sort of Cat and Mouse game. For example, the use of CAPTCHA and reCAPTCHA was sort of revolutionary when they were first introduced however, same cannot be said today.
As a result of all the positive feedback received so far on GASP, particularly in terms of its reported (99%) success in dealing with Trackback spam and automated spam messages, coupled with its association with the makers of CommentLuv, the plug-in will be tested on this blog. Consequently, CAPTCHA will be replaced by a check-box that must be ticked in order to submit a comment. The final verdict will be delivered by updating this article with our observations in the near future. Meanwhile, we expect to find answers to the following questions from our personal experience of using the plug-in:
- Will GASP clash with any existing WP plug-in?
- Is GASP compatible with the latest WP version?
- How effective is GASP at dealing with legitimate and automated spam comments as opposed to Akismet, which it was originally created to replace?
- Will the inability of GASP to prevent human spammers significantly reduce its overall success in preventing spam?
- What are the potential downfalls of using GASP?
- How long before spammers catch up with it?
Have you ever used GASP? What is your impression about the plug-in since you installed it? Do you have any concerns?