hackersGetting visitors to your website is the one thing we all aim for, right? Otherwise, what is the point of a website? But not all visitors are welcome.

It never ceases to amaze me how hackers and spammers manage to find a new website even before the Search Engines have had their chance!

Not only are they wasting our time with their spam emails, but the hidden cost of spammers & hackers is the unproductive load on our websites & servers, often affecting the experience, in terms of performance, for legitimate users.

WordPress being as popular as it is, also makes it a target for spammers & hackers, and although WordPress is continually being updated to plug any ‘holes’, that does not overcome the drain on resources.

At the end of 2015 we implemented a new membership website for a client and we were immediately inundated with spam registrations, spam comments, spam contact forms, you name it.

We looked at the options available and came across the Cleantalk Anti-spam plugin for WordPress. The features looked promising, and the reviews were excellent.

Having installed and activated the plugin, all spam stopped immediately, and all this without a Captcha in sight! It also allowed us to scan registrations retrospectively.

I really liked just how simple it was to set up.

And it doesn’t stop there. The plugin also includes a firewall which when enabled, stops blacklisted IP addresses from accessing your website altogether.

I don’t know about you, but I’m a bit of a control freak, and although it’s nice not to have the hassle, I don’t want to lose control altogether. Cleantalk provides you with a log of all approved & blocked communications, and the facility to override the system. And as a reminder, you get a weekly digest of the spam statistics your website.

The plugin is free for 14 days, which gives you plenty of time to be convinced by its usefulness. Some people don’t this, but to be honest, I think anybody expecting this level of functionality for free is out of touch with the real world. The cost per site is very affordable, and we have actually signed up for an unlimited sites licence.

Because the plugin is rigorous and all-encompassing,  we have had instances where things were blocked that shouldn’t have been. But the team at ‘Cleantalk‘ obviously take great pride in the product as they work tirelessly to resolve any issues that do arise.