Dec 22 2007

Reducing Spam with the Comment Timeout Plugin

Published by at 12:24 pm under blogging,wordpress

I recently installed a Comment Timeout Plugin. It’s a pretty nifty plugin that can be customised to suit your requirements.

In my experience, pretty much the only comments you get on old posts are spam ones. You might risk missing an occasional legitimate comment but my way of thinking is if someone really wants to say something to you, then they’ll drop you a quick email.

With this plugin you can set comments to automatically close after a certain amount of time, meaning that no one (including spammers) can make a comment on a post (or page) over X days old. Here’s an idea of the level of customisation available (available in the options menu after you’ve installed and activated the plugin).

Comment Timeout Plugin

The rules can also be overwritten on a post by post basis:

Comments on Individual Posts

Perhaps spammers are winding up for Christmas too 😉 , but it seems that I’ve had a LOT less spam since I installed this.

Many thanks to Burgo who suggested this plugin.

Would it bother you if you couldn’t comment on a two month old post? What do you think a fair amount of time would be to leave comments open?

10 responses so far

10 Responses to “Reducing Spam with the Comment Timeout Plugin”

  1. Neeravon 22 Dec 2007 at 5:22 pm

    Completely understand why you’d use this plugin as I get avalanches of comment spam as well

    The reason I don’t use it is because:

    1. a lot of my posts are like a knowledge base on a particular topic and I constantly update them and get new comments every now and then which often add useful additional information to the mix

    For example some product reviews and TV show reviews on my site have got 100+ comments over time. If I’d blocked them off after eg: 30 days I would have missed out on contributions over time and so would my readers

    2. For me most of the comment spam on my sites comes within a hours/days of each new article anyway

    Neerav’s last blog post..3 Tips to Help You Live Again: Stop Being a Half-Asleep Zombie Creature (4 comment/s)

  2. Gregon 22 Dec 2007 at 8:12 pm

    Its an interesting plugin and one that i can see being very popular with bloggers. I personally will not be installing it as with Akismet and Bad Behavior running on my blogs the spam comments are not ever getting through :-)

  3. Mike Macgirvinon 22 Dec 2007 at 11:29 pm

    I used to close comments after a month for the same reasons. Then I went to forced email verification and the spam went away. This allowed me to open up comments on the older articles again, and I’ve received some gems since then – often on old tech articles. In retrospect, I wouldn’t auto-close comments again. As a spam fighting tool its value is questionable. As a barrier to participation, it’s quite effective. Sometimes we have to step back and remember what problem it is we were trying to solve.

    Mike Macgirvin’s last blog post..Elf Yourself

  4. Cellobellaon 23 Dec 2007 at 1:30 am

    I don’t think the spammers have gone on holidays! OMG worse than ever! In fact I’m going to install the Bad Behaviour plugin when I get back to my “proper” computer.

    I might try this plug-in too because of the ability to selectively keep comments open.


    Cellobella’s last blog post..Americans do food well

  5. Willon 23 Dec 2007 at 6:59 pm

    I’ve been using a similar plugin, albeit vastly more simplified (it simply closes comments after days).

    Whilst I might not get comments after that time, people can still ping back to a post that has comments locked – and people still email me from time to time about an old post.

    Will’s last blog post..Apartment Found

  6. Katieon 23 Dec 2007 at 7:25 pm

    I’ve been considering this but I don’t want to turn them off since that would mean if someone DID want to post a legitimate comment, then I’m blocking them from doing it. And I’ve visited other blogs via old posts and gone to post a comment but they’ve turned the comments off and I feel like they’re telling me to just shut up and read it!

    I’ve been getting a little spam on the older posts but Akismet always catches it and it never gets through. I still have to moderate some of them, but I’d prefer to do that and leave comments open for legitimate readers just in case, rather than turn them off.

    Katie’s last blog post..I Memed to Do It Earlier But Forgot

  7. Burgoon 24 Dec 2007 at 10:19 am

    Thanks for the hat-tip Meg! And thanks for being somewhat of a guinea-pig here as well, as I haven’t actually used this plugin myself yet 😛

    As you say, I agree that, on older posts, if someone REALLY wants to say something, they’ll drop you a quick email. Hell, it’s not hard to find (after all, I pestered you out of the blue myself) :)

    Burgo’s last blog post..State Radio, Roger That & The Beautiful Girls at the Tivoli.

  8. the walking toweron 27 Dec 2007 at 12:22 pm

    i saw from your previous previous post that you have the list of Top 100 Australian blogs… do you have any idea where i can find the list of the Top 100 South East Asian blog? i need the one with credible source!

    the walking tower’s last blog post..There is something wrong with gifts this Christmas

  9. leson 27 Dec 2007 at 8:37 pm

    First, thanks for visiting my blog – strangest thing, being an Aussie in Oz I don’t get many home grown visitors to my blog.

    As for spammers, I have a never ending supply. I haven’t installed any anti spam ware yet – moderate all messages and try to reply and visit the commentators site. This may well be the kind ante-spam I need.

    Thanks for visit – it brought me here to read your blog – and introduced me to other blogs via their comments – one of the best reasons to comment.

    Happy new year

    the radical blogger

    les’s last blog post..One week, one blog, one vote

  10. swollenpickleson 04 Jan 2008 at 9:06 am

    I guess it depends where your traffic comes from. If it’s subscribers, and people you know check in regularly then this plugin is probably a good idea. But I found I’ve received quite a few legit comments on old posts from people that have turned up via google or some other search/social media type site.

    swollenpickles’s last blog post..December 2007 Goal Update