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Comment Guard Pro Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is Robotic Spam?

Robotic spam are spam comments created by automated scripts / bots. They contribute to over 99% of comment spam in blogs. Comment spam has gained prominence due to the ease with which spamming operations can be scripted for large scale campaigns. Most robotic spams either try to spam by submitting comment form or by using trackbacks. Comment Guard Pro stops all kind of robotic spams from reaching your blog.

What is Human spam / Manually Submitted Spam?

Human spam or manually entered spam is when a human being actually takes time to visit your blog and drop their spam comment, mostly touting their site, product or services.

Manually entered spams are hardest to catch as their identification is in many cases subjective. What some considers spam, others may not. It is a matter of preference. If someone leaves a comment relevant to the context and then adds his own link (which may be a recent site selling the product or service), I would normally approve it. Others consider even such links as spam as it is openly advertising their site / product / service on your blog. However, for example, I wouldn't accept any comment containing certain keywords like v*agra, p*ker etc., while others may allow them. Looking for contextual information is also not sufficient in many cases. Fortunately manually entered spams comprise less than 1 per cent of comment spams.

Comment Guard Pro is effective in dealing with human spam with several pluglets to protect your blog against such spams. However we do not force you to accept our judgement (on what is spam and what is not) unlike other anti-comment spam plugins. While we provide sensible defaults, you can always change them to your liking and impose your own rules on what you consider spam. We provide you with every means to make it extremely easy to do so.

What are Pluglets? / Can I write my own pluglets?

Pluglets are plugins for Comment Guard Pro. You can not only configure the 15 built-in pluglets or the 7 additional pluglet that ships with Comment Guard Pro Power Pack, you can also write your own pluglets to extend and enhance Comment Guard Pro.

Comment Guard Pro provides an open API to write your own pluglets and full source code of Comment Guard Pro Power Pack as examples to help you.

Can I sell pluglets?

Yes. You can write your own pluglets and also sell them. We would even promote your pluglets in our highly popular blog.

Is ReCAPTCHA required?

No. ReCAPTCHA is not required to use Comment Guard Pro.

However we do provide a way to integrate ReCAPTCHA, should you so desire, in Are you Human pluglet. CAPTCHA technology is used only for Javascript disabled browsers which comprise a negligible portion of viewers on any site. When you enable ReCAPTCHA, it will then replace the in-built CAPTCHA support. You can freely sign up (and use) your blog(s) for ReCAPTCHA. When you sign-up your blog you will be provided with a public & private key which you should provide in Are you human pluglet configuration to enable ReCAPTCHA instead of the default CAPTCHA service. To re-iterate any form of CAPTCHA is used only as a backup, most of your readers will never know that it exists.

Should I disable Bad Behavior / Spam Karma 2 as I am using Comment Guard Pro?

Yes. Spam Karma / Bad Behavior is not required anymore. Comment Guard Pro was born out of our frustrations with existing anti-comment spam software, specifically with their high rate of false positives (genuine comments mis-identified as spam) and false negatives (spams which passes through).

Comment Guard Pro was designed from ground-up to replace the the current crop of anti-comment spam plugins with a significantly better solution. Comment Guard Pro proved immune to robotic spams of any kind in tests with several million spams. We also have several measures in place to stop human generated spams (where someone comes to your website and manually submits their spam comments. Comment Guard Pro provides full transparency in its functionality and allows you to extensively customize it. It also allows you to replace, extend and enhance the existing functionality with an open API.

Can I use Akismet with Comment Guard Pro?

Comment Guard Pro was designed to replace current crop of anti-comment spam plugins including Akismet plugin. We don't need any assistance to stop all robotic spam which constitutes over 99% of comment spams currently. The remaining (less than) 1% spams comes from spammers who take the time to visit your blog and manually submit spam comments. They are the hardest to catch (see the FAQ entry above for details). We have several pluglets in place to protect you from manually submitted spams too. Kismet is one such pluglet. It uses the Akisment service (separate from Akismet plugin which also uses the same service) to provide input in classifying a small percentage (read below for details) of the manually submitted spams. Kismet pluglet significantly improves upon the functionality of Akismet plugin. Unlike the Akismet plugin, Kismet allows you to assign score to its decision (success or failure) or outright reject the comment on failure (not recommended) or mark it as spam or send the comment to moderation queue etc.

Note: Akismet service is really a black-box as it doesn't reveal what factors it considers it making a decision and we have seen that it gives high rates of false positives (including marking the blogger himself, commenting on his own blog, as spam!) as well as false negatives as have other bloggers too. What we have done here is use Akismet's services as one of the many factors for decision making in less than 0.5 per cent of the cases (based on our tests) where other pluglets didn't take a direct decision and provided a score instead.

To use Akismet service you should get a free Akismet key, if you do not have it already, and update the Kismet plugin to enable checking for comment spam using Akismet service (not the plugin). You should however disable the Akismet plugin as it is not required anymore.

Can I test if my system / theme is compatible with Comment Guard Pro?

Absolutely. Please refer to Comment Guard Pro System Requirements section for details.

Do I need to do anything to make my theme compliant with Comment Guard Pro?

This entry is targeted for WordPress theme developers only. Comment Guard Pro users should refer to the previous entry for details.

Any standard WordPress theme should be compliant with Comment Guard Pro. Specifically Comment Guard Pro requires three tags in the template files:

  1. <?php wp_head(); ?> in template header file (header.php in most theme) before the </head> tag.
  2. <?php do_action('wp_footer'); ?> in template footer file (footer.php in most theme)
  3. <?php do_action('comment_form', $post->ID); ?> in template comment form (comments.php in most theme)

Please see the template files in default theme if you are not sure where to place them. You can test your theme with the free Comment Guard Pro System Requirements Test plugin. It not only tests your theme, it will also tell you what corrections, if any, you may need to make.

The bottom-line is that we don't ask anything special from WordPress theme developers other than what is expected from a standard theme by WordPress itself.

Why Comment Guard Pro is not free ?

We spent enormous amount of time and effort to provide you with a high quality product. We need to charge you to allow us to spend resources to continue development on the product, provide updates and provide support. We stand fully behind our product and commit to provide 6 months of free support and lifetime of free updates.

Where can I report defects and get support?
Please report defects and support requests to Taragana Helpdesk.