Do you Check your Spam for Ham?

We all want more comments on our blogs but when you’ve had a blog for just a few weeks the spam starts to come in.  At first it’s just one or two here and there, not a great deal, but once you start getting a big tranche of visitors to your blog/website the spam starts to increase.   At the moment on my blog I am getting 1 spam comment for every 4 real comments.  This doesn’t seem like a great deal, but I am positive it’s going to  get a lot worse the more I continue with my blogging.

Combat the Spam

One thing you can do if you are using WordPress is to install a spam plugin, I use Akismet which I pay for as I am a business, if you want to use it on a personal blog then it’s free.  What I find quite funny for comments that are not spam, Akismet call them Ham.  We all want more Ham don’t we?

Akismet catches spam quite well, but it also catches real (ham) comments and unless you check this regularly you could be missing some really good comments on your blog.  There could be various reasons why a real comment has been caught in the spam filter, one of the top reasons is if the comment contains links.

On the Akismet website there is a short article called 5 things every blogger should know about spam, for more information about these check out the link to the list on the Akismet website.

1. Web spam is different from email spam.

2. Web spammers are social engineers.

3. Web spammers are basically advertising on your blog.

4. It’s all about the backlinks.

5. Spammers employ humans.

So back to my point, with this particular plugin it shows up on the dashboard how many spam comments have been caught.  This is great, but it’s also difficult to work out whether there are any real comments in there unless you actively go in there each day and check it out.  At first I didn’t consider there would be real comments in there, but when I clicked on it one day there were a few comments that had links which had been caught.  It’s easy enough to mark them as not spam and then approve them, maybe with some edits if the comment is full of links.

Check Spam Regularly

Unfortunately when you get a lot of spam comments though the numbers build up and you can lose count of when you last checked the spam, so I find after 10 or 20 comments have been checked I delete them.  Keeping track with low numbers is better I find.

I’d be interested in hearing your spam successes or problems?

If you’re interested in using comments on your blog in a great way, I wrote a post called Spread the Luv on your Blog! – it’s not all about combating spam on comments.


  1. Excellent blog, thank you. I have an errand to run this morning, but will be checking for ham when I get home.

  2. This is a really useful post for me Jo. Such a novice to blogging (10 days), you are really helping me get info i wouldn;t even know about. Thank you so much.

  3. I know your pain Jo, and also use Askimet. I recently set up another website using WordPress and couldn’t believe the amount of spam that was coming in, so switched Askimet on, although I don’t check the spam folders for Ham – so guess what’s on the “to do” list now? Cheers. :)

  4. I used to use Askimet but recently switched to G.A.S.P as I find it more efficient then Askimet as it deals with those unwanted bots.

  5. I use Akismet on a lot of my blogs and don’t check for Ham as often as I should – did it a few days ago on one blog, but cannot remember the last time I did. I have a few clients who seem thrilled to get comments on their blogs, even though to me these are clear spam attempts at getting backlinks without adding any value to the blog followers.

    On one of my client WordPress sites I am trying out the plugin to see whether it gives as good a result as Akismet. The plugin is free, whereas as Jo points out, Akismet is not free for commercial sites.

    For contact (and other) forms on my sites I use the Gravity Forms plugin, but with the anti-spam honeypot enabled instead of a conventional captcha. This ‘should’ ease the process for real people to complete forms whilst trip up automated spambots.

    You might also want to take a look at a free service called ‘Cloudflare’. I am trialing it on a few of my sites. Cloudflare claims it can reduce the strain on your web server by filtering out all the malicious traffic before it gets to you, and it also acts as a CDN to distribute copies of your website around the web to improve page load times. I have run this for a couple of weeks and, astonishingly, it is reporting that around 20% of my traffic is potentially harmful – this could be visits from known spammers, or it could be visits from ip addresses that are attempting to hack your site. Worth a look – it’s essentially free and can be easily set up.

    Jo’s post is timely, as I have recently written about this subject myself (which you’ll hopefully see via the commentluv link below).

    • Thanks Martin, I’ll check those other ones out, always on the lookout for different options. I in fact read your post just after I had written this one and thought how strange it was that we were both talking about spam at the same time! :)

  6. Thanks for the Honey Pot link Martin, I’ll give it a go.
    I’m finding that the spam-bots only seem to be targetting my really old posts at the moment. But since I started the blogboost challenge (and also sorted the problem where people couldn’t comment) the spam has increased massively

  7. Interesting and helpful. Do you know the origin of the word “spam”? It comes from a Monty Python episode. It’s a hoot.

  8. Thanks Jo. As a beginner blogger your tips are great.

  9. I check my spam for ham every time I log on to write a post – keeps it manageable

  10. I so hate spam but I still tend to check them everyday cause there are some important emails that you might delete that you haven’t checked yet.

  11. Exactly If you don’t check the spam box then you might be missing some genuine comments too. Thanks For writing such post that encourages admins to check the spam box also. Here I am writing a gennuine comment but I don’t know whether it will go into spam or in inbox.


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