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What's The Best Anti-Spam Plugin For WordPress?

best Anti-spam Plugin for WordpressSpam bots have become so efficient today that ordinary techniques used for spam protection such as security CAPTCHA, arithmetical problems or puzzles are no more useful when it comes to identifying the bad comments. Spam comments badly harm your blog content and ultimately your search ranking. Majority of blogs which are effected by Google penguin penalty are not serious in moderating the amount of spam links which are poor quality external links inserted through the site's comment form. This seriously harms your blog reputation and you suffer in the long run when it comes to ranking in SERPs.
 
Just recently I had been struggling hard fighting spam on two of our wordpress blogs. I had been been using Akismet Plugin to filter spam comments on my blogs but Akismet badly fails when it comes to identifying the smart spammers. Spammers who post flattery and cheesy comments such as:
Hi I love your blog content, you have shared some excellent piece of info. Thumbs up!
Hey wow, great article!
Very nice!
and so on
All these comments add no value to your blog content because they are not the least related to the content shared inside the article and make no sense at all. They surely increase your blog load time because every spam comment means that your browser needs to load an extra image avatar of the spammer, user name, email ID, website link and finally load the comment text. All of this info not only increases the work load on the browser but also effects your keyword density. All those off-topic words seriously distracts the attention of search robots from your primary keywords thus killing the essence of your content.
 
Limitations of Akismet Plugin
 
Akismet also does not stop spam registrations, subscriptions or contact emails, it is limited to fighting comment spam only to some extent. We needed a more robust, prompt and multi-purpose  anti-spam plugin for our wordpress sites that could not only provide comment spam protection but would also offer us useful options to stop fake registrations, emails and help us block spammers by IP/Email address, "stop words" or country name. A slight research and consultation from fellow bloggers lead me to a trustworthy anti-spam plugin developed by CleanTalk.
 
CleanTalk Anti-Spam Plugin for Wordpress

After installing the anti-spam plugin by CleanTalk, I was able to replace several different plugins such as Akismet and Captcha Plugins with CleanTalk and get much better results without sacrificing the load time. Not only are our over 4600+ comments scanned and moderated automatically on daily basis but it also helps us fight spam bots signups and contact emails. After seeing the significant improvement it has brought to our site SEO and load time, I thought of sharing this handy anti-spam plugin with all of you. The review today will focus on major features based on which we can conclude why CleanTalk Anti-Spam Plugin is the best WordPress Plugin for spam protection against fake comments, signups, contact emails and much more. 

How CleanTalk Anti-Spam Plugin Works on WordPress?

To determine the spam bots, CleanTalk uses series of tests, invisible to the visitor your website, and also checks if the message relates to the subject of the article or not. This allows providing 99.998% protection from spam bots, and you will not need to install extra protection.
  1. Suppose a visitor writes a comment or registers on your WP site
  2. CleanTalk plugin sends action parameters into the CleanTalk cloud
  3. Service analyzes the parameters
  4. If this is a visitor, the comment will surely be published. If it’s a spam bot, then CleanTalk blocks this comment or registration. That simple!
Parameters are then written to the anti-Spam log which can be viewed in the Control Panel service and users are also informed through weekly email newsletter report.
With such support one can surely turn off protection methods on website that force the user to take certain actions, such as:
  • CAPTCHA, reCAPTCHA,
  • Questions/answers,
  • Arithmetical problems, etc.
All of these methods are not only easily recognized and bypassed by bots, but also can become irritating for regular visitors.

CleanTalk prevents and automatically blocks Spam

CleanTalk is really efficient in recognizing spam. It automatically detects a spam and blocks it before it could harm your blog load time or SEO, thus allowing you to focus on building quality content instead of wasting precious hours in manually deleting the spam comments. The plugin offers multi-support against spam which includes:
  1. Stops spam comments.
  2. Stops spam registrations.
  3. Stops spam contact emails.
  4. Stops spam orders.
  5. Stops spam bookings.
  6. Stops spam subscriptions.
  7. Stops spam in widgets.
  8. Checks the existing comments for spam.
It's most interesting features include:
  • SpamFireWall: Provides protection against hackers for popular attacks such as XML-RPC brute force, DDoS and more. This option allows to filter spam bots before they access your site. It also reduces CPU usage on hosting server and accelerates pages load time dramatically.
  • Private Black/White lists for IP/email/IP networks - My personal Favorite!
  • Blocking by countries
  • Blocking by "Stop Words".
It also works just perfectly with the following plugins :
  • WordPress, JetPack comments.
  • WooCommerce review form.
  • WordPress Landing Pages.
  • BuddyPress, bbPress, S2Member, WooCommerce registrations.
  • Contact form 7, JetPack Contact form, Formidable forms and so on
CleanTalk is also compatible with WordPress cache plugins
  • W3 Total Cache, Quick Cache, WP Fastest Cache, Hyper Cache, WP Super cache, WP-Rocket and any other cache plugins.

How To Install CleanTalk Anti-Spam Plugin In WordPress?

Follow these easy steps to install CleanTalk Spam protection service on your wordpress blog:
  1. Download CleanTalk Anti-Spam Plugin from wordpress repository. Spam Protection by CleanTalk (no Captcha Anti-Spam) 
  2. Navigate to Plugins > Add New install cleantalk plugin
  3. Click "Upload Plugin" button towards your top-left. upload plugin
  4. Locate the zip file and hit "Install Now" install plugin
  5. Click "Activate Plugin" activate plugin
  6. On the next page in order to enable anti-spam protection, you will need to enter a free access key. Click "Get access key automatically button"
    enter the access key
    You will also receive emails about your account activation. cleanTalk emails
  7. Enable the "SpamFireWall" Option protection is active
  8. Click Advanced settings links at the bottom and enable the following options:
    • Allow spam comments to be automatically deleted upon detection. CleanTalk Advanced Settings
    • Check "collect details about browsers" option CleanTalk Settings for Wordpress 
    You can enable other options such ass SSL and Woocommerce checkout form if you are using them else leave all options as default.
  9. Click "Save Changes" and you are done with the installation!

CleanTalk Dashboard and Spam Analytics

Next Click the link that says "Check comments for spam" from your navbar:
Check Comments for Spam using CleanTalk
This is the result I got:
Spam Comments detected by CleanTalk
All my 4678 comments were instantly scanned and 17 spam comments were detected and removed. Please note that those 17 comments were ignored by Akismet Plugin which I previously used. This shows how effective and accurate CleanTalk is in detecting and blocking spam.
You can also check users for spam to see if any of your co-author or contributor may be misusing the site in any way.

CleanTalk Helps To Block Users By Country/IP/Email

If you click the "CleanTalk Dashboard" link you will see tons of options to moderate your site comments. An AntiSpam log is updated every 3 minutes to inform you about the spam protection activity going on your site. By the time I am writing this article, several spammers from China and Russia have already started attacking my sites with spam contact emails as shown below:

Spam contact emails
AntiSpam log mentions everything about the content being blocked or approved. It will tell you the Author name, email, IP address and also show the content. Clicking the details link will show you the spam content which was posted to my Contact form:

block spam contact emails in wordpress
Clicking the IP address will disclose full identity of the spammer. You can choose to blacklist the spammer by email ID, IP address or even by country name.
IP address of spammer
IP address of spammer
blacklist spammer
The Blacklist option is my personal favorite and helps me block a bulk of spammers at once using the country option. Since my content is in English, people from China and Russia are surely not my intended audience so blocking these countries could surely save me bandwidth and decrease load on servers.
The "Trends" page shows you interesting info using graphical illustration about the total number of blocked and approved/legitimate comments


CleanTalk Trends Report
On the "Spam and legitimate hits" drop down box you can see who were the Top20 spammers on your site for the last week.


Check Top spammers on your site using CleanTalk

Top spammers on wordpress site

Tons of more such features that you can discover for yourselves that not only helps you better moderate your blog but significantly improve its load time and SEO in long run.

How To Signup for CleanTalk Spam Protection?

CleanTalk offers a free trial for 7 days only after which it will start charging $8/year which isn't that much as compared to the quality service it provides for an entire year. I am also greatly impressed by their instant 24/7 free help and customer support. Since I have two sites, I am looking forward to upgrade my plan. Currently $8/year plan best suits our requirements.
Paying for a year of anti-spam service, you save a lot more and receive:
  • Up to 99.998% protection from spam bots.
  • Time and resources saving.
  • More registrations/comments/visitors.
  • Protection of the several websites at once in different CMS.
  • Ease in installation and using.
  • Traffic increase and loyalty to the users.
  • 24/7 technical support.
  • Clear statistics.
  • No captcha (reCaptcha), puzzles, etc.
  • Free mobile app to control anti-spam function on your website.
Additional features
  • Daily and weekly detailed anti-spam reports: traffic VS spam.
  • Apps for iPhone, Android to control anti-spam service, comments, signups, contacts, traffic and spam statistics for the last 7 days.
  • AntiSpam apps for most popular CMS on cleantalk.org.

How Do You Protect Your Sites From Spam?

I am sure spam is a headache for us all. I have shared my experience of Akismet and CleanTalk. Please share your precious views on both of them and have you tried CleanTalk yet?
 
Can you image how much spam I used to receive through my Wordpress site's contact form alone? See the Gmail screenshot below and imagine how at piece would I be today? =)

Spam in gmail

CleanTalk Anti-Spam Plugin Review
Published
Summary CleanTalk Anti-Spam Plugin is the best WordPress Plugin for spam protection against fake comments, signups, contact emails and much more.
Reviewer
Publisher My Blogger Tricks
Ratings 5/5
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Blogger Carousel: Responsive & Dynamic

Blogger Carousel (BC) helps you to create dynamic slideshows to showcase your blog posts by a specific category/label. You can use carousels in blogspot to automatically display a list of latest posts inside an animated cycle. Blogger carousel is a mobile responsive widget that adapts perfectly to different screen sizes because it supports multiple breakpoints. It uses Blogger JSON Feeds to dynamically display recent posts from any label you specify. It is a responsive basic carousel plugin created using FlexSlider by Woothemes. You can display multiple thumbnails organized horizontally inside the carousel with navigational controls.

Blogger Carousel For Blogspot Blogs

We have already shared two jQuery carousel sliders for blogspot blogs that you can add to your blog by reading the following tutorials:

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Central Jail Karachi: Truth Behind Those Tall Walls

Visiting Central Jail KarachiNote: This post is for educational purpose and a part of our entrepreneurship training where we aim to teach you how to think outside the box and explore the world with open eyes.


We have seen enough of good human beings but sometimes meeting people who are convicted or under trial for committing crimes help you to look at this dark world from a different perspective. I live near National Stadium and I often cross Central Jail Karachi to reach my office which is located on Main Shaheed Millat Road. I was always curious to know what exists behind those tall walls and how does life looks like from inside. Fortunately on 20th August 2016, I went for a prison tour thanks to my friend Hussain Kango whose father Aurangzeb Kango is SP Police and administrator at "Youthful Offender Industrial School Karachi". What I saw inside completely changed my negative perception about life in prison.

Hussain Kango also accompanied me in our Eureka Seminar that was organized on 13th August. You can read more about it below:

Just like any normal citizen who has not seen prison from inside, I thought Jail was a nightmare zone with dark sophisticated rooms with poor ventilation, limited access to open air and no quality food. Prisoners in jail would be living in small cages like animals with guards surrounding them from all corners. This is the image we all have in mind thanks to movies and dramas that we watch on daily basis through local television networks. But the reality literally shocked me.

A Jail or Prison is different from Police Thana (station) where you see small rooms with iron bars at front. A Jail is basically a learning institute where criminals are taught how to become civilized human beings. Central Jail Karachi is the second largest jail of Pakistan housing over 6000 prisoners including convicted terrorists and international militants like murderer of Daniel Pearl. The jail is divided into three sub-jails which are:

  1. Central Jail - Houses serious terrorists and convicted criminals
  2. Women Jail - Houses women
  3. Bacha Jail  - Under 18 prisoners (One We visited)

Central Prison For Women is a Jail for women prisoners which is sub divided into two sections for boys and women. This prison is dedicated especially for "Women" mostly but a small section is dedicated for teenage boys for their schooling purpose and this smaller section is called "Bacha Jail". Boys and women are kept in separate barracks divided by huge 20+ Feet walls, with no direct contact in between. We were allowed access to the boys prison only. The women prison is safely guarded by trained female police guards and only women or authorized staff is allowed access.

What Did I Saw Inside Prison?

I was accompanied by Hussain Kango (center) and another friend from Islamabad named Muhammad Fahad Raza(right).

Central Prison For Women Karachi

We received a kind reception by SP Aurangzeb Kango who is surely an educated and senior police officer. Whatever that you will read later on happened due to SP Aurangzeb's hard work for Jail prisoners.

SP Aurangzeb Kango at Central Jail Karachi

SP Aurangzeb Kango at Central Jail Karachi

Our mobile networks seized to work due to jammers. Telephonic communication could be done only using landline PTCL. Mobile phones signals do not work as soon as you are at a distance of 100 meters away from jail. This is done due to security precautions. Jail is now surrounded by bomb proof walls from all corners, which is a development that occurred after a failed penetration through tunnels by TTP. 

The moment guards were informed about our arrival. I felt like watching a movie. The world behind large Metallic Gates uncovered for the first time in front of my eyes. I saw a large green ground with ducks moving to my left and a small playground area for kids as shown in the image below.

Playground for kids in Central Jail Karachi

Image Courtesy: Dawn News

To the right of this play area was a kitchen for prisoners. The food menu was really impressive. Prisoners were served chicken thrice a week and beef once a week. Apart from beef and chicken major menu was Moong Ki Daal, Daal Masood and similar seed recipes. Sir Aurangzeb told us that the staff including him, eats the same food that the prisoners are served and the food is cooked by a contractor and not by the prisoners. Hussain told me that the food is so delicious that it outstands the food we eat at home when it comes to taste. I never expected that prisoners would be served with meat 4 days a week and this was surely a great discovery in its own.

We were not allowed to take pictures but we were told that a TV drama by the name "Ye maira dewanapan hai Episode 31" has been recorded here so we will find most of the screenshots there. Sir Auranzeb Kango has himself acted in it also which you can watch below during the duration 9:15-15:00 of this video.

After the second gate, we moved towards Gate 3 which was preceded by a long pathway surrounded by two 20+ feet long walls on both sides as shown below:

Central Jail Karachi - bacha jail

Every gate was guarded by two police officers, who would salute SP Kango the moment we would cross them. I saw around 100 teenage boys running towards the mosque on our left because it was time for Zuhr prayer.

We then visited the barracks which were large rooms to house over 50 prisoners. All prisoners were kept inside the same room. I saw comfortable beds, with windows on all sides for ventilation, fans and even a small TV where prisoners could see documentaries and behavioral programs on fixed schedule basis.

Central Jail Karachi barracks

Guess what I saw next?

  1. Prisoner dining room with marble tables and comfortable seats. This looked no less than an auditorium also.
  2. A body building gym with few equipment where prisoners could work out
  3. A tailor room where prisoners are taught cloth stitching
  4. A small computer training class where prisoners are taught basic computer operating skills
  5. A small library
  6. A hair saloon for prisoners and also for training purpose
  7. A Dhobi Gat for washing cloths
  8. A Mosque for prayer
  9. A Painting room for art work. the paintings that you see in pictures is mostly painted by prisoners themselves.
  10. A carpenter workshop
  11. I saw no weapon in hands of prison guards, only sticks.
  12. Near Gate2 prisoners could meet their family members in meeting area behind iron bars.

Before we could exit, we took some photos with prison guards on exit gate.

Prison Guards at Central Jail Karachi

Hope I could give a helicopter view of life inside prison. Signing off from Central Jail Karachi! =)

Central Prison for Women Karachi Sindh

Your Views

What are your views about life in prison after reading this blog post? Do you think educating prisoners inside jail and providing them with comfortable environment would help them to become better citizens or you are in favor of a more harsh environment. Do share your precious views by commenting below. 

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Eureka Pakistan: Our Longest Seminar Ever On Entrepreneurship!

Eureka Pakistan Seminar on EntrepreneurshipOn 13th August, STCnetwork was invited for a motivational session at Eureka Institute which is a renown institute that offers certificates in English Learning and IT programs. I was invited by Abrar Khan who is the operations manager at Eureka. I had to speak on the topic: "I chose Plan B and became an Entrepreneur".  I am not sure whether it was the excitement of independence month or something else, but this seminar turned out to be the most longest and yet memorable event of my life ever! I spoke for over 3.5 hours and this post will share important highlights of the event. This seminar also had one unexpected visitor that I will disclose later :)

Few days before the event I received a surprise visit of a very close friend, named Hussain Kango who works at Mobilink Telecom firm. Hussain is an IBA graduate and has great experience of working in a corporate firm so I requested him to accompany me in this seminar to present his take on whether one should go for jobs or setup their own business. He was kind enough to say: "Sure lets do it!".

Seminar Venue and Timings

Standee For Seminar

Seminar Certificate

Eureka certificate of participation

Important Highlights Of The Seminar

This seminar was not conducted inside a large hall or auditorium nor was it attended by a crowd of hundreds unlike our previous events because it was not meant for general crowd. Our aim was to motivate developers and youngsters who need proper direction to launch an online business. It was organized inside a small class with no more than 50 participants. Most of these attendees were students enrolled in web development courses at Eureka. But there was something different about it, that made me speak for hours and yet not feel tired at all. This happened thanks to a passionate and actively responding crowd. The crowd kept on asking questions during the seminar and I loved responding them. This is how a formal presentation transformed into a friendly discussion.

This time I shared things on more practical and technical grounds. Following is a bird view:

  • Shared some of my ecommerce projects that I am working on,
  • Shared marketing strategy of a product that I aim to launch inshAllah, (koti.pk)
  • Discussed the basic difference between Assets and Liabilities
  • Discussed the difference between victims of PlanA and PlanB.
  • Shared example of a French Fries seller to emphasize on "Uniqueness In Business"
  • Explained importance of old friends and mentors - Social Interaction
  • Shared story of a Blind PHP developer who visited us - "If he can do it then why can't you?"
  • Shared basics of setting up an Ecommerce business by sharing examples of sites I optimized.
  • Shared how I earned up to $2000 Alhamdulillah within a month by writing just 3 reviews.
  • Explained "Search Engine Optimization" in layman terms.
  • Shared how to do SEO auditing of any website - Taking Eureka's site as test case.
  • Played the SEO Game!

Hussain shared his corporate experience and how to build your own empire through startup businesses. His presentation was really unique and yet engaging. Unfortunately he just had an hour to speak because I had already swallowed much of the time! ;)

I picked Hussain from Central Jail Karachi and it was my first experience going inside the city's most highly secured jail full of top-notch criminals. This is where he actually lives along with his family. His father is a senior Govt. officer, can't disclose the designation for security reasons.

Hussain Kango and Mohammad Mustafa Ahmedzai

Hussian is also a talented Photographer and Short film maker, so I shared one of his videos with the crowd that you can watch below:

Mud Volcanoes near Kund Malir Beach Balochistan

The seminar was attended by several outsiders which included Mohammad Abid (ACupOfBlog), Mohammad Ibrahim and Abdul Samad Essani (BornBlogger). Meeting Abdul Samad was surely a proud moment to see someone who waited for 4 years just to meet a small man like me. I honestly have no proper words to thank him for his love and respect. Therefore as a thanksgiving I wont share in detail the A-Z of what discussion took place that day and instead I will share Samad's blog post to give you a complete experience of the seminar from an attendee's point of view.

Eureka Seminar Photos

Some random photos from the seminar.

Hussain Kango

Hussain Kango

Mohammad Mustafa and Hussain Kango

We are professional bloggers!

Eureka Pakistan Seminar on Entrepreneurship by Mohammad Mustafa Ahmedzai

Hussain Kango at Eureka

Eureka Pakistan Seminar on Entrepreneurship by Mohammad Mustafa Ahmedzai

Eureka Pakistan Seminar on Entrepreneurship by Mohammad Mustafa Ahmedzai

Mohammad and Hussain Kango

Questioning audience at Eureka

Eureka Pakistan Seminar on Entrepreneurship by Mohammad Mustafa Ahmedzai

Eureka Feedback Form

Eureka Pakistan Institute Feedback Form

Eureka Pakistan Seminar on Entrepreneurship by Mohammad Mustafa Ahmedzai

Eureka Pakistan Seminar on Entrepreneurship by Mohammad Mustafa Ahmedzai

Eureka Pakistan Seminar on Entrepreneurship by Mohammad Mustafa Ahmedzai

Eureka Seminar Refreshments

Abrar Khan Eureka Pakistan

Hussain Kango at Eureka Learning Center

Eureka Pakistan Seminar on Entrepreneurship by Mohammad Mustafa Ahmedzai

What is your aim in life?

My Online Earning Strategy

Eureka Pakistan Seminar on Entrepreneurship by Mohammad Mustafa Ahmedzai

Muhammad Abbas Naqvi at Eureka Seminar

Distributing Gift Hampers!

I asked three questions and distributed three gift hampers.

The first gift was given to a participant for describing the difference between Assets and Liabilities. I don't have his clear photo unfortunately.

The second gift was given to Abdul Samad for correctly pin-pointing up to four SEO mistakes live within 5 minutes in Eureka's official website. Three Contestants tried but only he could spot the knot correctly.

Abdul Samad receiving gift hamper

The third gift was given to Mohammad Abid for describing the key marketing strategy for bringing more sales to one of our ecommerce site. He received the most precious gift ever as shown in the video below:

Mohammad Abid at Eureka Pakistan

Best Gift Ever - National Flag of Pakistan

An Unexpected Visitor!

During the presentation, I saw someone sitting at the back row. Upon a close look I happen to discover that it was my childhood friend and best classmate buddy, Muhammad Abbas Naqvi. I was really shocked to see him and yet amazed with this pleasant surprise. I called him on stage, introduced him and hugged him for such a beautiful gift. He works at Habib Bank and is ACCA certified but he came all the way to attend the seminar because he sincerely wanted to hear this little man's success story.

Than you buddy for taking out time and attending the seminar. This surprise will be glorified forever!

M Abbas Naqvi at Eureka Pakistan

He did not choose to sit at front but rather choose to sit quietly at back row. Such is Abbas's humbleness. Love you bro!

Eureka Pakistan Seminar on Entrepreneurship by Mohammad Mustafa Ahmedzai

M Abbas Naqvi

Shields & Certificates Distribution

Every attendee was given a certificate of participation by Eureka management. Speakers were given shields and were served with hospitality not once but thrice something that I loved the most.

Hussain Kango receiving Shield

13906620_569328949916583_6559555546270056205_n

Abrar khan giving certificates at Eureka

Special Thanks

Thank you Abrar Khan for inviting us and for the wonderful hospitality. Thank you for the refreshments, perfect arrangements, that beautiful standee gift and that punjabi Palao. It was surely not possible without you.

Follow him at @Abrar Khan

Abrar khan Eureka Pakistan

Your Feedback

I will share our experience of the Country Inn conference in my next post where I happen to meet several TV news anchors, journalists and social activists.

Do share your feedback about this recent seminar that took place at Eureka. I wish the best of luck to all of you. You guys have a brilliant future and abundance of natural skills. It is time to just start using them without fearing failure as I said several times in the seminar: "In business there is either success or experience but never failure!"

If you have any queries, please feel free to post them below. I would love to answer them all. God bless you all buddies! =)

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