Registration Spam Annoyance & WordPress Plugins

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Getting a whole heap of registrations all of a sudden to this blog, 20-40 an hour, all (or rather, 99.5%) are from .pl domains. Turning off the registration form is not an option for me. Tonight I found another blog that is reporting the same problem this week but I’m sure there are many more who are getting it that haven’t posted about it yet (I know I’m not special lol).
Wordpress Registration Spam
I did a bit of a Google search on what others are using for registration spam and here are the plugins that various blogs are using to get past registration spam. I’ve only installed Ban Hammer and Bad Behavior for now and will try the others when I get a bit of time (going away for a week and have to work on clients sites rather than my own blog), but thought I’d include them all to save you a bit of time searching too.

Ban Hammer


First I installed Ban Hammer, and manually entered all the domains in the blacklist, but unfortunately I was still getting “hammered”, and apparantly that could be caused by Zend, so it might work for you out there if you don’t have Zend installed on your server. Ban hammer has optional built-in support for as well. This plugin does not work for me, but it could work for you, it seems only a few people have my problem of it being incompatible.

Ban Hammer WordPress Plugin

Bad Behavior


The Bad Behavior plugin prevents spammers by analyzing the delivery method and software that the spammer is using, so it can stop spam even before that particular user is reported as being a spammer. You need to get an HTTP Blacklist Access Key from Project Honey Pot (Project Honey Pot tracks harvesters, comment spammers, and other suspicious visitors to websites) to use the plugin.

Bad Behavior WordPress Plugin
Bad Behavior Homepage

Stop Spammer Registrations Plugin


The Stop Spammer Registrations Plugin also accesses the database (as per the Ban Hammer plugin) prior to a user registering. I haven’t tried this one yet but it’s intent is to validate the email, ip and username against the database and then deny login attempts and prevent registrations. This plugin also works on WordPress MU (which Ban Hammer does not). And this plugin will allow you to report spam if you have a API key.

Stop Spammer Registrations Plugin

Sabre and Conditional CAPTCHA for WordPress


Another two plugins that were mentioned were Sabre and Conditional CAPTCHA for WordPress.

Sabre = “simple anti bot regirstration engine” and gives you a range of different features you can use on your blog to prevent registration spam.
I’ll be trying this out when I get some time. It can install a captcha form on your registration form – and enable you to change the captcha options, colours, and complexity. It can enable blog verification so that their account is deleted if no confirmation is received. It can send an invitation code to your user, etc. See the plugin page for more details and screenshots.

Sabre WordPress Plugin

Conditional CAPTCHA for WordPress is also a plugin providing CAPTCHA, but does so only if it detects a comment as spam, as I haven’t tried this one out yet, but I’m having a guess that this one will probably only deal with comment spam not registration spam. The idea is pretty neat though – you need to have Akismet or TypePad AntiSpam installed & active before using this plugin. If the spam detection plugin recognizes a spammer from those 2 plugin databases, it will ask the potential spammer to complete a CAPTCHA. If they fail, their comment will be trashed and if they pass, it will go to spam for pending review or approved (your choice).

Conditional CAPTCHA for WordPress Plugin

Penny (
Penny (

Who are we? What are we doing here? What is the meaning of life? Penny is a truth-seeker, ever-questioning, ever-learning, ever-researching, ever delving further and deeper down the rabbit hole. This site is a legacy of sorts, a place to collect thoughts, notes, book summaries, whilst providing a searchable archive to easily lookup and reference.


  1. DanN says:


    I recently launched an anti-spam plugin that can be used on registration forms: Retina Post.

    It does more than anti-spam. Try it and if you like it please include it in one of your articles.

  2. Remco says:

    Hi Penny,

    Not really on topic but how do you prevent spammers from placing crap comments?



    1. Penny Butler says:

      I use Akismet, which catches at least 99% of all spam. Every month or so, I get a spam comment that filteres through but for the most part, it catches them all.
      Miss you remco! :)

  3. Penny Butler says:

    It’s official, Sabre is the one you want to use.. please everyone forget everything else up there.. and use Sabre – it stopped ALL of them, and made my life peaceful again :)

  4. Marina says:

    Thank you for your post!
    I have the same spam registration on my site Brigitte Bardot. In 24 hours I got 300 registrations, in bulk of 60 x 5 !
    I install the WP Bad Behavior plugin, but it block Google Bot, so I uninstall it.
    Found yout tips and install “Sabre and Conditional CAPTCHA for WordPress”

    So Thanks!

  5. We’ve had some issues with Bad Behavior triggering false positives.

    “SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam” works quite well for registrations and comments,

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