For as long as there has been email, there has been spam. At its most innocuous, it is a minor irritation, clogging up your inbox with invitations to join online dating sites or take advantage of the latest discounts from a travel agent. But at worst, it can be malicious, containing scams, malware and other harmful content.

Naturally enough, as the software we use online has developed, so has the ingenuity of the scammers and spammers who seek to take advantage of it. Just like antivirus protection and firewall technology, spam filtering is a discipline that is under continuous development.

The Form 7 Problem

There are around one and a quarter billion websites live around the world, and more than 25 percent of these are built on WordPress. Every one of those WordPress sites uses a variety of useful little plugins that can be downloaded for free to make the site more user friendly.

So far so good, but one of the most popular of these plugins is called the Contact 7 form. It is one of those handy forms you can complete to make contact with a website, and is the most popular plugin of its kind. Unfortunately, it is also extremely well liked by spammers, and site owners have reported an exponential rise in spam emails via this route.

Using Everycloud tech for spam filtering

There are a variety of tips and tricks out there for spam filtering, but by using everycloud tech you can be sure that you will not deter genuine customers from making contact. Asking users to prove they are human via captcha tools or quizzes is fine, but it can be seen as an unnecessary hurdle and turn people away. Companies like EveryCloud provide a solution that works quietly but effectively to filter spam without causing extra work or distraction.

Aren’t there plugins?

The way WordPress sites seem to almost run themselves, you might wonder why you would need to go to a specialist provider. Surely there are inbuilt features or “plugins for the plugins” that can deal with your spam problem?

The answer is a resounding “yes and no.” There are freeware solutions to most problems if you know where to look, and while some are reasonably effective, the old adage that you get what you pay for generally holds true.

We have already mentioned Captchas and quizzes. The problems with these are twofold – on the one hand they are becoming old hat and easier to circumvent. On the other, as we mentioned above, they do little to enhance user experience.

Another option is the Contact 7 Honeypot. This is actually a clever little device – it adds a hidden field to the contact form that real visitors will miss out but that bots will fall straight into.

Ultimately, it is neat, but by no means foolproof, and the best way around the rising problem of spam is to make use of the most up to date, professionally created technology.

About the Author

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Mirko Humbert

Mirko Humbert is the editor-in-chief and main author of Designer Daily and Typography Daily. He is also a graphic designer and the founder of WP Expert.