Comment Spam Protection … in the cloud from cloudflare!
Comment Spam Sucks
So anyone that has a blog, builds the blog to start a conversation. The conversation is generally in the comments. There’s nothing like knowing that someone not only found your blog post to be helpful but they took the time to say thank you and post a comment.
But what sucks is to get all excited that you got a comment and then find out it’s some guy trying to build links back to his site that sells ED pills!
I’ve tested out a number of different plugins and services that help protect against spam and they help but none of them seem to be really effective. It’s the classic cat and mouse game, I move here and block you, you move there and get around my block.
Recently I stumbled upon a completely different approach that I believe solves that problem and not only makes your site more secure but will speed it up too!
Fighting Comment Spam in the Cloud
The solution I’m talking about is CloudFlare.com. You can visit their website to see what they do and how. In a nutshell, they’ve created a content delivery network (CDN) and added to it a web application firewall that blocks attacks. The beauty here is three-fold:
- First they provide caching, compression and optimization of your static content. They then serve this content from a CDN network where this content may come from a network connection that’s closer to your web visitors network resulting in faster site performance! (mind you this is FREE too!)
- Second, they protect you. They block known spammers, bots and bad guys. They block cross site scripting attacks and common vulnerabilities and generally make you safer.
- Next, by keeping these bots from spidering your site and by serving this static content from their cache instead of your webserver they actually increase overall website load times and end user experience!
I believe CloudFlare will soon be known as a killer cloud app! I think it’s still fairly young and new and it’s had a couple hiccups since I’ve started using it but I think this is a great idea and I’d encourage you to check it out for your own sites. This includes forums and boards, blogs and even regular websites.
Here’s a few Screenshots to see what it does
Here’s what my dashboard looks like
Here’s what the Threat Control Panel looks like
Oh look some spammer left me a message.. Let’s see what he had to say
“Nice” indeed my spammy little Sri Lankan friend, Nice indeed!
BTW, you’ll notice you can put your own blocks in there, country, IP, IP range. That’s pretty handy and it’s nice to offload that blocking from the web servers too!