CleanTalk: The answer to your spam problems
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If you have an email address, you probably receive spam.
If your email address appears on a website, you probably receive lots of spam.
Even if you’ve put a form instead of your email address on your contact page, you probably get spam through that too.
And then there are all those spam comments on your blog…
It’s not only annoying; it’s a ridiculous waste of time!
Those getting between 30 and 60 external emails a day usually spend roughly 11 hours a year on the same task, while those on the receiving end of up to 100 emails a day spend as much as 18 hours – more than two full days – sorting these messages in their inboxes.
Source: Spam emails are wasting hundreds of work hours every year, TechRadar
There are many tools available, both free and paid, to help combat spam sent through your website. Some are more effective than others, but I never found one I’d swear by until I tried CleanTalk.
The Spam Problem
Many of my clients have a contact form on their website, usually created with GravityForms (here’s why it’s my favourite). Most of the measures I’ve implemented have been relatively successful in keeping the spam to a manageable level.
But one client has a special secure form connected to her Hushmail account. All went well for several years, when suddenly her Google CAPTCHA stopped working and she started receiving a daily onslaught of spam submitted through her form.
The Spam Solution
Many of my colleagues in the web industry swear by CleanTalk, and since they offer a seven-day free trial, I figured we had nothing to lose.
Although there were some obstacles at first, CleanTalk support was excellent, never giving up and extending the free trial as long as necessary until they got it working correctly. I now receive an email every week letting me know how many spam messages were blocked, and it’s usually over 100. A lot less hassle for both my client and me!
How CleanTalk Works
Okay, I confess – I don’t really know how CleanTalk manages to block spam from contact forms, registration forms, comment forms, and more. What I do know is this:
- It’s MUCH easier to set up than CAPTCHA.
- It’s less intrusive to your website visitors than CAPTCHA. No checkboxes, puzzles, or other hoops to jump through.
- You can access the logs, so if an IP address is blocked erroneously (as far as I know, this hasn’t happened yet), you can delete it from the blocklist.
- You can also manually add an IP address to the blocklist, if a spam message happens to get through.
- The cost is minimal, considering how much time it will save you.
What’s unique about CleanTalk is that it’s not just for WordPress sites. They also offer spam protection for Joomla, Drupal, and other types of sites, including Shopify!
If you’d like to learn more about CleanTalk or need help with another aspect of your website, visit my Contact page to schedule a Zoom meeting.
Photo by peshkova / DepositPhotos
This is very interesting; I’ll investigate CleanTalk further. I’ve never had a problem with email spam through my comment page. (Ha, now I’ll jinx myself!) However, not long after I moved my blog to WordPress, I started getting tons of spam comments through my site. I found that Akismet was the perfect plugin. At the time, it was “pay what you want” and not knowing how much I’d like it, I picked a reasonable dollar amount. It’s saved me tens (by now, maybe hundreds) of thousands of spam comments; nowadays, I get maybe one spam comment a month, and often I can’t tell whether it’s spam or just a poorly written comment from a random person.
Thanks for sharing, Julie. I’ve had Akismet since it was free so have never paid, and I wonder if the paid version is actually better, as I definitely get more than one spam comment a month.
Word Press has so many great plug ins, and Clean Talk sounds like another valuable one. I have a SquareSpace site, so this won’t work for me. But while I receive a fair amount of spam, they go into my spam folder and are easy to delete. I get some spam comments occasionally, but they are also easy to detect, delete and report. I have notice an uptick lately in spam, but again, at this point, it’s all fairly manageable.
CleanTalk can be used on so many platforms that I didn’t realize SquareSpace wasn’t one of them. It sounds like everything is under control, so you’re all set!
I haven’t heard of this one, and I like the features. I personally don’t like CAPTCHA very much. When I have to go through the CAPTCHA process, I often just give up.
I don’t get a ton of spam, so right now it is manageable. However, if it starts taking up a lot of my time, I can definitely see how this would be worthwhile. It will be interesting to see if this has longevity, which is important to me!
It’s been around for 10 years, so I think it’s going to be around for a while longer.
Thanks for the information about this software. I like learning about what is out there to solve technology problems. When things get back for me I contact you.
It’s definitely good to know what’s available. How many problems (technical or otherwise) do we tolerate because we assume there’s no other option?
Great resource. Spam is one of those little things that really seem to add up and distract from getting things done. Thanks for sharing.
Yep – we all have a certain level we can tolerate, but when you start getting hundreds in the same day, it’s too much!