Spam Reduction

Any and all websites will occasionally find their comment forms receive posts from spammers. Comment spamming is a relatively common internet phenomenon, and while we here at Ellington understand that these comments can be frustrating, they can often be addressed by a comment moderator. Programmatic restrictions to comments such as Akismet and Captcha’s can work to limit or inhibit spam comments, but also work in the same manner to reduce the ease of use for a legitimate public users’ interactions with your site.

Akismet and/or Recaptcha can be installed on your site by request. Please contact Ellington Support to activate these features.


Akismet is a filtering tool which will automatically remove any comment that “looks” like a spam comment. The Akismet tool looks for keywords, certain patterns of repetition, links to things it has marked as “suspect”, and hundreds of other tests. It simply returns a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” on the comment. Comments given the “thumbs down” are removed from public view, yet still visible in the admin panel. This tool only flags comments as spam, it does not ban users. Ellington does report a spam comments email address, IP, and username to Akismet so subsequent similar posts are subject to removal as well.

You can review all comments on your site, as well as whic comments have been removed the Threaded Comments application located at

Note the Spam Status column on the far right of the page. Comments caught by the Akismet tool will have the time the were removed from the site, you’ll also see that the comment status has been automatically changed from “public” to “removed”.

Reporting a comment as spam

Super-users and users in the Comment Moderators group will see the “Mark as spam” option next to a comment. Clicking is button will remove the comment from the public side of the site, and report the comment information to Akismet for future spam detection.

Please use this tool only in cases of spam commenting. Marking inappropriate comments as spam rather than removing them can have far-reaching effects on public user’s ability to post comments.

Reporting a comment as “Not Spam”

There can be occasions where a legitimate comment will be mistaken as spam by the Akismet tool. This can be corrected via the admin panel.

  • Check the comment you would like to mark as “not spam”. If a comment is not spam, the correct term is thus ham.
  • Using the drop-down menu at the top of the comments list, select “Mark comment as ham”.
  • Click “Go”

The comment will be returned to the public view, and Akismet will be notified that this comment is, in fact, not spam.


reCAPTCHA is a free service that uses images of text to prevent spam bots from successfully submitting forms. reCAPTCHA can be a very useful tool in preventing spam.

Currently reCAPTCHA is available for:

  • Comments
  • Mailforms
  • User registration
  • Weblogs

If you would like to have reCAPTCHA enabled for any of the above applications, please submit a request to your Solutions Manager via Basecamp.

In order to enable reCAPTCHA on mailforms, you will need to make some modifications to your templates. For a further explanation, please see the instructions provided on reCAPTCHA for Mailforms.

When enabled for comments, reCAPTCHA will look similar to this:


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