Too Many Spam Emails in your WordPress Comments? Answer is Cloudflare
Whoa! My incoming spam comments coming into WordPress just went off the hook! What happened?
That’s what I was wondering this week.
Two unrelated things happened…
- About 8 days ago, I turned off Cloudflare as I was working with my Host, Pressable on this site, to try and get a plugin to work on their nginx servers. The plugin was supposed to swap out larger images with smaller version to adaptively serve up the ‘right’ size for mobile devices. That normally requires an .htaccess change on a linux server. Nginx doesn’t have that! So I turned off Cloudflare to help test and figure out if we could get it to work. I forgot to turn it back on.
- Then I came down with an unexpected infection and was down for the count for about 6 days. When I literally got back on my feet again, I had an insane number of spam comments waiting to be reviewed on my site (powered by WordPress). Lots of them were from garbage outlook and mail.ru email addresses.
I hadn’t seen anything like this in years!
That’s because I have been running my site through Cloudflare for years. Cloudflare connects to Project Honeypot and screens/blocks computers and servers infected with botnets from being able to automatically submit garbage (spam comments, hacking injection attempts and more) at a DNS level before a botnet can even load your site into a hidden browser.
I had turned this off and forgotten to turn it back on!
Anyway, lesson relearned! Keep Cloudflare running. Don’t forget to turn it back on if you do some troubleshooting work.