WordPress plugin tutorial
Mollom intelligently combines text analysis, reputation models and both image and audio CAPTCHAs to block spammers in an optimal and non-intrusive way. For more information about Mollom, you can read this introduction, check the top 10 features, consult the extensive FAQ, or download the technical whitepaper.
Mollom is available in both free and subscription-only versions. Although the free version is a perfect fit for many sites, its subscription-only service, Mollom Plus, provides support for large post volumes and has access to an enhanced backend server architecture not available to Mollom Free clients. Mollom was initially developed for Drupal, although a number of other clients and development libraries are available.
This WordPress plugin for Mollom was contributed by Matthias Vandermaesen. It requires a WordPress version of at least 2.5.0, and has been tested through version 2.6.5.
Installing the Mollom WordPress plugin
- Go to Mollom.com.
- Login with your Mollom.com account, or create an account if you don't have one.
- Select "Manage sites" from the upper right menu at Mollom.com.
- Select "Add subscription" to create a new key pair for your website (or "edit subscription" to access a subscription for an existing site tied to your account).
- Download the Mollom plugin (wp-mollom) from the project page or from Mollom.com. Drop the wp-mollom/ folder in /wp-content/plugins.
- Disable akismet or other spam-filtering plugins you are currently using.
- Activate the plugin in your dashboard.
- Go to the 'Mollom configuration' panel via the Settings menu.
- Enter the public/private key combination you got after registering with the Mollom service.
Configuring the Mollom WordPress plugin
After you have set the public/private key combination, Mollom will automatically protect your blog.
There are a number of option settings:
- Policy mode: if enabled, all comments/trackbacks will be blocked if the Mollom services are unavailable. If you have a high volume site, you may wish to take advantage of the high-availability server network available to Mollom Plus subscribers.
- Restore mode: if enabled, the 'mollom' table (containing mollom related information) will be deleted from your database if the plugin is deactivated.
- Reverse proxy: This option is important if your WP installation runs behind a 'reverse proxy' such as Squid or Pound. If you know the IP address(es) of the proxy used by your host, you should enable this option and enter them as a comma-separated list. This option is not mandatory, but it does improve accuracy of the plugin. Please refer to the Support section for detailed information.
Mollom takes care of everything. If a comment is flagged as spam, it is blocked. Otherwise, it will be treated as any other valid comment. Only when Mollom is unsure is user action required; in this case, a CAPTCHA is shown to the commenter. If he/she succeeds in solving the CAPTCHA, the comment is saved. If not, Mollom rejects the comment and regenerates a new CAPTCHA so that the commenter can try again.
Moderation is still possible, however. You can moderate comments through the Mollom Manage Module. You can find the module in the 'Comments' menu of your WordPress administration board. The default WordPress moderation queue is still available, but usage of the Mollom moderation queue is encouraged as it will send feedback to the Mollom services each time a comment/trackback is moderated.
There are four basic types of moderation:
- Spam: if the comment is spam;
- Profanity: if the comment contains profanity;
- Low Quality: if the comment is inconsistent with your site's quality standards; and,
- Unwanted: if the comment was posted by a specific person or bot.
Using these moderation options will send feedback to Mollom AND permanently delete the comment.
You can also approve or unapprove a comment. Use these functions to hide or show a comment on your website without sending feedback to Mollom (or deleting it). Use these options if you are unsure how to handle a specific comment.
The header colors in the Mollom Manage module are used to note if a CAPTCHA challenge was completed successfully when the post was submitted. Consult the legend for the meaning of each status color.
Screeshots of the WordPress Mollom plugin
The following screenshots from the Mollom plugin package illustrate most Mollom options.