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Dear Author Comment Issues

Dear Author is the target of a huge amount of comment and link spam. It may be because of our high Google Page Rank or because we’ve got great content or it might just be serendipitous. Whatever the reason, it’s causing us to have huge traffic server problems.

WPEngine has basically told us that we need to get it under control or we’ll have to be charged up to $3000 a month for server fees. DA just could not weather a cost like that. We’ve hired a developer to help us solve this problem.

One of the fixes is to install Cloud Flare and then mark certain IP addresses (or ranges of IP addresses) as problematic. This has resulted in many legitimate commenters being marked as spam.

We still have your comment, but it’s in the spam folder so if you are marked as spam, Tweet me or email me [email protected] and let me know. I’ll fish it out right away.

I’m sorry that comments are being eaten and we are trying our best to resolve this ┬áproblem (hence the Captcha) but right now we’re using a fairly aggressive spam filter to try to reduce the back end traffic load. Thanks for being patient with us.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

9 Comments

  1. Ros
    May 12, 2014 @ 07:36:36

    One thing that I found worked for me when I had a spam flood was simply to close comments on older posts.

  2. LeeF
    May 12, 2014 @ 08:01:52

    I admire your determination to tackle this kind of problem. I learn so many things from your blogs and would hate for you to have to close shop.

  3. Kristi
    May 12, 2014 @ 08:16:24

    Closing comments on older posts will help. People are just assholes though. Sorry :(

  4. library addict
    May 12, 2014 @ 08:36:21

    $3000 yikes! Hope you get things straightened out.

  5. Mzcue
    May 12, 2014 @ 09:05:31

    Thanks for explaining. Now that I know what’s going on, it won’t be a concern. I hate to think of someone having to constantly monitor the spam files, though.

  6. SuperWendy
    May 12, 2014 @ 10:50:31

    I disallowed anonymous comments (which I HATED doing – but I was desperate) and turned on comment moderation for any post older than 30 days. Not sure what helped more, but together it seems to have done the trick. I still get the occasional bit of spam – but for a while it was annoying flood. It’s not that anymore, thank goodness.

  7. Willaful
    May 12, 2014 @ 13:47:58

    @Ros: I have to figure out how to do that at Karen Knows Best. For some reason, the same posts keep getting spammed over and over.

  8. Bona
    May 13, 2014 @ 11:26:35

    It’s a very good thing you do this, even if it can cause some eventual problems with real readers.
    This policy will help us, too, because I’m used to tick in ‘notify me of followup comments…’ in many pages -here and in other webs. And then I find a lot of spam messages -instead of followup comments- in my e-mail, which is an annoying loss of time.

  9. Mike
    May 16, 2014 @ 17:38:20

    Have you checked out Incapsula? I’m running it on 10 client sites after being with Cloudflare for a couple years, and although I still haven’t quite figured out the best caching settings with Incapsula, the comment spam blocking’s been far superior. Most are pagerank 3 – 4 sites and didn’t have a huge problem, but the pagerank 5 site I work with went from about a dozen spam comments a day with Cloudflare down to about 1 a week on Incapsula, which is quite manageable. YMMV but might be worth trying out for a week or two to see which reduces the strain better.

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