Win the war on spam, quick and easy

On 10/08/2010

In Help to make a website

Don't let you website get eaten up by spam.Website development can be a whole lot of fun, but does your website management ever get you down? Do you find yourself spending a lot less time these days doing useful stuff with your free website maker than you do cleaning up the messy leftovers of serial spammers? Like most of us, lately you've probably found out a whole lot more about Viagra, online pharmacies, fake watches, handbags and shoes than you'd really care to know. Not that these aren't potentially fascinating topics, it's just that you've probably got more important things to do with your time, like staring at navel lint, doing laundry or checking out the neighborhood wildlife. If it makes you feel a little better, you should know that you're not alone in your suffering: estimates are that around 80% of all emails sent worldwide are spam, and dealing with them has become a multi-billion dollar business.

Wouldn't it be great if you could manage the spam that starts seeping in when you create a website or make an online shop, via comments posted on your forum or blog, your online store or in web page comments? And wouldn't it be even better if you didn't have to do anything at all to manage spam, and if your website just took care of it all for you?

Well, guess what? It does.

A lot of doomby webmasters have enabled at least one of our free add-ons, like a blog, forum or online store. Add-ons are simple to set up and are a great way of adding interactive content to your website. Together with page comments (an option you can enable from the settings menu of your doomby website manager), these features encourage users to participate in the life of your website: an essential part of building a regular site following and ensuring new visitors stick around.

Spam problems, or a 30 min. call to mom ... ?Unfortunately, visitor interaction with your website can also have a downside – allowing comments leaves the door open to spammers, who'll jump at the chance to take advantage of an open space (the more popular the better) to post links to their websites (or their clients' sites) as part of a guerilla link-building, SERP-improving strategy.

Fear not, help is at hand. Whenever someone tries to post a link in your page or online store product comments, or on your forum or blog, they'll be stopped in their tracks by doomby's anti-spam management.

There are two ways to treat messages left by site visitors – you can enable message moderation from the settings menu to ensure that you read and approve messages before they're posted on your website. This is a great way to ensure that none of your site content is contributed by spammers. But the problem with message moderation is that you'll probably also have enabled alerts, meaning you'll be sent an email every time someone posts a comment or message on your website. When spammers strike hard, this can mean dozens of emails filling up your inbox, and a lot of time wasted dealing with emails and comments.

This is where the second layer of treatment comes to the rescue – there's a keyword filter in place for all doomby websites that automatically scans incoming messages posted to your website. Any message containing links and predefined keywords are instantly classed as junk and set aside in your website manager. You won't receive an email notification, but you can check for spam messages from the add-on menus (forum, blog, store etc.), to verify messages treated as spam. To delete them or classify them as “not junk” is easy: just click on the corresponding link below the message.

If you find messages are getting through the spam filter, it's probably just that the keywords used haven't yet been added to the filter. Just post the text of the message to the online support team to have the message analyzed and an appropriate treatment applied, fast.

Spam treatment is just one of the ways we've tried to ensure it's easy to make a website, by enabling you to get on with using your website builder tools to do creative stuff rather than to deal with mountains of junk mail. You can limit spam further by avoiding posting your email address directly on your website or in clickable links – just use the contact form, to preserve your privacy and avoid spammers getting hold of your address. For now, bask in your spam-free site, and have fun getting on with the business of website building.