Spam prevention in Drupal is not a simple task. Spam has been around since the beginning of the Internet. Most of us associate it with annoying advertising emails. However, the term itself was first used in 1993 to describe a number of unwanted postings in a newsgroup. Since then, spam has changed and evolved a lot, but it still remains a massive problem for a number of reasons.
Drupal is an open-source content management platform. Because of this, it is always changing. It has over 40,000 user-created modules you can use for free to customize your page. So it's no surprise that this number includes some anti-spam Drupal modules. However, it is difficult to find the module that suits your needs best. We’re ready to help you with this arduous task. Here are some of the best Drupal spam prevention modules out there.
Why You Should Use a Spam Prevention Module
The most notable danger when encountering a spam bot is that most of them are able to flood the service with requests or messages, which can lead to a shutdown. An experienced hacker can use spam bots to infect the users of a server with Trojans and turn their devices into spam-delivering machines.
A less drastic consequence of a spam attack is its impact on your marketing strategy. You won't be able to differentiate between webforms from real users and bots, so your statistics will be murky. There have been cases when people were not aware of a spam attack, which led to bad business decisions and huge financial losses. If you want to prevent these problems, here are the modules you can use.
Read also: How to Ensure Your Drupal Site Security
7 Drupal Spam Protection Modules That Will Make Your Web Page Safe
CAPTCHA is one of the oldest ways to make your website spam-proof. Simply put, it’s a Turing test that gives access to a website to real people and denies it to bots. Usually, the test is a set of jumbled symbols a user needs to enter into the required field.
Although CAPTCHA has been in use since 1997, it is still a valid way to protect your site from bots. It is fast and reliable. On the other hand, research shows that this technology stops some users as well. According to Moz SEO blog, CAPTCHA can be responsible for more than a 3% loss in conversion. So if you don't want to annoy your users, you may want to look into a different option.
reCAPTCHA is Google’s improved take on the existing CAPTCHA module. On the surface, it consists of a single tick box the user has to click.
Below the surface, though, the module analyzes how the browser communicates with the website to make the decision on whether it is a real person or a bot. If there isn’t enough information, the module implements a harder test that usually consists of image analysis.
reCAPTCHA is one of the most frequently used Drupal spam-prevention modules. It has decreased CAPTCHA’s conversion problem, yet it remains very effective and fast. However, the test it uses in case of suspicious activity is criticized a lot. It is hard for regular people to pass, and impossible for people with impaired vision.
This module is drastically different from the previous ones. Antispam doesn’t test whether the users are real. Instead, it compares their IPs with a database of all known spammers. What’s great about this is that you can add the spammers you know about to the database.
Antispam is not a perfect solution for Drupal spam prevention. For example, it won’t block spam from a previously unknown attacker. Still, it’s a great additional module that can be used as a companion to a more sophisticated one.
Honeypot is another popular anti-spam solution that does not require any action from the user. It detects actions a human wouldn’t make.
To expose a bot, it creates a concealed field in a form. The field is created in a way that attracts spam bots like bees to honey. So, if the field is filled out, access to the website is denied. There is also an option to have a delay between the moment the page loads and the moment the form is filled out as an additional parameter.
Overall, the module is one of the best in its class. The only downside is that, with this module on, you can’t cache the forms. Caching the elements of the page is one of the best ways Drupal has of making a website faster. So Honeypot limits the performance of the page.
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This module is similar to Antispam, but it’s more refined. As a database of users, it uses all the spam IPs found by Honeypot. As the number of websites that use the service increases, the accuracy of this Drupal spam registration module increases too.
Once again, this module works better as a companion to a more active one. However, it is equipped with an abundance of features, so you should definitely try it out. It is available for Drupal 7 and will soon be ready for use with Drupal 8.
All in all, Antibot is a strong competitor for the title of the best module to eliminate spam on your website. Unlike Honeypot, it allows caching of forms, which makes it much quicker.
BOTCHA is one of the most multifunctional tools on this list. It combines the unique features of almost every other entry on the list. From hidden fields to blocking repeated submissions of the application – whatever you need, it has it all. So, why not use it instead of everything else?
The biggest disadvantage of this module is that it hasn't been renewed for a long time. It is not available for Drupal 8 – the most recent version is only available for Drupal 7. This makes it much more susceptible to an attack.
Read also: Best Drupal Modules
Spambot attacks on your website can have dire consequences both for you and for your users. Thankfully, if you use Drupal, there is a solution to this problem. We hope one of the modules we've mentioned here will help you prevent any spam attack you might face.
Now that you know how to eliminate spam on a Drupal site, you can concentrate on other types of modules. However, don’t forget that spam is a security issue. This means that you should keep following the changes in this area and use the newest versions of the modules you’ve chosen. In case you need any help, use the form below to contact our experts.