I am so sad to report that Andy Bailey, developer of CommentLuv, the premier comment and spam busting plugin, has closed the doors due to poor health. Andy has been very public about his health issues and recently decided that he could no longer provide support for the plugin.
Andy is one of the good guys in the WordPress community and his battle with MS starting in 2012 has been brave and admirable.
Unfortunately, the disease has progressed to the point he could no longer offer his thousands of customers the service and quality product they had come to expect.
So now what?
Although the plugin continues to work fine as I’m writing this post, my experience has been that when plugins get abandoned, they eventually stop working, break your site due to WordPress core upgrades or run into security problems. So my recommendation is to start looking for alternatives.
Since CommentLuv was many plugins in one, you will need to evaluate what functions you used.
- GASP (Spam Blocking) — this was the primary reason I installed it. There was also a separate and free plugin called G.A.S.P. Andy also developed that plugin. For now I am substituting WP SpamShield which can also prevent spam bots from filling out your forms.
- Reply Me (Comment Subscription & Notification) — this one was not as important for me but if you were using it, you might consider Subscribe to Comment Reloaded.
- TwitterLinks — I didn’t use this function as it seemed to invite more spammers so I haven’t found an alternative. If you have a suggestion, feel free to leave a comment below.
- CommentLuv — The one feature I think most users will miss is the ability to promote a page or post when leaving a comment on someone else’s blog who had the plugin. Again, I have not found an alternative for this function, but will continue to look.
I have wondered whether someone else would take over for Andy but I have no indication from him or have heard no rumors that is imminent.
I welcome your comments about your experience with CommentLuv or Andy.