WordPress Plugin: Comment Quiz

Quiz is a plugin that allows you to put a question into your Comments form. Before anyone can leave a comment, they must answer the question correctly.

You can specify a default question, but the real beauty of the plugin is that there is a “Comment Quiz” box added to the page/post edit screen, which allows you to specify a Q/A specific to the content of the current page. This should block just about any automated spambots, and limit the human ones to those who take the time to actually read the article. (This last point also, conveniently, helps cut down on trolls or people who just don’t bother to read before commenting.)

Cleverly used, it can also cut down on “I don’t understand” emails and comments — for example, on the Virtual Multiblog page on this site, the question is:

If the readme doesn’t answer my questions, I should check the ______

You can’t get past that one without realizing the page has a FAQ! ;)

You can also enter multiple correct answers. For example:

Q: Name one of the original Three Stooges
A: Moe, Larry, Curly, Shemp

Any one of the answers will be accepted as correct.

The only real caveat is that you must be careful to make the questions easy to answer. I would suggest using one-word answers, and only ask questions that are answered within the text of the article. For example, you shouldn’t ask about the Three Stooges unless you talk about them in the article — somebody from another country (or younger than you) might have no idea who they are. Remember: you only want to frustrate the spambots, not your readers. Keep It Simple!

My (still evolving) question rules:

  1. Only ask questions for which the answers are:
    1. within the text of the article, or
    2. self evident (e.g. How many letters are in the word “cat”?), or
    3. a matter of definition (e.g. Which is taller, a dwarf or a giant?)
  2. Inserting a _______ blank can go a long way in making the question clear
  3. Stick to short, simple answers. One word is a good length.
  4. Avoid asking about niddly little details, unless it’s core to the point of the article
  5. Be aware of obvious alternates (e.g. “three”and “3”)
  6. I’ll ask just about anything related to a really short post, but don’t make readers dig through a really long one looking for some detail

The main download page is over at WordPress.org.

Is this plugin worth something to you? If you have found this system useful, please consider making a donation. Even as little as a dollar is appreciated:





24 Responses to WordPress Plugin: Comment Quiz

  1. demetris says:

    Hello!

    Thanks for this plugin. It is easy to setup and seems to be an effective solution.

    I upgraded to WP 2.7 almost-beta, and there is an issue. You are probably aware of it, but I thought I?d just mention it.

    When replying to comments from within the admin panel (new feature in 2.7), I get this warning:

    WordPress ? Error You must answer the question to post a comment. Please go back and try again.

    … but there is currently no way to answer the question from the admin panel.

    Thanks again,
    demetris

  2. Stephen says:

    I wasn’t aware of that change. I’ll see what I can figure out!

    Thanks for the heads up.

  3. demetris says:

    Hello. It?s me again, with a question:

    Does Comment Quiz interfere in any way with incoming pingbacks?

    Thanks,
    demetris

  4. Stephen says:

    It shouldn’t.

    I don’t believe regular comments go through the same processing as pingbacks. Then again, I don’t get enough pingbacks to have noticed. Try pinging this post — let’s see what happens.

  5. demetris says:

    Hello, Stephen! I added a link in my latest post — http://op111.net/p63 — but, according to the Edit Post page, you have not been pinged yet.

    Another page linked from the post (the plugin Manageable) was pinged right after I clicked publish.

    I you want to try without Quiz, just sent an email and I?ll resave the post, to try pinging you again. My time is UTC+2.

  6. Vardis says:

    It’s great fun just answering the easy questions!!

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  8. demetris says:

    Stephen, I activated Quiz again (v. 1.1.1) at op111.net and I?ll let you know how it goes.

    Thanks for looking at this.

  9. demetris says:

    Stephen, the plugin works fine in v1.1.1.

    But now I?ve run into another problem, not related to the plugin itself: I want to use a question that is not dependent on language, like a simple addition or multiplication, but some bots seem to know simple math… :-)

    • Stephen says:

      Assuming your blog is written in a particular language, I assume your readers can read that language. ;)

      Beyond that, I’m not sure what to say. In an earlier version the default question was “2 + 2 =”, but as you have discovered, the spambots can figure those out. Thus I’ve taken to using simple questions that are basically a matter of definition.

  10. kiamaru says:

    hi

    When i put a answer in my post with quiz 1.1.1 and I save, it doesn?t keep the save and make areas ?question? and ?answer? Blank.

    When I put just the question, it?s work. but a question without answer is not interresting.

    How I can fix it.

    I?test do 2.7.1 and 2.8.

    Thx for your help

  11. kiamaru says:

    please i need this plugin work

    i give 15 usd for the man we send me a good plugin, we keeping answer in the post when i save this

    thank you

  12. We-Sing says:

    Can I set default “noquiz” ?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Is it possible to have more than one quiz per post?

  14. Juno says:

    The plugin doesn’t work on my site. It keeps sending logged-in users back to answer the question. Help?

    • Stephen R says:

      Not sure. Haven’t heard of this one. Things to try:

      1) Re-upload the plugin. Maybe a problem with a corrupt file.
      2) Try it with other plugins turned off. Might be a conflict.
      3) Try it with the “Default” or “TwentyTen” theme. Could be a problem with your theme.

      Let me know what the results are.

  15. Juno says:

    Gah, sorry. I’m an idiot. I overlooked that the logged in users must have the ability to PUBLISH posts. Sorry!

    But that brings me to my next question: How can I allow all registered users to skip the question? Because I’m running a read-and-comment-only blog, but I really, really don’t want my logged in users to have to answer the spam question.

  16. Gregor says:

    Can a quiz question and answer for a specific post be set via email blog posting?

  17. zara says:

    1. Say your name 10 times.
    2. Say your mom’s name 5 times.
    3. Say your crush’s name 3 times.
    4. Paste this to 4 other quizzes. If you do this, your crush will kiss you on the nearest Friday, but if you read this and do not paste this, then you will have very bad luck! SEND THIS TO 5 QUIZZES IN 143 MINUTES. WHEN YOU’RE DONE PRESS F6 AND YOUR CRUSH’S NAME WILL APPEAR IN BIG LETTERS ON THE SCREEN. THIS IS SO FREAKY BECAUSE IT ACTUALLY WORKS

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