This post originally appeared in Sergej Müller’s Google+ profile (in German) and is no longer accessible there. It’s now kept here by the Pluginkollektiv.
The antispam plugin for WordPress has a handy feature to allow comments only in a certain language – incoming comments in other languages are automatically classified as spam. See the description in the manual.
To be able to execute this option/function, the unofficial interface of Google Translation (Browser) API was used until now – the interface was free of charge and could be used without restrictions. Until a few days ago.
Google has now restricted the use of this unofficial interface in that it is no longer available for automatic scripts (which is a plugin). To use Google Translate API now, the paid version must be implemented. Sooner or later this time had to come 😉
Since the function is very effective in the plugin, I would not like to remove it from the feature set. On the other hand, I don’t want to pay the costs for API usage myself (I already pay Maxmind, etc.) – the uncertainty of usage alone worries me. Also I can’t/won’t want to make the plugin (partly) chargeable, because that would mean an enormous effort for me.
Antispam Bee users with active option “Allow comments in one language only” have to expect that the filter will not work because the speech recognition does not work anymore.
I am thinking about a solution – feedback welcome 😉
Update 11 April 2015
In order to ensure the functionality of the mentioned function, a version of the plugin has just been put online with the use of the paid version of Google Translation API – until further notice I will cover the costs (whatever they may be). Also, the API consumption is to be determined/measured with it. After a few weeks, you will know more about how much the function and the translation interface behind it were used. Accordingly you can see the resulting costs.
Update May 03, 2015
Just got an invoice from Google: $55.22 at 2,696,066 units in the period 11.04. – 30.04 (so it’s only 20 days). Since it can be assumed that the plugin update was not immediately installed by all users, one would have to expect at least $90 per month.
Update May 16, 2015
With today’s plugin update, the two functions that are cost-related for me as a plugin author, allow comments in only one language and block or allow certain countries, have been removed from the plugin’s functionality. With a heavy heart, even if it is not easy for me to reduce the Antispam Bee functionality by such strong antispam filters 🙁