Are you getting tired of dealing with comment spam on your WordPress blog? Well, you are not alone.
Spam comments are a huge problem especially if you are not prepared to deal with them properly.
In this article, we’ll share the best WordPress comment spam plugins and helpful tips to combat spam comments in WordPress. These tips will save you a lot of time and will significantly eliminate comment spam from your website.
Why You Need to Deal with Comment Spam in WordPress?
Internet is full of spam bots that automatically spread links for nefarious websites in the form of comment spam. The purpose of these spam comments is to get ranked in search engines and also to get accidental clicks from unsuspecting visitors.
But not all comment spam is submitted by bots. There are actual human submitted spam comments as well. These off-topic and poorly written comments are harder to catch and often contain links to third-party websites.
If you are not monitoring your website and these comments get published, then both your actual users and search engines will be able to see them.
This affects your website’s reputation. Users would consider your website to be a low quality or spam website.
Search engines can also mark your website as unsafe if they found links to websites that distribute malware and viruses.
That being said, let’s see how you can combat comment spam effectively, so that you spend less time worrying about spam and more time on growing your online business.
1. Turn on Comment Moderation in WordPress
Let’s first make sure that no comment on your website is published without your approval. This step will ensure that comments don’t bypass any filters, and it will also give you full control on which comments appear on your website.
This solution is highly recommended for business websites such as law firms, accounting, etc.
Head over to the Settings » Discussion page inside WordPress admin area. Next, scroll down to the ‘Before a comment appears’ section and check the box next to ‘Comment must be manually approved’ option.
Don’t forget to click on the ‘Save changes’ button to store your settings.
All your WordPress comments will now be held for moderation and you will have to manually approve each comment before it appears on your website.
Now you may be wondering how would I go through all the comments? Well in the next few tips, we will show you how to eliminate spam comments so that you only have to go through genuine comments.
2. Activate Akismet Anti-spam Protection
Akismet is an anti-spam plugin that comes pre-installed with WordPress. It filters all WordPress comments on your website through their anti-spam database and catches the most common types of spam comments.
Akismet is available as a free plugin, but you’ll need to signup for their API key. You can get it free for a personal blog or a small website.
To set it up, see our guide on how to set up Akismet for beginners with step by step instructions.
3. Using Sucuri to Combat Spam Comments
While Akismet is able to catch a lot of spam comments, it cannot stop spammers from accessing your website. Too many requests from spammers to submit comments can slow down your website and affect performance.
They can prevent automated bots and scripts from submitting comments. This reduces the load on your servers and the number of spam comments you receive.
4. Using Honeypot to Catch Spam Bots
Honeypot technology is an effective method to trick spambots into identifying themselves. Once they are identified their comments can be blocked.
First, you need to install and activate the Antispam Bee plugin. Upon activation simply go to Settings » Antispam Bee page and check the option to mark as spam for all honeypot caught comments.
Don’t forget to click on the save changes button to store your settings.
The plugin will now use the honeypot technique to catch the bad spam bots. It also has other antispam filter such as validate the IP address from your WordPress comment blacklist, look at bbcode, look in local spam database, and more.
5. Add Google reCAPTCHA Verification
Using reCAPTCHA in WP Comments plugin, you can enable Google reCAPTCHA challenge on your comment forms.
ReCAPTCHA is an advanced form of CAPTCHA, which is a technology used to differentiate between robots and human users. CAPTCHA is an acronym for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart”.
Google makes it easy for users to verify their identity by simply clicking on the checkbox button.
For spambots, this technology is quite hard to bypass because when Google detects a spam bot, it gives them a much harder challenge.
See our guide on how to how to add reCAPTCHA to WordPress comments.
Spammers want to get better search rankings or lure unsuspecting visitors to dubious and malicious sites. They think that by spamming they can get more links, and it will somehow positively affect their search rankings.
In most cases, it is not a personal attack against you rather it’s a systematic process that targets many blogs.
The comments that you mark as spam, are not displayed on your website. You can delete Spammed comments in batch and/or recover good comments from the SPAM list.
You enabled the comment moderation as the first tip in this article. This gives you absolute control on any comment that gets published on your website.
We hope this article helped you find useful tips and tools to combat comment spam in WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on how to grow your website traffic and convert users into subscribers by creating an email newsletter.