Spam comments can become a huge annoyance for many WordPress websites and it can be tricky to combat. Those that have an active comment section can find a bombardment of spam when left unchecked. Spam comments are usually left by automated bots and usually have not relation to the content, but are instead used to link users back to the spammers websites. Not only can multiple spam comments be left on a WordPress site at any one time, but these comments can discredit your website and hurt your SEO. Manually removing these comments can take time, however fortunately there are ways to combat this efficiently and quickly. Here are some tips on preventing spam on your WordPress website.

Change Your Discussion Settings

One of the features of WordPress is to change the discussion settings for your comments section on posts and articles. The discussion settings can be found on the dashboard by going to Settings and then Discussion. One of the main reasons why spam gets on your comment section is because website operators are not manually approving the comments. If comments are simply auto-approved, then you’ll soon find spam galore on pages where users can comment. There are a couple of features that can stop this: under the section where it says ‘Before comments appear’, tick the two boxes that requires comments to be manually approved and that comment authors must have a previously approved comment. This will help you filter a lot of spam. Beyond this, you can also have it so users either log-in or fill out their name and email before commenting. You can also be emailed every time a comment is posted or when a comment is held for moderation. Additionally, comments can be held for moderation if a certain amount of hyperlinks are found or you can automatically blacklist comments that contain any previously recognizable spam names, content, hyperlinks, etc. Overall, there are a lot of things you can do with WordPress alone to combat spam.

Download An Anti-Spam Plugin

As well as changing the Discussion settings, there are also some excellent anti-spam plugins that can help as well. There’s plenty out there so be sure to shop around, but one of our personal favorites has to be the Akismet plugin. It works by automatically checking all your comments and filtering out anything that looks like spam. It also provides a status history for each comment so can easily see which comments have been filtered or cleared by Akismet or by the moderator. Moderators are also able to review all the approved comments for each users, check the URLs in comments and remove suspicious links. This great anti-spam plugin, among others, is designed to save you time so you can focus on running your site without the worry of spam in your comments section.

Install A Captcha

A captcha is a tool used to prevent spam by having users solve a simple-to-understand code or equation, or tick a checkbox before submitting comments and information onto a site. Captcha’s are basically designed to distinguish the difference between humans and bots when comments are made or forms are filled out. Though extremely useful at preventing spam, they can be seen as annoying by users – particularly when they are time consuming or difficult to read. It can defeat the purpose if users feel less inclined to comment when there is a captcha put in place. However, for websites with busy comment sections or those prone to a lot of spam, having a captcha installed may be their best option. So if you are considering a captcha for your website, our suggestion would be to use Captcha by simplywordpress. This plugin is a little different as it uses simple math equations as opposed to hard-to-read letters or numbers. This saves the users some time while still protecting the comment section of be riddled with spam. Beyond the comments section, the Captcha plugin can also be used for webforms, login, registration, and password recovery.

For more information or professional help with combating spam, then be sure to contact us.