A Guide to Deal with Comment Spam on WordPress
Most of the WordPress users overlook the comment spam on their websites. But, it is one of the serious issues that could leave you in an annoying situation. It also affects other web platforms and blogging software such as guestbooks, discussion forums and wikis.
You can’t even stop spammers from attacking your site. They can submit spam to your site even if you’ve completely disabled your comments. However, spam comments won’t be laid out on your live site, but they will acquire a lot space in your database, that will increase the size of your database and slow down the speed of a website.
Today, we will emphasize on some tips that will help you reduce comment spam on your WordPress site. If you want to deal with comment spam, must read this blog post.
1. Enable Comment Moderation
WordPress comes with an incredible discussion setting page that enables you to hold back all of your comments into the moderation queue until you approve them. It means you can manually approve each and every comment by enabling “Comments must be manually approved” option. In fact, most of the bloggers use this setting with the sole aim to protect their site against spam comments.
For enabling comment moderation, you need to login to your WordPress admin area and access the Settings >>Discussion Page. Now, scroll down to “before a comment appears” option and tick the checkbox that you will see next to the “Comment must be manually approved” option. This will allow you to approve all your comments manually.
2. Disable comments on older posts
If you want to reduce the comment spam on your WP site, you should turn off your comments on older posts. By disabling the comments on old posts you will automatically restrict the spam bots from comment spam on your site.
Again, WordPress comes with an inbuilt option on Settings >> Discussion page that will help you turn off your comments on older posts with ease. All you need is to scroll down to ‘Other Comments Settings’ and click the checkbox next to ‘Automatically close comments on articles older than 15 days’. Now, you can set the number of days before comments disable on a post, and click on the save changes icon to turn off the comments on your older posts.
3. Detain comments that have links
Do you know maximum numbers of spam comments contain links? Yes, this is true.
To avoid such scenarios, you should send comments that contain links to the moderation queue. Well, you can do this right in the “Comment Moderation” section. The WordPress installation will automatically send comments to the moderation queue if they contain more than one link.
This technique will definitely restrict spammers from attacking your site via links.
4. Disable comments on media attachments and other post types
A WordPress site owner never wants their visitors to comment on their media attachment page. But what if your comment box starts appearing on the same page? How will you stop spam comments?
The answer is very simple: just disable comments on both the media attachment and other post type pages.
For this, you will need to download and install Disable Comments plugin into your site. Then, go to its setting page and click on the Disable Comments. Also, choose the posts types where you want to turn off comments and save the changes.
5. Use Akismet plugin
Akismet is a powerful spam prevention plugin for WordPress that will check your comments against the Akismet Web service to detect the spam comments. It simply grasps the spam comment before it reaches your site.
It is a must-have plugin for your WordPress site. In fact, it comes pre-installed with every WordPress site, but you need to activate it if you want to check spam on your site. The plugin cross-checks all your comments and finds out the ones that look like spam.
After activating this plugin, you will get a notification regarding the activation of Akismet account. Once you click on the button, you will need to follow the on-screen instructions to activate your Akismet account.
6. Make a use of comment blacklist
This is one of the most overlooked features of WordPress, but still, plays a crucial role in every WordPress site.
The comment blacklist feature enables you to blacklist those IP addresses of spammers who are continuously attacking your site. Even, you can also blacklist commenter by email address, name, or URL using this amazing feature.
Overall, blacklisting is a great way that can help you restrict those who are submitting spam over and over again on your site.
7. Use of Recaptcha
You can use image verification feature, also known as CAPTCHA to block the automated spam. This will restrict those spammers who are attacking your site.
Also, integrate a quiz on the comment form to ask simple questions to the users. With the help of these techniques, you can stop spam bots and discourage their spamming activity. There are multiple tools that will help you block spam comments on your WP site.
8. Stop comment spam using Cookies
With the use of WP-SpamFree Anti-Spam plugin, you can prevent your site from bot spamming. It uses a combination of JS and Cookies to eliminate humans from spambots – this will protect your blog from automated spam comments.
The process is simple! It simply checks the cookie when a user attempts to post a comment. If the cookie exists it means that user is not a spam bot and if it doesn’t, then the user is likely a spam bot. The plugin weeds off automated blog comment spam submitted by bots, along with trackback and pingback spam.
Comments are an incredible way to encourage visitors to discuss on the relevant topics. But sometimes they can become difficult to manage. With the help of these simple tips and guidelines, you will be able to protect your site against comment spam.