Comment spam is a huge issue in WordPress and it’s unavoidable, if you create a popular blog. However, there are ways to cut it down to a manageable level and even eliminate it for good.
Spam comments are very easy to spot because they are full of pornography, pharmaceuticals and plenty of other spammy things. You will notice the usernames used make very little sense and the comments usually have nothing to do with your actual post. Here are a few tips to help you handle comment spam in WordPress.
Making Adjustments to the Discussion Settings
The first thing you can do is make a few adjustments to the discussion settings in your WordPress dashboard. Go to Settings >> Discussion and make the following changes:
Make sure Pingbacks and Trackbacks are turned off. About 99% of these are spam.
Match your “Other comment settings” to the following:
By checking the “Users must be registered and logged in to comment” box, you will actually cut way back on the spam comments you receive.
Select both boxes under the “Before a Comment Appears” section.
Set the Comment Moderation to any comments with 1 or more link.
These settings will help you to avoid spam. Of course, they won’t take care of all of it. Here are a few more ways to combat spam comments in WordPress.
Akismet isn’t free, but it’s one of the best plugins you can use to stop spam. Every installation of WordPress automatically comes with Akismet, but you have to activate it.
This plugin will cost you just $5 per month for one site or even less. If you just have a non-commercial, personal site, you will be able to use it for the price you name. For those with larger sites, you can get an enterprise license for unlimited sites. This license is $50 per month.
Add a CAPTCHA Plugin
A CAPTCHA plugin can not only help combat spam, but also help with login security. By adding the SI CAPTCHA for WordPress plugin users will have to fill out a CAPTCHA code to post a comment. This plugin is free and will greatly reduce the amount of spam comments you receive.
Close the Comments on Your Older Posts
Another setting you can adjust in the Settings >> Discussion section of WordPress, is closing comments after a certain amount of days. You can do this by checking the “Automatically close comments” box and setting the number of days. Change this number to fit your needs and you will be all set.
This will help to ensure spammers cannot post on older posts found on your WordPress blog.
The final thing you can do to help create a better WordPress blog without all the comment spam is to blacklist any spammers, as you receive them. Once a comment spammer finds your blog and realizes they can post a comment, they will actually come back over and over again. You can prevent this in the Settings >> Discussion area of your WordPress Dashboard.
Scroll down to the section that looks like this:
Just fill in the information from the URL to the IP address or any other mentioned information, to block spammers. You can even block specific words, names, e-mails and more. This will help you get rid of plenty of spam without an issue.
Final Thoughts on Comment Spam
Eliminating spam helps not only create a better WordPress blog for you, but also your readers. You will get more out of your blog when you get rid of the spam comments for sure.
Of course, if you really want to eliminate comment spam, you can eliminate comments altogether this is done from the discussion settings in your “Edit Post” section. It will only affect each one of the individual posts, but it can help you eliminate comment spam.
However, using the tips above, will help you allow discussion on your WordPress blog without eliminated comments altogether. Make sure you use the proper settings above and you will be able to create a blog without all the spam.