Is your WordPress blog being flooded with comment spam? Does it take you several hours each week to sift through these comments, deleting spam and approving those you want to keep? I know your pain.
Your comments should be a positive space for your readers to express themselves and engage with your work – but they often take a turn for the worse.
If you find yourself in this position, you are not alone. Fortunately there are steps you cant take to prevent WordPress comment spam in the future. Once you make a few critical (yet simple) changes, you may be surprised at how quickly the spam comes to an end.
Here are my tips:
1. Configure your discussion settings. Many people jump past this and immediately begin their search for a plug-in or alternate solution. Don’t make this mistake.
Here is an ironclad tip for stopping comment spam: check the box to manually approve every comment. While this will keep spam comments from showing on your site, it will also mean more time out of your schedule to manually deny or approve each comment. Are you okay with that tradeoff?
Note: experiment with the “Comment author must have a previously approved comment” setting. This way, once a legitimate party submits one comment, they can do so again in the future without the need for your approval.
2. Activate Akismet. Upon installing WordPress on your website, this plug-in can be accessed through the dashboard.
You don’t have to install the plug-in. You don’t have to pay a single cent to use it. All you have to do is activate the plug-in and let it get to work.
With this in place, a large number of spam comments will be weeded out on your behalf. But don’t worry, you can always review your spam comments from time to time to make sure nothing legitimate snuck into the filter.
Other popular WordPress comment spam plug-ins include:
Feel free to experiment with all these plug-ins, tracking the results of each one. You may soon find that one works better for your blog than the rest.
3. Add captcha verification. With WP-reCAPTCHA, for example, you can make a user prove they are human before leaving a comment. This will not have any impact on manually submitted comment spam, but it will take care of spam bots. Additionally, many people shy away from sites with captcha verification, as they know the webmaster is on the lookout for spam.
4. Final tip: remove the website URL field from the comment form. This is the field that attracts spammers of all kind. They share the goal of leaving a comment to receive a backlink to their site. If you eliminate the URL field, there is no reason for an automated or human spammer to leave a comment.
With roughly 75 million sites powered by WordPress (as of last year), it is easy to see that this is one of the most popular content management systems available. If you want to improve your overall experience, consider the advice above for preventing comment spam in the future.