8 Effective Tips and Tools to Tackle Comment Spam in WordPress
Comment spam is probably the most common kind of spam that can bother your WordPress website. Spam comments are a big problem and more so if you are not prepared to deal with them properly.
In this blog, we’ll share the best WordPress comment spam plugins and tips to combat spam comments in WordPress. These tips will significantly eliminate comment spam from your website and save you a lot of time.
Tip 1: Turn on Comment Moderation
The first thing you can do to avoid spam comments is to ensure that no comment on your website is published without your approval. This will ensure that comments don’t bypass any filters. It will also give you full control of the comments appearing on your website.
This solution is highly recommended for business websites such as law firms, accounting, etc. This is because common moderation prevents spam comments from being directly visible to all after posting.
From your WordPress Dashboard, navigate to the Settings > Discussion page. Now, scroll down to the section named ‘Before a comment appears’. Check the box next to the ‘Comment must be manually approved’ option. Now, click the ‘Save Changes’ button.
Now, you’ll have to manually approve each comment for it to appear on your website.
Tip 2: Activate Akismet
Akismet is an anti-spam plugin. It comes pre-installed with WordPress. This plugin filters all the comments on your WordPress website through Akismet’s anti-spam database. Then, it catches and marks the most common types of spam comments.
Although Akismet is available as a free plugin, you’ll still need to signup for their API key. You can get the API key for free for a personal blog or a small website.
Tip 3: Use Honeypot to avoid Spam Bots
Honeypot technology is a great method to trick spambots into identifying themselves. Once identified, their comments can be blocked.
Firstly, you’ll have to install and activate the Antispam Bee WordPress plugin. Upon activation, navigate to Settings > Antispam Bee page and check the option to mark as spam for all honeypot caught comments. Click on the save changes button to store your settings.
The plugin will now use the honeypot technique to catch spam bots. It also has other antispam filters to detect and block spam bots from commenting on your site.
Tip 4: Use Sucuri
While Akismet can catch spam comments and Honeypot can avoid spam bots, they cannot stop spammers from accessing your website. Excessive requests from spammers to post comments can slow down your website and affect performance.
This is where Sucuri can help you out. Sucuri helps you by blocking suspicious requests even before they reach your website.
It can prevent automated bots and scripts from submitting comments. This decreases the load on your server and reduces the number of spam comments you receive. So, your website performs optimally while avoiding spam!
Tip 5: Use Google reCAPTCHA verification
You can enable Google reCAPTCHA challenge on your comment forms by using reCAPTCHA in WP Comments plugin.
ReCAPTCHA is an advanced form of CAPTCHA. CAPTCHA is a technology used to differentiate between robots and human users. It is short for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart”.
Thanks to Google, users can easily verify their identity by simply clicking on the checkbox button. But, this technology is quite hard to bypass for spam bots. This is because when Google detects a spam bot, it gives them a more difficult challenge.
Tip 6: Disable Comments on Media attachments
WordPress automatically creates image attachment pages. Here, users can see an image and even leave a comment on it.
If you are linking your images to the attachment page, then soon you’ll have a lot of attachment pages with comments enabled on them.
You should turn off comments on media attachments if you don’t want users to comment on images. You can do this easily by installing the Disable Comments plugin. Upon activation, go to Settings > Disable Comments page and check the box next to the ‘Media’ option. Click on the Save Changes button to save your settings.
Tip 7: Set limits on Comment length
You can also combat comment spam by using the Yoast Comment Hacks plugin to set minimum and maximum comment length.
It could be that you’re receiving spam that is too simple to be detected by anti-spam plugins like Akismet. Maybe just a one-word message which won’t be detected as spam automatically.
If that’s the case, simply enable the Yoast Comment Hacks plugin and set the minimum and maximum comment length. This forces the user to enter a comment that is more meaningful than just a one-word message.
Tip 8: Turn off Comments on old posts
With WordPress, you can turn off comments on old posts. This is especially helpful for websites publishing content that is more timely like news websites.
Simply go to Settings > Discussion, and under ‘Other comment settings’ you’ll see the option ‘Automatically close comments on articles older than’. Check the box next to this option and enter the number of days you want comments to be displayed on a post.
Now, WordPress will automatically turn off comments on posts older than the number of days you mentioned in this option.
Spammers want to improve search rankings or lure innocent visitors to malicious sites. They think that they can get more links by spamming and somehow, it will positively affect their search rankings. It’s a good dream to have. You and your WordPress site must be ready to handle all such scammers. Use the tips provided above to prevent comment spam on your WordPress website.
We hope the tips and tools mentioned in this article helped you combat comment spam in WordPress.
Got any questions? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll get back to you. You can also write to us for more comprehensive queries and questions.