How to Stop WordPress Comment Spam
WordPress comment spam is a familiar problem that website owners have to deal with. With spam spreading on your site, visitors may view your website as low quality and search engines may flag your site as unsafe.
Reducing these spam comments is essential to maintaining your website’s reputation. This article explores four practical ways to stop comment spam on your WordPress website.
What is WordPress comment spam?
Comment spam is comments left by spambots that are unrelated to your content and are intended to use your site as an advertisement for their website or act as a form of phishing attack. Comment spammers usually leave hyperlinks and trick unsuspecting visitors into clicking on them to boost their search engine rankings.
Protecting your site from spam comments starts in the admin dashboard. We’ll explore options for managing your comments section using the built-in features of WordPress.
One of the ways to combat unwanted comments on your posts is to create an additional barrier for spammers. You can do this by allowing only registered users to comment.
- To do this, open the Settings menu on your Dashboard.
- Then go to Discussion page.
- Under the Other comment settings section, check the Users must be registered and logged in to comment option. Save your changes.
Managing your comments is a great way to protect your website from spam. You can moderate comments with the built-in functionality of WordPress, as you will have full control over the comments posted on your site.
Enable comment moderation by going to Settings → Discussion and scroll down.
Here you can configure WordPress to notify you by email whenever a new comment is present so that you can check whether or not it is a spam comment.
Another option is to manually approve each comment before it is posted. Enable it by checking the box Comment needs to be manually approved option.
To allow previously approved users to post new comments without manual approval, select the checkbox The author of the comment must have a previously approved comment.
Make a list of blocked words
You may find spam comments on your site containing certain specific keywords. You can automatically put these comments in the trash to save time.
You can list blocked keywords and comments containing these will be automatically deleted. Choose words carefully so as not to accidentally delete comments from well-meaning users.
Under WordPress Discussion menu, scroll down until you see the Comment keys not allowed option. Then fill it with the keywords you want to block.
If you are concerned about specific keywords but don’t want comments to be automatically deleted, you can set WordPress to alert you each time they are posted.
When listing keywords in the Moderation of comments , comments containing these words will go to the comment moderation queue instead of the trash can. You will be notified of potential spam messages and will not lose genuine comments.
One of the main characteristics of spam comments is the high number of hyperlinks. Therefore, you can set comments with a number of links to enter the moderation queue before they are published.
Disabling the comments section will potentially cause you to lose valuable information or questions from your visitors. However, this option will eliminate any possibility of spam messages appearing on your website.
Remember that this option will prevent people from commenting. You can also Delete all comments if you want to do it.
To disable comments fully, scroll down on the Discussion until you see the Default post settings section. Then deselect the Allow users to submit comments on new posts option.
Note that people will still be able to comment on your previously published posts. To disable comments for your previous entries, you will need to edit the settings for each posted article individually.
Many spam comments are left by bots, so CAPTCHA can be a great tool for you. CAPTCHA generates a form or a question to prove that the user is not a bot. You can add CAPTCHA to your WordPress site using a WordPress plugin.
One of the best options available is to use Google reCAPTCHA. WordPress users may find reading obscure letters and numbers or selecting images too complicated.
Meanwhile, Google reCAPTCHA only asks users to check a box confirming that they are human. However, if it finds suspicious traffic, it will present a set of images that you must first identify.
The reCAPTCHA by BestWebSoft The plugin can be downloaded from Dashboard → plugins.
You can stop comment spam more easily in WordPress by installing an anti-spam plugin. Here are some interesting options:
Akismet spam protection is a free plugin developed by Automatique. This plugin checks all comments and filters out those that look like spam.
Since spam comments usually contain multiple hyperlinks, Akismet displays the URL in the body of the comment to reveal hidden or misleading links. Moderators can also see the number of approved comments for each user to save time.
We explained earlier that you can use the built-in WordPress functionality and disable comments on the Discussion page. However, disabling comments will not disable the comments section for previously posted posts.
You can use the Disable Comments WordPress plugin to completely disable comments on all your posts. Additionally, you can individually select the post, page, or media file that should allow visitor comments.
Web Application Firewall (WAF) as Cloudy helps protect web applications by monitoring HTTP traffic between a web application and the Internet. It protects your website and your WordPress Host filtering and blocking all bad proxy traffic and bots.
Since spam comments are usually generated by spam bots with suspicious traffic patterns, you can reduce these unwanted comments by preventing bots from visiting your site altogether.
Reducing spam comments is key to maintaining your website’s authority. In this article, we’ve explored effective and practical ways to stop spam comments. Here is a brief recap:
- Use of built-in WordPress features. Monitor your comments section with this built-in feature.
- Activate Google reCAPTCHA. Make sure no spambots are allowed to post comments using this security method.
- Install a WordPress plugin. Download and activate a third-party anti-spam plugin to automate comment section moderation on your website.
If you want to learn more about improving your WordPress website Moreover, we have prepared a tutorial just for that.
Finally, if you have any other questions or suggestions, let us know in the comment section.