Looking to figure out how to stop spam on WordPress comments? Opening up your WordPress blog for comments is a great way to collect feedback and interact with your audience.
However, it can get really messy once you start to get the attention of spammers. There are many solutions you can take to curb and prevent the spam. Here’s a quick list on how to stop spam on WordPress comments.
Useful Ways on How to Stop Spam on WordPress Comments
1. Make Sure Your Comment Links are No Follow
One of the biggest reasons why people spam on comments sections of blogs is for the SEO benefits. Site owners know that getting a link from a popular site can help their rankings go up.
By making the links no follow, these spammers will know they’re wasting their time commenting on your blog. This is how to stop spam on WordPress comments if you seem to be getting useless comments with links pointing back to relevant sites.
2. Add Captcha Verification
Another common solution to preventing spam on your blog is to add captcha verification. This is basically a verification process where the user has to enter the letter and numbers that are shown in an image.
Many websites use this solution, but it can be annoying for users to constantly verify their posts. If this seems like it would dissuade commenting, consider the other tips on how to stop spam on WordPress comments.
3. Activate Askimet
Askimet is a plugin that comes pre-installed with WordPress. This plugin basically is a feature that blocks spam. It looks for language that comes off as spam and never lets it post onto your blog.
The downside of this is that it can sometimes filter legitimate comments as spam. However, that seems to happen only on a rare basis.
4. Remove the Option to Enter URL
In the default WordPress setting, the user that’s commenting can enter a URL in the form. You’ll often see users add low-value comments like “That’s interesting” and use the opportunity to leave a link back to their site.
You can use the disable-hide-comment-URL plugin on the WordPress site and install it to prevent spammers from being able to leave their link.
5. Disable HTML
Another issue that you deal with is people going around blogs that don’t have any URL forms. They use HTML and link back to their site from within the comments section. This can be very deceptive as they can create a long post and hyperlink a short keyword back to their site.
To prevent this from happening, you can disable users from using HTML period. Look for the Literal Comments plugin in the WordPress site to only allow text to be used.
6. Let Commenting Options Expire
One of the most annoying aspects of running a blog is old posts being overrun by spam. This can ruin the value of your archived posts or bring attention to posts that you don’t want to go back to. The easy solution to prevent this from happening is to disallow users from commenting on your posts after a certain time period.
By going to the settings and then discussion section in the WordPress control panel, you can close comments after a set amount of days. This is one of the most clever and simple tactics on how to stop spam on WordPress comments.
7. Install WP Spam Fighter to Trick Bots
While you can prevent manual spam by following the mentioned tips, you still have to deal with bots that have complex algorithms that are designed to get around the spam filters and get the comment to go through.
Fortunately, you can use WP Spam Fighter to combat these annoying bots. This is a free plugin you can find on the WordPress site. It uses a feature called honeypot to trap these bots and prevent them from posting.
The plugin cleverly puts a fake and invisible form that when filled, triggers the plugin to block the bots. This is how to stop spam on WordPress comments when you seem to be inundated with bots on your site.
8. Stop Trackback Spam
Another issue that WordPress site owners have to deal with is trackback spam. A trackback is basically a signal that is sent whenever a post of your is featured on another site. While there are good intentions for this feature, spammers use it to their own advantage.
Trackbacks on default are automatically accepted. So what the spammers are trying to do is to locate sites where the trackbacks options have not been touched to get a free link back to their sites.
The simple way to stop this is to go to your discussion settings again and check off ‘allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks).’
9. Moderate Comment Spam with Keywords
There are certain keywords that definitely screams spam. You can use the moderation feature to look for this feature and prevent posts that contain these keywords. To pull this off, go to your discussion settings again and go the comments blacklist section.
Here, you can enter words to blacklist in the comments section. It’s important that you don’t use common words as it will trigger the moderation feature and block the post.
You may want to target commercial terms like viagra, tramadol, Canada pharmacy and other similar terms that are commonly associated with spam.
Summing It Up
Now that you know how to stop spam on WordPress comments, you can open up your blog for discussion again. You’ll have all the tools in the arsenal to deal with bots and manual spammers alike.
The benefits of preventing spam are that you’ll prevent spammers to damage the reputation of your site, stop the link value from going out of your site, and protect your audience from being exposed to harmful sites and commercial messages.
And it’s not just about the fact that you know how to stop spam on WordPress comments. You’ll have to determine which combination of tools you’re going to use to combat the spam.