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stop spam comments in wordpress

One of my biggest pet peeves with running a blog on any website is the sheer number of spam comments that come up when you start writing consistent content.

No matter your industry, if you don’t have some sort of protection against spam, you’ll quickly find you’re overwhelmed with hundreds, if not thousands of spam comments every day.

So, what’s the best way to block spam comments on WordPress? In this post, I’ll show you my strategies that keep spam off my website.


The Anti-Bot Captcha

If you haven’t done so already, your first line of defence should be an anti-bot CAPTCHA code that is required to submit a comment.

These are the “prove you’re human” codes that you’re often forced to enter before submitting forms online. You see them all over the place, from blogs to financial sites, and they’re an effective way of stopping the spam before it comes in the front door.

I think it’s an essential must-have, and several plugins will integrate this functionality into your site.

This alone should cut down your unwanted activity significantly, but it’s not the only step.


Spam Detection

Like it or not, there’s always going to be some spam that gets through, even if you implement a CAPTCHA. Sometimes this is from software that has gotten good at reading anti-bot codes, but more often than not it’s from low-wage human workers, who copy and paste standard text on blogs across the internet and are manually inserting the comments.

This type of spam is harder to detect but to take things to the next level and beat them out, you’ll need some more sophisticated spam detection software.

My favourite among the bunch is Akismet. It has both a free and a paid version, and is, in my opinion, the easy top choice.

I’ve been using it on my blogs and websites for years and am consistently impressed with how well they keep their platform up to date and functioning smoothly.


A Note on WordPress’ Check for Spam Function

If you’ve been around WordPress for a little while, you may have noticed that the comment section does have a check for spam button.

Unfortunately, I find that this functionality rarely works the way it’s supposed to. In my experience, it only detects a small percentage of the spam comments that come through to your site, and it’s annoying to run. You have to manually run through every page of comments to check and eliminate spam.

That’s not so bad if you have 20 or 40 comments pending (1-2 pages), but it is annoying when you have thousands of comments to sift through.

Do yourself a favour and automate the process. I promise it’s one of the best things you can do for your blog…and your own sanity.

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