How To Deal With Unwanted WordPress Spam Comments
July 17, 2019 Sanjay Dabhoya

WordPress is indeed a great platform to meet your business requirements online. Whether you want to come up with a blog or a feature-rich company website, WordPress remains a preferable choice thanks to its reliability and robustness. But then, WordPress is an open-source platform and has some loopholes to deal with while managing your business website. One of the most prevalent problems with a WordPress business website is spam comments.

What makes comment spam in WordPress a big problem? Well, we can consider it from two aspects- One, such comments can reduce the credibility of your website and two; it can make your website appear as a cheap or average one. Therefore, here we give some handy tips and tricks to eliminate spam comments on your website. These tips will also help you save time and efforts while dealing with such comments effectively.

But, before going through these tips, let’s understand what comment spam in WordPress is and how it works.

Why should You Address Comment Spam in WordPress?

Either bots or humans are responsible for spam comments. Basically, they are off-topic and badly written pieces of content that may have links to third-party websites. The sole purpose of such comments is to get ranking in search engines and drive innocent visitors to malicious websites.

spam comments

Once spam comments are approved and published, both actual users and search engines can readily see them. It impacts the reputation of your website and business negatively. Your website may lose ranking from SERPs and visitors may not visit your website again. Therefore, it is necessary to address the comment spam on your website.

Top Ten Tips to Combat Comment Spam in Your Website.

 

1. Enable Comment Moderation

Comment moderation enables you to approve comments before publishing them on your website. As a first and basic step, it ensures that no comment can bypass filters. In other words, you will have full control over the comments, and you can easily get rid of comment spam.

Law firms, accounting companies, and other B2C websites can utilize this solution. All you need to go to Settings>> Discussion page into the WordPress admin. There, you can scroll down to the ‘Before a comment appears’ part and check the box in front of ‘Comment must be manually approved’ option. Finally, just don’t forget to press the ‘Save Changes’ button before leaving the ‘Settings’ area.

approved comments

If you find it tiresome and time-taking task to go through each and every comment all the time, now onward, we will give you other effective ways to eliminate the comment spam in WordPress.

 

2. Use Akismet Anti-spam Protection

WordPress is known for its plugins that enhance the functionality of websites. One of its important pre-installed plugins is Akismet, which is an anti-spam plugin. It can filter out all the comments on your WordPress website with the help of the anti-spam database. It catches the most common types of spam comments in WordPress website effectively.

Akismet WordPress Plugin

Many WordPress has pre-installed Akismet. All you need to register to utilize this free plugin. You can use Akismet plugin for blog and business website alike. The good thing is the database of Akismet is continuously updated to recognize comment spam for a long time. It also shows the flagged comments.

Antispam Bee is another option of Akismet, which is a time-tested and feature-rich plugin.

 

3. Go for Sucuri Plugin

Though Akismet and other related anti-spam plugins can effectively prevent comment spam in WordPress, they simply cannot stop spammers. Many comments and requests of spammers can increase the load time of your website and hamper its performance. Therefore, it is necessary to cease the spammer’s access to your website.

Sucuri WordPress Plugin

Here Sucuri comes into the picture. As one of the best WordPress firewall plugin, Sucuri lets you block suspicious or spam requests well before reaching a website. Sucuri can also prevent bots and scripts. In a way, it can prevent automated ways of submitting comments. As a result, the load on your website’s servers is reduced and the number of spam comments is decreased.

Useful Read: Top 10 WordPress Security Plugins 2019 (Keep Your Site Secure)

 

4. Establish New Comments System

You must be heard of Disqus. Though developing a new system for comments does not always work, a few third-party systems like Disqus can help you eliminate the spam from the business website. Alternatively, you can use Facebook comments for your website. Such comments systems are efficient, but you have to depend on their functionality and ever-changing policies to prevent spam.

Disqus

Simply put, third-party comments system gives you limited control and access to prevent spam comments. You can rely on them but they may not highly selective and customizable for your website.

 

5. Add reCAPTCHA Verification

Google’s reCAPTCHA challenge is immensely popular and highly effective to prevent bots from submitting comments on your business websites. As an advanced version of CAPTCHA, it can readily differentiate between robots and humans. When it comes to WordPress website, you can use reCAPTCHA in WP Comments plugin to enable Google reCAPTCHA.

reCAPTCHA in WP comments form

Google’s reCAPTCHA challenge is quite hard for spambots because it enables Google to detect them. Bots cannot dodge out this challenge. What’s more, the users of Google’s CAPTCHA verification find it very useful and interesting as compared to other WordPress comment captcha plugins.

 

6. Never Give Website URL Field in Comment Section

URL of your website is a very important and crucial factor for comment spam in WordPress. If you give the URL field in the Comment Form, it not only attracts spammers of all types but also invites cybercriminals or people with mala fide intentions.

Typically spam comments consist of a few irrelevant lines and the author’s name is combined with a keyword. For example, Dolly@SEOnuts and Sarah from Web World, etc.

You can add the code to filter the WordPress comment form fields and remove your website’s URL from your Comments Form. Here we give the code to add in functions.php file of your website’s theme.

  1. function wpb_disable_comment_url($fields) {
  2. unset($fields[‘url’]);
  3. return $fields;
  4. }
  5. add_filter(‘comment_form_default_fields’,’wpb_disable_comment_url’);

You can also add this code in a site-specific plugin.

 

7. Disable Comments on Attachments

WordPress creates image attachments pages automatically where users see the image or leave a comment. If you link the images of your website to the attachment page, then soon your website will have a lot of attachment pages with comments. If you do not want visitors to leave comments on the images they view on your website, then you should disable comments on media attachments. You can easily do so by installing the plugin known as Disable Comments.

Disable Comments – WordPress plugin

Disable Comments allows you to turn off comments for various post types like posts, pages, and media. You can check in front of Media option to stop people commenting on images and other media. You can also disable HTML in comments to prevent spam links in the comments.

 

8. Define Maximum and Minimum Comment Length

Another effective way to get rid of comment spam in WordPress website is to set a minimum and maximum length of the comment. You can preset the comment’s length by using Yoast Comment Hacks plugin. At times, Akismet and Sucuri plugins unable to block comments that start with normal words and have a natural flow. There, Yoast Comment Hacks can enable you to set the minimum length of comment. It forces the spammer to leave a meaningful comment in a few words instead of leaving a single word message.

 

9. Disable Trackbacks

Trackbacks are not necessary for most WordPress blogs. On the other hand, the core of comment spam is trackbacks. You can simply disable trackbacks on the blog or a specific post. It can significantly reduce the comment spam in WordPress.

In the Discussion portion in the Admin section of your WordPress website, you will find the following lines along with a box:

“Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks) on new articles”

You can simply check the box and turn trackbacks off.

Disable trackback

 

10. Switch Off Comments

WordPress facilitates you to turn off comments on older posts. Blogging and news or event-based websites find this feature very helpful because it prevents spammers to post comments on old posts.

Disable comments

You can go to Discussion. Here in the ‘Other comment settings’ portion, you will see the option of closing comments on older articles with the following line-

‘Automatically close comments on articles older than ________ days’

You can fill the number of days and check the box. If you take this option, WordPress will automatically close the comment facility on posts older than the predefined number of days.

If you want to completely switch off the comments on your website, you can also do it by unchecking the box in front of the line ‘Allow people to post comments on new articles’.

 

Wrapping Up

Spam comments are dangerous because they make your website indecent and unprofessional. As a result, real visitors tend to stay away from it. But then, cleaning of spam comments is also quite a task. Therefore, it is necessary to plan a powerful anti-spam strategy that includes a list of ‘blacklisted’ words, integration of anti-spam plugin like Akismet, and establishing a comment moderation system. However, this strategy requires continuous time and a lot of efforts. Therefore, you should consult a WordPress web development company to define a proper strategy for your business website.

Hope these tips and tools will be useful for you to prevent spam comment on your website. If you have any questions regarding these top tips mentioned above or want to build a seamlessly-performing WordPress website, then we’re here to help. Just send us a message at info@solwininfotech.com, and our expert consultants will get back to you soon.

Also Read: Top 10 Tricks To Make Your WordPress Website Secure

Categories : Tips and Tricks, WordPress

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Sanjay Dabhoya

Founder & CEO

Sanjay is an entrepreneur who has been contributing to the overall vision of the organization as a mentor. Apart from being an entrepreneur, he is a developer, trainer and reader. His unique and innovative ideas has helped the organization and the clients to thrive and achieve a progressive business objective.

Read more posts by Sanjay Dabhoya

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