4 ways to reduce spam from comments in WordPress


If you have had any visitors at all to your website you probably have had some spam comments posted. How do you reduce or eliminate spam from your comments?

What is spam?

Spam is commenting on blogs to get URLs posted on legitimate sites in order to increase the Google rankings of their sites. This can be done manually or automatically by using bots.

Bot is short for robot. A bot is a program that posts comments automatically.

Almost always the comment adds no value to the post and includes links to get rich quick schemes or something like that.

There are several different ways to reduce spam on your website.

  • Blog Settings – In WordPress under the settings screen, choose discussion.
    • You can choose whether people are allowed to post comments.
    • You may want to require your users to be registered or logged in to post.
    • Most importantly, check off the “An administrator must always approve the comment” checkbox.
    • You should check off the “Comment author must fill out name and e-mail ” checkbox
    • If you have followed these guidelines you will need to approve all comments.
      • Spam comments always include URLs. If they look funny (i.e. http://tinyurl.com/7eqw4uj) delete the comment.
      • The email address may also look strange (i.e. Tom.JJ@googlemail.com). Delete these comments as well.
      • The message will often just include praise, but have no substance such as “I love your post.” Delete these comments.
      • When in doubt mark it as spam and delete
  • Use a plugin such as Akismet
    • Akismet is WordPress plugin that is installed by default. It does an excellent job of marking comments as spam. You can then delete them or approve them.
  • Use a plugin to implement CAPTCHA such as Blue Captcha.
    • CAPTCHA adds a box on your comment form that requires people to enter the characters that they see on the screen in order to be able to post the comment.
    • This is an excellent defense against bots. Bots are not able to read these characters so it stops them dead.
    • The downside to CAPCTHA is that most human users find it really annoying.
  • Place a hidden field on your form using Javascript or CSS.
    • Bots usually just look at the code of your form. They do not check to see if the field is visible or not. So they will fill out the field with some kind of information.
    • Check this field to see if it is empty. If it is most likely the commenter is human.
    • This requires some knowledge of coding.

All of these methods work to some degree. Akismet is the easiest to implement and does an excellent job. Most of all it is free. I have changed the comments options in my settings to reduce some of the spam and also to force me to moderate all comments before they are posted. I also use Akismet.

For more information on customizing WordPress visit our other WordPress pages by clicking here. There are also a WordPress plugins page here.

5 Responses to “4 ways to reduce spam from comments in WordPress”

  1. Tim Dillmuth Says:

    I also used Akismet. Before I started using it I got tons of “spam comments”. Now I hardly get any. It made a huge difference.

  2. Basil Rehill Says:

    Thanks Tim. It’s nice to know that my advice proves true for some people.

  3. GRAYDON L. HUFF, SR. Says:

    YES, I WOULD APPRECIATE IT IF YOU COULD HELP ME OR STEAR ME IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. I NEED SOMEONE TO SHOW ME HOW TO PUT MY “ARCHIVES” ON “WORD PRESS”..RIGHT NOW, IT POSTS EVERY TIME I PUT ONE ON THERE, BUT THE NEXT DAY YOU HAVE TO HIT THE “PREVIOUS” BUTTON TO GO BACK. I WANT SOMEHOW TO SHOW A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE CAN GO TO SEE ALL OF MY ARCHIVES…Thank you so much.

  4. Basil Rehill Says:

    The way your archives are displayed is governed by the theme you have used. Your website seems to have archives displayed in your menu. You also have your previous post displayed under your current post.

    Most themes provide a sidebar that allows you to add widgets to. Jetpack is installed by default with all WordPress installs. This is a plugin that allows you to drag and drop widgets onto your widget enabled sidebar.

    I hope this has been helpful.

    Basil

  5. Basil Says:

    You can also use WPBayes. WPBayes plugin implements spam filtering using Naive Bayesian classifier. This plugin will automatically classify new comments as legitimate or spam based on past decision done by you.

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