One of the most frustrating experiences for every WordPress site admin out there is the amount of the Spam that they have to tackle. As per a report, most of the spam emails on the internet comes from WordPress websites. Making their way into the websites through the comments section and contact form submissions, Spam only contributes to clutter your site, eats up the bandwidth, and depreciates the quality of your comment section.
The Spam on your WordPress website can also come with compromising content that can highly affect the reputation of your website. So, spam is bad news and it needs to be properly dealt with. Spam can be furthermore frustrating when you own a WordPress blog and you expect to receive genuine feedback from your blog readers through the comments section of your blog posts. These bot spam comments mess up with the feedback on your blog and some of them consist of spammy links that can affect the link profile of your blog/website.
One of the most primary tools offered by WordPress is the Akismet anti-spam plugin. It protects the comment section of your WordPress website from spam, bots, etc. and has been successfully able to prevent 23 billion brute force attacks to date. The plugin has seen over 1 million active installs and it really is a very effective tool for combating spam. However, there are many other things that you can do in order to combat the Spam on your WordPress site. Here’s everything you need to know about combating spam and we also bring 5 tips to protect your WordPress site against Spam.
Get Akismet Anti-spam WordPress plugin
As mentioned above, the Akismet Anti-Spam plugin is a great tool that can greatly help you tackle the spam on your WordPress website. The Akismet Anti-Spam plugin makes sure that it checks all the comments and contact form submissions that are dropped on your WordPress site. It clears about an average of about 7.5 million spam elements per hour. Once you install the plugin, it will automatically begin to filter and get rid of the NSFW comments from your site.
Akismet also integrates with some top WordPress plugins such as Jetpack and Contact Form 7. It is very easy to set up and seamless to work with. Offered using a freemium pricing model, you can download the plugin for free and will need an API Key to get started with.
Captcha to the rescue
Yet another effective way to get rid of the incoming spam on your website is by using CAPTCHA in your site’s contact forms. A lot of advanced bots are able to get through the contact form submission and successfully unload spam into your site. So, it is important to verify that the user at the end of the browser is actually a human and not a spammy bot. So, you can add a reCAPTCHA plugin to your WordPress site.
By installing a CAPTCHA plugin, you will be able to control the spam that enters your website through the contact form submissions. You can get CAPTCHA plugins for your website such as Google Captcha (reCAPTCHA) by BestWebSoft and Really Simple CAPTCHA plugin.
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Let registered users leave comments
Allowing unregistered users to leave comments on your WordPress blog is a very naive move. Hence, it is very crucial that you limit the users who are allowed to leave comments on your site. To get that done, you must disable comments for anonymous users. For example, if you are a recommendation blog and want anonymous people to drop in comments with their suggestions for a particular listicle that you are addressing in a particular blog, you can block other keywords to reduce other spam.
In order to disable comments for anonymous users, all you need to do is log in to your WordPress site’s dashboard and then go to the ‘Settings’ > ‘Discussion’ tab. Once you are there, you will be able to choose who you want to be able to leave comments on your sites and whose comments you want to get published.
Disable trackbacks and pingbacks
The blogging realm has witnessed how spammers have continued to use the feature of fake trackbacks and pings. Initially meant for notifying blogs about the mention of links, this feature has been exploited by spammy bloggers a lot. So, as a protective measure, it is absolutely okay if you choose to disable Trackbacks and Pings on your WordPress website.
So, you can simply turn off this feature by visiting the ‘Settings’ tab of your WordPress dashboard. From there, go to the ‘Discussion’ page and you will find ‘Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks) on new articles’ option. All you have to do is uncheck the box and it will disable trackbacks and pingbacks on your site.
Implement a Third-Party Comment System
If you do not want to up and about the whole spam prevention campaign for your website, you can alternatively get a third-party comment system that is capable of combating spam on its own. Comment systems like Disqus come with built-in anti-spam measures.
If you think your WordPress site can do without comments and that disabling comments altogether won’t affect your site anyhow, you can choose to turn off comments entirely for your WordPress site and shut out the spam. You can use plugins like Disable comments to get that done.
If you are in need of advanced help, you can get a web application firewall (WAF) such as Sucuri or Cloudflare to reduce spam to a huge extent. You should also look into the process of setting up a comment moderation system for your WordPress site. Creating a collection of ‘blacklisted’ words can also help you get rid of NSFW spam on your site.
Spam is a website killer and when the comment section on your WordPress site/blog is filled with spam, legitimate visitors can really get frustrated because they might end up getting interrupted by spam comments while they are trying to have a real conversation. So, if you fail to get rid of the spam on your site, your website will eventually see a drop in its reputation and traffic. So, make sure that you get rid of the spam on your WordPress site by implementing the five tips mentioned above.