If you have a WordPress blog (and if you have comments turned on), you may have seen random, unrelated comments posted on your website. This is called ‘comment spam’. That means someone is trying to draw your visitor away from your site, and onto their own site.
Spam comments are a headache. They make your site look unprofessional and neglected. In addition, they distract your blog reader with irrelevant (and sometimes inappropriate) text or links. Overall, having them appear on your site sends a negative message to your visitor about your business.
Manually deleting comments can be time-consuming. Fortunately, there are other alternatives. In this article, I review what spam comments are, and how you can reduce spam comments on your WordPress site.
What Are Spam Comments?
Spam Comments are like digital junk mail. Think about all the advertisements you receive in your mailbox or inbox each week. You delete or trash most of them. However, spammers are hoping that one will catch your attention and get you to open the email and click to their website.
Spam comments work the same way. They’re unsolicited advertisements designed to catch your attention, even for just a few seconds, so that you might click their link and buy their product.
Many people believe that spam is the same as being hacked, but that’s not the case. In this article, I explain the difference between spammers and hackers.
What Can You Do About Spam Comments?
One way to address the issue of spam is to not have the Comments turned on for your blog posts. Unfortunately, this means that website visitors who have a legitimate comment can’t post and share their thoughts.
ReCaptchas work with forms to prevent bots from filling out fake forms. However, ReCaptchas don’t block unwanted fake comments on your blog posts. (if you don’t know what “ReCaptcha” is you can read my article that explains ReCaptcha here)
Fortunately, there are WordPress plugins that can reduce comment spam for you. Just install one or more of these plugins. Next, click to activate it. Finally, enjoy your spam-free website!
Top 5 WordPress Plugins to Help Combat Spam Comments:
This one is our favorite! It’s been working very well for us and was easy to set up.
Akismet comes bundled with WordPress. You just need to get an API key from Akismet.com to use it. It’s free for personal use. For advanced protection, you can pay to upgrade to Akismet Plus.
WP Cerber Security, Anti-spam & Malware Scan
This plugin offers more than just spam blocking. It also protects against hackers and malware. It’s free for a basic-version that includes spam protection. For the additional security features, you will need to upgrade to the PRO version.
This one used to be popular and highly rated. However, many recent reviewers don’t like the new update. It has added features that make it more complex and bloated. In short, it’s not the simple anti-spam plugin it once was.
Spam Protection, AntiSpam, FireWall by CleanTalk
Fee-based after a trial period. Seems to have good tech support. Reviews say that it is simple and easy to use.
Try an Anti-Spam Plugin on your Website
In conclusion, spam is inevitable on any website if you have commenting turned on. If you start getting spam comments, it doesn’t mean that your website is vulnerable to attack or has been hacked. It’s just unsolicited digital advertisements that are using your website as a platform to reach more people. It’s annoying, but not a security risk.
The good news is that you don’t have to waste time deleting spam from your site. These plugins will do it for you, so you’ll be able to focus your time on revenue-generating tasks.
I love how developers create plugins to help WordPress users solve problems. If you’re thinking of adding a plugin, be sure to read my article on questions to ask before installing a plugin.
Each anti-spam plugin offers unique services and features. Test them out, and see which one you like best. If you have another anti-spam plugin you like, we’d love to hear about it!
(This article originally appeared in July of 2014)