Combating Spam on WordPress Sites Quickly and Effectively

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WordPress sites are easy to manage and maintain. However, the vast quantities of spam comments and spam registrations can plague your site and slow it down with the bulk.

While some websites receive 10-15 spam comments per day, some of the most popular websites deal with thousands of spam comments and robot comments every week. It is not only annoying for the webmasters, but it is very detrimental to the reputation of popular websites.

Some website owners may think that spam is part of online life, but they could not be more wrong. You need to actively tackle the spam bots and human spammers and thwart their efforts of spamming your site.

Taking care of spam should not rule your calendar

WordPress users have a considerable advantage – taking care of spam is not a time-consuming affair for them. Once you configure your site correctly, you can always install an anti-spam plug-in to protect your site and reputation.

Start with the configuration of the discussion settings. The best way to tackle any comment spam is to turn on manual approval settings for your comment section. This way, you will get to review every comment manually before they become visible to your visitors.

Turn to manual for taking full control

Another way to achieve this quickly is to turn on manual approval for each first time commenter. You can access this option in the Settings section of the admin panel. Once you approve the first comment of any commenter, all their following comments become automatically approved. You do not have sit through thousands of comments made by just one user.

This works almost 100% of the times since spammers never take enough time to write a worthwhile comment. Most expert spammers use comment bots, and you can always spot one when you see one at the first go.

Use your moderation queue to block spam

You can also use your moderation queue to block specific comments and commenters. You can always specify certain “banned words” in your comment blacklist. The system will automatically block all subsequent comments containing these words. Most common spam comments contain the words “Check out,” “Buy,” “win” and so on.

You can always check out an online library of such trigger words that are common for almost all bot comments and blacklist them.

Make it mandatory for commenters to register

To restrict the propagation of spam on your website, allow only registered users to comment on your post. It is true that you may miss out on many comments from passers-by, who have found your website through other websites like Facebook or Reddit. At the same time, you will be saved from many spambot attacks and fake commenters who do not have the time or intention of registering.

However, the new age spammers are smart and educated. They can create hundreds of fake accounts on your website to bombard it with spammy comments and links. Captcha forms and verification codes are sort of useful when it comes to the reduction of registration spam. However, nothing works as good as manual activation of contributors, authors, editors and user accounts.

Automating the spam protection for your WordPress site

If you are not too big on the WordPress DIY spam prevention steps, worry not! You can avail multitudes of WordPress plugins that can protect your website from attacks –

Akismet

It has to be the #1 plugin when it comes to spam protection. Akismet will protect your site from spam, it will manage your comments, and it will save your disk space, thus speeding up your website. This plugin has its own spam database, which it uses to compare the comments your website posts receive. You can always mark comments as “Not Spam.” This plug-in learns as it grows. On most websites, Akismet shows a striking 99.5 percent accuracy rating.

Antispam Bee

The Antispam Bee is a vast collection of anti-spam tools and filters, uniquely compatible with WordPress. Using the comment filter, you can mark any comment with BB Code as spam.

Using the Antispam Bee, you can clean the spam in your database after a certain number of days. It can find and recognize spam indicators to send spam comments to deletion or trash directly. You can see your spam stats on the dashboard.

Anti-spam

This lightweight and precise plugin comes without a settings area. It is unique, powerful, and efficient for stopping spam comments. It does not rely on your commenters completing Captcha tests. Anti-Spam sets up an invisible trap for spambots. The simple but effective tricks always put the bots in a tizzy. This plugin does not work with Jetpack comments, and you can buy the pro version for just $14.

Database management has never been easier before the advent of WordPress plugins. These plugins make sure even the senior DBAs can breathe a sigh of relief when they have to maintain their website databases on a regular basis.

Sujain Thomas is an expert database consultant with a post-graduate diploma from MIT. She frequently posts on the tech blogs and forums to clarify the doubts of database consulting freshers and experts.

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