How to clean up spam in you WordPress


How to deal with the comments is a personal thing for any website owner. Depending on the mood and purpose of the feedback, you may decide to leave it or delete it. But, to be honest, deleting or ignoring customer feedback is an awful idea. We are all about the fair game, right? Still, the game remains unfair until the comments and emails are sent by spam bots and human spammers.

When your website grows to the decent number of visitors, a horde of spam bots comes as a bonus. Of course, you may monitor all the feedback manually, but it is 100x times better to make that automated. Leave your effort to deal with human feedback. But for now, since you don’t want to be banned by search engines or just see garbage in the comment sections, learn how to deal with spam on your WordPress website.

WordPress settings

Let’s start with the WordPress itself, that possesses enough defensive capacity to deal with the spam. Most of the spam comes from a trackback, spam bots and human spammers. You can cut out a big amount of spam simply unchecking pingback and trackback permission in your Discussion settings:

The same settings page contains various features to allow only authorized users to leave comments, hide comment section on the old articles, activate admin approval and so on. Those methods are the basic ones and will save your comments from spambots for sure. But they can be helpless versus human spammers.

Akismet Anti-spam

Akismet Anti-spam might be a top mentioned, best protective and a most accessible plugin for WordPress to deal with the spam. It is free and comes with the WordPress by default. Its key features are:

  • Automatic check of the comments
  • Comment history of blocked comments by the plugin and moderators
  • Blocks comments and trackback spam
  • Displays the number of approved or banned comments for every user

The plugin learns what type of comments looks like a spam and sometimes “normal” user comments can be also caught by the plugin. That can be controlled by the administrator, and after deleting the banned comment from the database, Akismet will remember the choice. Akismet comes with the WordPress, but it needs to be activated. Run the plugin and follow the instructions to add your API key.

Mail spam

To reduce spam to the total minimum and exclusive occasions, you have to consider mail spam also. The most used contact form plugin for WordPress is a Contact Form 7. There are also security measures for the Contact Form 7, like CAPTCHA, and they really work. But, I’ll bet you remember the last time annoying CAPTCHA prevented you from some important action. Moreover, lazy users can avoid sending a message or writing a comment because of it. The solution is Contact Form 7 Honeypot. It is a plugin, that creates a hidden field, visible only for bots. Real users can’t see it, and bots are programmed to fill all the fields they face, so that plugin will recognize the bot and ban it. The plugin can also be configured to work with Akismet plugin.

Every website is completely different and those methods may be not that effective as for most. And if you still receive a lot of spam, let us know, we’ll fix it for you!