How to fight WordPress Spam Comment by filtering and blocking them for GOOD

Filed Under: WordPress

I use WordPress as my blogging platform. It’s awesome and used by millions of websites. That’s why it has always been targeted by Spammers who post spam comments. Most of these spam comments contains useless text with links to phishing or adult websites, that hurt website reputation.

There are two ways spammer post spam comments.

  1. Manual Spam Comments: A user can always post comments manually with lots of useless stuffs and links. This is common but it takes time for spammer and less time for comment moderator to mark it spam and delete it. That’s why this form of spamming is not very popular.
  2. Spam Bots: Spam bots are softwares or scripts that a spammer use to automatically post comments to different websites. Some of these spam bots are smart enough to crawl the website or go through the feed to get the list of articles to post spam comments. This is the most popular way of posting spam comments because you don’t need to do anything. But if not taken care from the very start, filtering these comments from genuine comments can be tiresome for the moderator.

So how do we take care of spam comments. There are two free WordPress plugins that I use to take care of spam comments by filtering and blocking them. Let’s have a look at them one by one and understand why we need both.

Akismet Plugin

Akismet is a must have plugin for any WordPress website. The best part is that it’s totally free and it’s from Automattic, the guys behind WordPress. When a comment is posted, it’s sent to Akismet server that uses intelligent algorithms to determine if it’s spam. Since spammers target multiple websites at a time, they get caught in sometime and then all the comments from them are filtered and marked as Spam. Below image shows my Akismet stats for now.

Akismet-Dashboard

As you can see, it’s highly effective and saved me a lot of time and frustration. However there were 621 missed spams and 121 false positives. It’s a small number, but still I was loosing some genuine comments and wasting some time in marking spam for missed spam comments.

I can spent some time in taking care of missed spams but loosing genuine comments was not an option for me. Moreover, I had to check Spam comments to find these false positive comments. If your blog is popular, chances are you will miss them and the users will remain clueless as why their comment was not posted.

Anti-Spam Plugin

Being in Software industry myself, I knew that most of the spam comments are posted through spam bots. I have seen some websites use Captcha forms but Spam comments are my problem, not the user who is posting comment. So I didn’t wanted to use Captcha and looking for other options. If I could find a way to determine if a comment is posted by spam bots, I could just delete them and then take care of manual spam myself.

Lucky for me, this was already been thought off and I found Anti-Spam plugin. Once you install this plugin, you are done with Spam bots. A recent update (~2 weeks back) started showing the number of comments this plugin has blocked and you can see my stats in below image.

Anti-Spam-Data

This smart plugin just adds couple of hidden tags in the comment form, one of them is filled with current year through JavaScript and another one is left blank intentionally. Since spam bots are software, either they just miss these tags in posting the comments or they fill both the tags and get caught, pretty smart!

Once a comment is caught as being posted by Spam bots, you will never see it. It works before Akismet, so it reduces some load on your server and database too.

I started using Anti-Spam plugin around April-2014, check below image that shows Akismet detailed stats, notice the drop in Spam comments from May 2014 onwards.

Akismet-Detailed-Stats

That’s all you need to take care of spam comments in your WordPress blog. Anti-Spam block the spam comments and takes care of spam comments from spam bots. Akismet then takes care of filtering manual comments and finding if a comment is Spam. Hope you like these plugins as much as I do and use them at your WordPress blog to get rid of Spam comments.

Comments

  1. Maisie Williams says:

    I always thought pre installed Akismet plugin is for no good and i always deleted it from my blog https://moviesgraphy.com. Reading this article, i installed it again and what a great relief from spam comments. It was a movie website and i get almost 50 on average daily spam comments.

    Thanks Pankaj

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