How to Fight Against WordPress Comment Spam

When you achieve popularity in the world of bloggers, the spammers begin to attack more frequently with comments full of pornography, Viagra, spam links, etc. To get relief from this unwanted comment spam you need to go ahead and join the spam hunting tour. But remember the spammers have many tactics, so you need to focus on keeping your weapons updated at all times.

1. Akismet

akismet3

The most important WordPress plugin, Akismet, is pre-installed in your blog. You’ll need to activate it and get an API key. In Akismet Guide for WordPress Users you will learn more about Akismet. This plugin is a great first line of defense against comment spam. It may occasionally capture good comments filtered out as spam, but you have the option to recover them and it’s worth using regardless.

2. Nofollow Comment Links

Your DoFollow links attract spammers to gain link juice from your website by sending comment spam. To defeat their efforts, just nofollow the comment links. WordPress has an external nofollow attribute to all blog links by default. To get more comments you may use Dofollow, but it is harmful for your WordPress in the long run.

3. Blacklist Spammers

blacklist

You can blacklist the spammers through WordPress by using their email address, URL, name, or even IP. You just need to provide information in the blacklist box. Go to Setting then Discussion Tab and the spam comment will not be seen again.

It may happen that you have approved some comments accidentally; in that case you can use the Comment Moderation box to be moderated by the administrator. For doing this, just provide email, URL, name, or IP and this specific user’s comment in the box.

In the Moderation box there is an option of holding comments in the queue if it contains 2 or more links. By selecting a number of 1, 2 or more you can restrict the comments which contain 1 or more links or URLs. This provides you with a tool for blocking link spam before it starts.

4. Captcha Verification

SI_captcha

The plugin SI CAPTCHA for WordPress is a very useful tool against the spammers. It generates images randomly before allowing users to submit to the comments; your users must enter the correct value or they will not be allowed to submit. This may annoy regular uses, but it will have a powerful impact on reducing spam.

5. Defensio

defensio

Defensio is another weapon to fight against the spammers. It is like an automated bow and arrow that is bound to hit the bull’s eye each time in your fight. It has a comment traffic system where it can analyze comments and assigns them each a grade. If the grade is of an adequate value then the comment is published; if the comment is suspicious it will be held for review. Note that Defensio will provide you good stats and RSS Feed for both good and spam comments.

6. Simple Trackback Validation

trackbackvalidation

To stop trackback spam, Simple Trackback Validation Plugin for WordPress 2.x is very effective. This plugin cross checks the IP address of the trackback sender and the IP address of the webserver which the trackback URL is referring to, to ensure they are the same. This reveals more than 90% of trackback spam. It also retrieves the webpage located at the URL included in the trackback. If the page does not have a link to your blog, the trackback is considered spam. This validation process will quickly identify illegitimate trackbacks as most trackback spammers do not setup custom webpages linking to the blogs they attack. The bloggers also can stop abusing trackbacks with their blog software or web services without having a link to the post.

7. Completely Disable Trackbacks

disabletrackbacks

If you do not have trackback you can choose to disable trackbacks on your blog entirely, or in individual posts, to prevent comment spam. Just go to Settings, then Discussion. Here you will have the option to allow or disallow trackbacks. If you want to turn off trackbacks for a specific post, then you need to change it while writing or editing the post.

wpcom-discussion-module-off

8. Less Annoying Version of Captcha

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There is another CAPTCHA verification plugin called Math Comment SPAM Protection, which is more user friendly but just as effective at cutting back on spam. You need to edit comments.php if you want to install it.

9. Bad Behavior

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Bad Behavior prevents spammers from delivering their junk, it keeps your site’s load down, makes your site logs cleaner, and can help prevent denial of service conditions caused by spammers. It also transcends other link spam solutions by working in a completely different, unique way. Bad Behavior not only checks the potential spam but also analyzes the delivery method and the software used by the spammers. It can stop even unknown or new spam attacks and is designed to work with existing spam prevention services like Akismet to increase effectiveness and efficiency.

10. Close Comments on Older Posts

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In WordPress there is a built-in feature where you can specify time duration to allow comments on a post. For example, if you specify 2 weeks then WordPress automatically closes the comments after two weeks. Go to Settings then to Discussion and check the box. Fix the number of days as per your requirement and save the changes. It is always wise to close comments of the older posts, as old posts are unlikely to generate new discussion but are prime targets for spammers.

11. CLOSE Comments or User Registration

disablecomments

By closing comments you can shut the spammers away from your website for a short period of time. If you build a custom site using WordPress, you should disable comments. You also can reopen it if required. You could also allow only registered users to make comments, or allow comments only for new articles.

12. Duplicate Comments

Like spam, duplicate comments are also a headache for bloggers. Users may comment twice for many reasons. To get rid of duplication of comments, if your theme does not have any default option, find the following lines in your comment.php and replace them, as follows:

<p>
<input name=”submit” type=”submit” tabindex=”5″ value=”<?php _e(“Say it!”); ?>” />
</p>

Change those lines out with the following:

<p>
<blockquote>
Comment moderation is in use. Please do not submit your comment twice — it will appear shortly.
</blockquote>
<input name=”submit” type=”submit” tabindex=”5″ value=”<?php _e(“Say it!”); ?>” />
</p>

 

You may wonder why spammers attack you. It’s not just you; most bloggers are suffering spam comments. Spammers often use spam to get a better pagerank for their site, and they’ll target any blog that they can.

If you select “An administrator must approve the comment” in Setting >>Discussion, then all comments are sent to a queue for moderation. You could also set it so that just the comments with URLs are selected for moderation.

The comments which are detected as spam will not display and are listed in a separate page if your Akismet is installed. You can delete the spam comments in a batch and recover the good comments from the list.

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How to Fight Against WordPress Comment Spam

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