Spam is a complete nuisance and I am sure that most bloggers would have experienced it at some point in their blogging career. Not only can it slow down your blog, it can also eat up your resources. If you have a popular WordPress blog and have not yet been hit by spam, then it is only a matter of time before the spammers find you. So be prepared for it. Besides, when people see spam in your blog comments, it reflects that you are not interested in your blog and it leaves a negative feeling about that blog.
Unfortunately, there is no specific method or plug-in that will completely block off comment spam. Even Askimet, WordPress’ own plug-in can get its act wrong at times and let spammers into your blog. Most of you may be using Askimet, but it is wise to use other methods as well.
Mentioned below are some basic methods in combating comment spam on WordPress sites. Although I am not in a position to guarantee that these methods will totally eradicate comment spamming from your WordPress sites, it will to a large extent clean it up.
Set up a manual moderation process where all comments are held for moderation
This is your choice and you can hold all comments that are being made to be moderated. If it identifies as a bot, then the chances are that the comment will be held for moderation. However, if someone comments in order to just to get a link, then you have the option to either block or blacklist him or her by marking his or her comments as spam. It may be painstaking, but if used together with Askimet, then there are very little comments to moderate daily.
All you are doing is that you are putting a tick mark stating that the comment author must already have a previously approved comment. That is to say if you trust a reader and approve their comment the first time, then their comments are approved automatically when they comment in the future. This not only saves you time but you don’t have to deal with approving comments on a daily basis. Besides, this also helps to avoid link spammers.
Setting up a list of spam trigger words
Basically, these are to avoid comments coming from enlargement and adult sites. You can put a list of words that allows WordPress to put them in the spam queue instead of the moderation one. However, you must filter them before doing so.
Using a CAPTCHA code to allow members only
Set up a CAPTCHA code and this will ban most of the comments that come from automatic commenting software. This will also permit WordPress to only allow members to comment. Some spammers may also bypass this by registering in your blog/ site and then feeding spam comments later. You can identify these comments and delete them later and in the process also ban the spammer.
Installing Anti-Spam Plugins
There are so many anti-spam plugins out there, but most of them will only slow down your blog and some of them even do not work. Askimet is a good one and it not only filters out your comment, but also tracks back spam. It is a WordPress plugin and it comes free for personal blogs. All you need is the API key. Business blogs have to pay a small monthly retainer fee and it’s worth it. Quiz is another good plugin that requires people who comment to answer a question. Since this cannot be answered by automatic comment software, this filters most of the automatic comment spam. However, remember to keep your question simple. Then there are other good plugins such as Simple Trackback Validation and BonusYou. These are needed only if you have heavy regular spam. There are also spam plugins but it may take too much of your time.
Largely speaking, there is no magic formula to totally prevent WordPress spam. If you implement the above-mentioned methods, it will largely reduce all comment spam from your WordPress sites.
This post has been written by Jerson.