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How To Stop Spam Comments in WordPress

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Getting annoyed with spam comments?

Spam comments are one of the biggest headaches for WordPress website owners.

This can flood your comment section and make your WordPress blog unprofessional.

Comments with malicious links are security threats, too.

Don’t worry; you can stop spam comments with a few clicks.

This post will show you how to stop spam comments in WordPress from the settings or using a plugin.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Am I Getting So Many Spam Comments on My Blog?

Having no anti-spam solutions like comments moderation, blacklisted words, or anti-spam plugins are some primary reasons behind getting too many spam comments.

If you don’t utilize these, your WordPress blog may get flooded with unwanted comments.

Overwhelming spam comments are also one of the primary indications of a hacked website.

Why Do Spam Comments Exist?

Spam comments primarily exist to divert traffic from your site to the commenter’s website.

This is a shady method to create backlinks and rank better, increase sales, and capture your visitor’s information.

Many greedy website owners buy spam comments in bulk and send them automatically to steal other websites’ traffic.

What You’ll Need To Stop Spam Comments in WordPress

Some diligent efforts on your part and a functional computer with a reliable internet connection are some of the basics required to stop spam comments.

You will also need to:

  • Have access to your WordPress Dashboard to toggle discussion settings.
  • Activating the default Akismet plugin or installing a different Anti-spam plugin.
  • Using a reCaptcha service for commenting on your WordPress site.

How To Stop Spam Comments in WordPress: Step-by-Step Instructions

There are several methods to stop comments in WordPress, some of which are regarded as WordPress security best practices.

You may have to apply a few comment settings, implement reCaptcha, and activate an anti-spam solution for WordPress.

Method 1: Stop Spam Comments in WordPress Using Built-In Features

Many built-in features in WordPress can help stop spam comments.

You must log in to the WordPress Dashboard and go to Settings > Discussion to activate these features.

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Remember to click the Save Changes button after completing each step to apply your changes.

You can also save all your discussion setting changes at once.

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1. Turn Off Comments for All New Posts

If your blog niche doesn’t encourage or require comments can disable comments entirely; no comments in your post would mean no spam comments.

From the Discussion Settings, explore the ‘Default post settings’ and uncheck the box right before the “Allow People to submit comments…” option.

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You can also disable pingbacks and trackbacks by unchecking this feature from the same menu.

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Once you save the changes, it will eliminate the comment section from all your new posts.

2. Disable Comments for Published Posts

Disabling comments for your time-sensitive already published posts can help combat too many spam comments.

Simply scroll down the discussion settings page to find Other comment settings.

Once there, check the ‘Automatically close comments on posts older than … days’ option.

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You must set the number of days old posts should display comments before closing it automatically.

3. Moderate Comments on Your WordPress Posts

The built-in moderation feature in WordPress can work wonders to stop spam comments.

Not a single comment will be published without moderation with this enabled, but you can allow previously approved commenters to bypass moderation.

Find the ‘Before a comment appears’ section from the Discussion Settings page.

Then check the “Comment must be manually approved” box.

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Check the box for the ‘Comment author must have a previously approved comment’ feature.

This is a self-descriptive feature to speed up comment publications for approved commenters.

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You can also check the Email me whenever settings to get email notifications for all new comments or only those that require moderation.

This will speed up your moderation process.

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4. Allow Comments Only From Registered Users

Moderating a considerable number of comments can be a drag for the administrative team.

You can reduce the number of comments by checking the ‘Users must be registered and logged in to comment’ option.

Find it in the ‘Other comment setting.’

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This will prevent unregistered users from commenting on your posts, thus, reducing spam comments.

Make sure to set up an elaborate registration process in Settings > General so that the spammers cannot register in the first place.

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5. Blacklist Common Spam Triggering Words

The Disallowed Comment Keys field in WordPress Discussion settings is a powerful feature to ban comments with specific words, links, email addresses, etc.

Simply list the common trigger words that catch spam.

These are words commonly used by most spam comment bots.

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You must input one word or phrase per line.

So press enter before inserting another element.

Blocking specific email, IP, or website addresses is also possible while utilizing an existing list of common spam triggers will speed up this process.

Be cautious while listing the words, as you should refrain from blocking comments useful for a constructive discussion.

Method 2: Stop Spam Comments in WordPress Using a Plugin

There are several helpful WordPress plugins to combat spam comments.

One of them is the built-in Akismet plugin that comes by default with WordPress.

1. Activate the Akismet Plugin In WordPress

Although Akismet Spam Protection is pre-installed in WordPress, you must activate it manually.

You can activate it by navigating to Plugins > All Plugins from WordPress Dashboard.

Then, click ‘Activate’ under Akismet Anti-Spam.

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Upon activation, the plugin will redirect you to Set up your Akismet account.

You can subscribe for free for non-commercial use.

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Complete the appropriate registration process to get the API key sent to your email address.

Then, copy the key to your clipboard.

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Head to the all plugins page again, then click on the Settings tab for Akismet Anti-Spam.

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Click “Manually enter an API key” on the following page to paste and submit the copied API.

Your account will be connected.

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Explore the plugin settings to stop spam comments as desired.

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2. Enable reCaptcha Verification for Comments

Notice how some websites require completing reCaptcha to comment?

You can set up the same for your WordPress site with a plugin.

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I recommend using the Simple reCAPTCHA plugin.

Installing and activating this plugin will insert a reCaptcha in the comment section, which is excellent for preventing spam bots.

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If you need help installing this plugin in WordPress, check out my how-to guide about installing a WordPress plugin.

Similar Tutorials To Check Out

Stopping spam comments is one crucial step to securing your WordPress website.

You can do a lot more by checking out the similar tutorials below:

  • How to Remove Malware From WordPress: Keep your website malware-free by learning how to remove malware from WordPress.
  • How to Block a Website: Stay focused and safe by avoiding unwanted sites by exploring how to block a website.
  • How to Secure an E-commerce Site: Prevent hackers from damaging your online store by discovering how to secure an E-commerce site.

Wrapping Up

Achieving complete protection against spam comments in WordPress requires multiple steps in tandem.

I hope you can apply all these steps following my guide.

Leave a comment if you require any further assistance or clarifications.

I would also appreciate any recommendations about my post, but please don’t spam the comments section.

All these steps are applied to my site, so your spam comments won’t be published.

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