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3 Ways to Spam Proof Your WordPress Website

Written by Harvie
Last updated Jun 8, 2020
A pet hate for a lot of people using WordPress is the amount of spam comments they receive on a daily basis. Within a few days of setting up a website, if you don’t install the correct plugins, you will start to receive hundreds of spam comments every week. In today’s article I’m going to discuss what spam comments are and how, in less than 15 minutes, you can eliminate your WordPress website spam.

What are spam comments?

A spam comment is a message left by a bot or human that has no value to your website. Most spam comments are advertisements with links pointing back to another website. They are easy to spot because they don’t make sense, totally ignore the content on your website and are written using incorrect English. Spam comments are often left by bots that crawl websites and automatically post messages like this: picture 1 Not only do they slow your website down but they also consume your time as you have to manually delete them. Here’s 4 tips to get rid of spam comments forever.

1. Remove the option to comment

WordPress gives you the ability to remove the option to leave a comment. For certain pages (services, products, about us) there won’t be any need to have a comment section underneath. On both pages and posts you can remove the option for users to leave comments. Simply click on the post or page option on WordPress, click Quick Edit and un-check the Allow Comments check-box: picture 2 If you manage a blog and want your audience to respond, leave the allow comments boxed checked and follow tip #2.

2. Spam comment plugins

If you do run a blog or have pages where you invite user interaction or feedback, you’re going to need a spam comment plugin. I have one site that I forgot to install a plugin and look what happened: picture 3 That’s 4,578 comments that I have to manually delete, whoops! Don’t make the same mistake I did and install a spam comment plugin right away. There’s many to use, I personally recommend WP SpamShield Anti-Spam which claims to block all spam by bots and humans. I love it and have had no issues with it. Other top rated comment spam plugins include Akismet and Antispam Bee.

3. Captcha code plugins

Asides from receiving spam comments, you will also get a lot of unsolicited emails from people selling you SEO services, website design and other services you don’t want. After a while it does get really annoying because most of the emails are poorly written and take valuable time from your day. You also can’t go ahead and remove the option for people to contact you, as many serious leads and customers will have questions to ask. Solution? The first thing I suggest is for you to install a contact form, I like using Contact Form 7 as it’s light and takes only a minute to setup. Having a contact form means you don’t have to visibly display your email address on your website (that reduces the chance of bots placing you on various mailing lists). Next you’ll need to install a captcha plugin which stops bots from emailing you. My go-to plugins are Captcha by BestWebSoft and Really Simple Captcha. This will place a verification code on your form which is impossible for bots to fill in and spam you: picture 4

Summary

If you install the plugins I suggested today you’ll have spam-proofed 99% of your website. The only way someone can spam their services is by using the contact form and manually entering the captcha code, sadly there’s no way around that without placing filters within your email client. Don’t overlook this article, it can get very annoying when you have to remove comments on a daily basis, save yourself the hassle by installing these plugins today.

Vicky Etherington

Vicky Etherington has been running her own online marketing agency since 2003, and in 2014 transitioned to working with coaches and therapists to teach them how to create their own client-attracting websites. 

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