How to Stop Spam Comments in WordPress (Best Plugins)

There are several plugins that you can use in order to stop spam comments in WordPress.

WordPress Plugins To Stop Spam Comments 

Check the following list of our top recommendations.

Akimet

The WordPress team are well aware of the vulnerability that comes with their open platform, of course. That’s why they offer Akimet, a free anti-spam plugin that comes with every WordPress install.

It’s one of the more versatile tools on the market, specifically thanks to the fact that you can train it. It already comes with some impressive algorithms blocking a lot of spam, but those that it misses can be marked.

When they are, it learns to spot more spam that follows the same formula, giving it the power to block even more.

Beyond that, it keeps logs of every single comment, spam and genuine, so you can take the time to view all comments without having to jump from page to page, and mark as you see fit.

Cookies for Comments

This plugin works by taking steps to further identify whether a user truly is genuine or if they’re a pesky bot.

How it does that is by looking at how they access the site. When a user visits, you can make it so they have to agree that their browser will download cookies when it automatically accesses pictures or other on-site assets.

Most bots skip this entirely, they don’t download assets, they just single-mindedly hunt for the comments section and get to work.

However, you can set it up so that if they don’t download the assets that have the cookies attached to them, they aren’t verified to comment.

WP-SmartShield Anti-Spam

Another free option and one of the most effective out there, too. Many site owners use verification steps like registration forms, but bots are spamming those, too.

It’s also suited to fighting trackback and pingback spam, stopping other WordPress blogs (some of which might be genuine, some of which might be more nefarious) from using your blog to build links to their own.

What’s even better, it features a blacklist. Many of the less sophisticated spammers use the same IP-address or the same small range of addresses to do most of their spamming.

Blacklisting those IPs can render them entirely ineffective.

Captcha

The developer of Captcha has easily been one of the biggest developments in fighting spam and is becoming more and more broadly used. You likely already know this tool.

It has a variety of tests, often using quick text or picture quizzes, that bots simply don’t have the ability to complete. Often because they use images they won’t download or text that’s formatted so they can’t simply turn it into data that they can more easily read.

One of the issues with Captcha is that it adds an additional barrier for your human users and can be a little annoying. However, with cookies, you can make it so that the Captcha test only appears once. That’s not too large a sacrifice to operate a spam-free site.

WP Spamfighter

Bots aren’t very smart, regardless of whether or not they’re dodging IP blacklists.

Most of them follow very set functions and coded behaviors. Honeypot plugins like WP Spamfighter take advantage of that fact.

As mentioned, there are tools that can check if your commenters are human, offering challenges bots can’t complete.

Honeypot tools create challenges that bots can’t ignore since they’re programmed to fill in every field on a comment submission form. Human users can’t access these challenges, so it knows that when it gets a response that you’re dealing with a bot.

This can keep the task of sorting the real from the fake a lot less abrasive and annoying to your site’s genuine users.

CleanTalk

This isn’t a free plugin, but rather comes with a free trial and an additional charge of $8 a year, which is more than worth paying for the service that it offers.

It runs like many other spam detectors, building blacklists, learning new spam formats to better recognise any bots’ entries before they appear in the comments section

However, one of the better parts of CleanTalk is that it’s connected to the Cloud. This makes it less resource intensive for your site, for one.

But it also means it connects to a shared database of information gathered not just from your blog but from other users.

You don’t have to suffer the brunt of a new spambot technique. If others have encountered it and CleanTalk has updated with it, you’re protected.

Allow quality comments only

There are plenty of settings within WordPress you might want to consider turning on that will not only render many bots inoperable but can also improve the quality of discussion on the website.

People trying to build links and redirect users can be just as annoying as spambots, after all. To that end, there are a few options worth checking.

For instance, you can choose not to allow http links in your comments, meaning that any bots or users trying to redirect with no interest in discussion no longer can.

You can also close comment threads on old posts, setting them either via a timer or by a set amount of comments.

That way, when there’s no more relevant discussion being had on that post, it also closes the gate for any spambots that might seek to fill up your old posts.

The sheer volume of spam comments you might receive can ruin and have ruined many a blog. Don’t just sit and wait for it, get your protections in place now. This is especially important for sites with online communities in their infancies.

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