WordPress Stop Spam Comments Guide

We'll share a guide to immediately stop spam comments on WordPress websites and the best tools, tips & effective methods on how to combat it

Updated on August 20, 2023
WordPress Stop Spam Comments Guide

When running a blog, interacting with the readers is equally important as the proper strategy to stop WordPress spam comments. In this article, we’ll share a guide to immediately stop spam comments on WordPress websites and the best tools, tips & effective methods on how to combat it.

Spam comments are posts posted by bots with meaningless and irrelevant comments intended to promote a website or a link. Here’s an example of a spam comment. There are some common traits of spam comments.

Not having an actual name. Long and ugly URL. Irrelevant comment. These types of comments make your blog less professional. And they are also harmful to SEO. So it’s essential to get rid of these comments. Here I’ll show you a few ways to eliminate spam comments.

A Guide To Stop Spam Comments On WordPress

If you were to do it manually for all the spam comments on your site, then you will probably need to hire a full-time person for that, especially once your blog starts getting traction.

Luckily for us, solutions are available to WordPress bloggers and site owners. Here is how you can drastically reduce the number of spam comments in your blog.

Using Akismet Anti-Spam WordPress Plugin

Akismet is a plugin created by Automattic, which owns WordPress.com, to fight spam. Millions of websites already use it to filter spam comments every day. It has been available since 2005, catching over 7.5 million spam comments every hour. Usually, it is automatically installed once you install WordPress. If not, then make sure to install it first.

After that, you will need to activate it. And for that, you will need a license for it to start filtering spam comments. The plugin is paid, but you could get their basic plan on non-commercial sites for 50k monthly checks for the price you want, which could be free.

Or you could get their Plus plan for only $5 per month. Once you activate it, you will be automatically protected from 90% of spam comments. Keep reading this guide to immediately stop spam comments on WordPress websites and the best tools, tips & effective methods on how to combat it

Comment Moderation WordPress Feature

The next step you can apply is to enable comment moderation, where you need to manually approve each comment before appearing on the site.

Yes, it won’t decrease spam, but this enables you to control the environment of your comments, ensuring that your site only shows good non-spammy comments to your readers.

To do this, go to Settings in your WP dashboard area, then to Discussion. Moreover, use the Comment Moderation Queue to build a list of words, names, IPs, and URLs that make the comments queued for moderation. You can also hold a comment that contains a certain number of links in the queue.

You could also use the Comment Blacklist feature to make the comments that contain certain words or URLs or those that come from specific IPs go straight to trash. This saves you time. All of these features are available on the same Settings page on this guide for effective methods to stop spam using top tips and tools.

Disable Comments on Old WordPress Posts To Spam Spam

Here’s the thing, most of the spam comments in your blog are probably on old posts. And most of the time, old posts don’t get many high-quality comments. So, you won’t lose much by not showing comments on older posts.

Ramsay from BlogTyrant uses this strategy as scarcity to get more comments on newer posts. You could do the same. And you can do so automatically from the Discussion settings page. Go to the other comment settings section.

Check the box next to “Automatically close comments on articles older than XX days.” You could then change the number to what you want. I see people use either 30 or 45 days most often. You can go for something more aggressive, like 15 days.

Disable Comments: Tips & Tools Stop Spam

Another option, which is not excellent, is disabling comments on your whole blog and moving the discussion to other media like forums or Facebook groups. It may be a great alternative if you already have these other means.

A blogger did this on their blog for a while when they couldn’t control the spam, but they returned to add them because having reader comments is most important in blogs.

If you don’t want the hassle and have another place to continue the discussion, disabling comments might be your easiest bet to stop spam on your WordPress page. You can do this on the Discussion page in the settings. After that, uncheck “Allow people to post comments on new articles.”

Older comments will be available. You can delete them manually from the comments page by selecting all of them and moving them to trash.

Add Google reCAPTCHA Verification: Spam Comments Combat

Another great option to help you decrease spam is to add a CAPTCHA, that challenges bots and asks people to prove that they are human before their comment is posted on your blog. This will help you drastically decrease the number of spam comments from bots.

And one of the most reliable captcha plugins that are very simple to use is the Google reCAPTCHA plugin. It is a great reliable option that is simple to use and has no gimmicks or tricky quizzes that can make people abandon the thought of leaving a comment on your blog post altogether.

Created by the team at Best Web Soft, the plugin already has over 200k active installations. And you don’t need anything besides their free plan on almost all forms, including registration forms, login forms, reset password forms, contact forms, custom forms, and so on.

It has different-looking theme options to find the one that best suits your blog. The pro enables you to integrate it with more plugins, which may not be essential if your main focus is decreasing the number of spam comments.

Firewalls: Sucuri or Cloudflare To Stop WordPress Spam Comments

Web Application Firewalls like Sucuri or Cloudflare can help you decrease the number of spammy visits your website receives altogether, as a result, this decreases possible spam comments.

Their servers check every visit before it comes to your WordPress host to block all the bad proxy traffic and bots. They enable you to block entire countries where you get most spam with the click of a button. However, that might be a little aggressive, so think this through before you implement it. A great benefit is that it can decrease bandwidth usage, saving money from monthly hosting bills.

Comment System Services For WordPress To Stop Spam

The last option to consider is to stop using WordPress comments altogether and replace the native system with a third-party system that cuts spam comments without the need to worry about all other things.

The most popular is Disqus. It has anti-spam software that can moderate spam comments and block it. It learns from the behavior of users on all their sites which is huge.  They partnered with Akismet as well to help develop their anti-spam capabilities. As a result, top effective methods stop spam comments in WordPress on this guide.

One of the great features they offer is verifying the email address before leaving a comment. It does wonders. Also, commenters can request that their comments be set as spam for review.

Disqus isn’t all gloomy. But if you plan to use it, one of their main problems is that it increases the load time of the page, which can be decreased by using the Disqus Conditional Load Plugin for free. The plugin lets you lazy load comments on the scroll, on click, or generally after the page loads completely.

Disqus is a great alternative to decrease the spam comments you receive if you are willing to forfeit the native commenting system on WordPress to stop spam comments and combat it.