Comment spamming is very common for website owners who have enabled comments on their websites. This can lead to poor first impressions from your site visitors or even prevent your legit site visitors from having meaningful conversations through the comment system.
However, while there might not be a way to completely get rid of comment spamming apart from getting rid of the comments themselves, there are a number of things you can do to reduce comment spamming on your website. In this post, we are going to discuss ways through which you can prevent comment spamming. They include;
- Restricting the comment privileges to registered users.
- Setting up a comment moderation system.
- Using a third-party comment system.
- Creating a list of blacklisted words.
- Reducing the number of links allowed per post.
- Using a WordPress comment spam plugin.
Restricting the Comment Privileges to Registered Users
All spammers always want to leave a comment on as many sites as they can in the shortest time possible. This means that it is very possible for them to not leave a comment on a site that makes them go through a number of steps before they can write a comment.
Restricting the comment privileges to registered users is one of the easiest ways of creating a step to keep away spammers. This will also serve as a way of collecting user data since site visitors will be forced to create an account before leaving a comment.
To restrict commenting to only the registered users, visit the WordPress admin dashboard of your website, then click on Settings > Discussion on the left-hand side. You will find this setting on the Other Comment Settings of the Discussion screen shown below.
Setting up a Comment Moderation System
Setting up a comment moderation system means that the comments must be approved before they can appear on your website. This is one of the best strategies for those who have the time to approve the comments.
To set up a comment moderation system on WordPress, visit the WordPress admin dashboard of your website, then click on Settings > Discussion on the left-hand side. You will find this setting on the Before a comment appears section as shown below;
Creating a List of Blacklisted Words
Most spam comments contain a number of recognizable words. For example, most spammers will leave a link to another site or blog promoting their own content or maybe spam. You can get all these keywords blacklisted to make sure that the authors are not able to leave such comments on your website.
To blacklist a keyword, visit the WordPress admin dashboard of your website, then click on Settings > Discussion on the left-hand side. You will find this setting under the Comment Blacklist section as shown below;
When someone leaves a comment with any of the blacklisted keywords, the comment will be automatically moved to trash.
Reducing the Number of Links Allowed Per Post
Most spammers will leave a link and trick legitimate site visitors to clicking on the links. Some will leave a single link while others might leave a number of links on the same comment.
You can restrict the number of links that a site visitor can leave on a post. In doing so, you will have restricted the number of links on a post to both the legitimate visitors and the spammers. If you do not want any links posted, then you can set the maximum number of links allowed to zero.
To reduce the number of links allowed per post, visit the WordPress admin dashboard of your website, then click on Settings > Discussion on the left-hand side. You will find this setting under the Comment Moderation section as shown below;
Using a WordPress Comment Spam Plugin
Using a WordPress Comment Spam plugin is another easy to implement option of preventing comment spam in WordPress. By default, a WordPress installation comes with Akismet – a spam filtering service that filters spam from comments, trackbacks, and contact form messages.
These plugins analyze data from other sites around the world to easily filter spam from comments by legitimate site visitors. Apart from Akismet, other common anti-spam plugins include Anti-spam, Antispam Bee, Stop WP Comment Spam, and Spam protection, AntiSpam, FireWall by CleanTalk. You can download the plugins for free from WordPress.
Using a third-party comment system
There are a number of third-party comment systems that work pretty well with comments on a WordPress website. Facebook and Disqus are among the best we have at the time of writing this post. For example, Disqus uses anti-spam software that combats comment spam. They have also partnered with Akismet, a spam filtering service that filters spam from comments, trackbacks, and contact form messages. This makes it very powerful since you have two different systems doing the same thing for you.
You can decide to use more than one of the methods discussed above to make sure that you effectively prevent spammers from leaving comments on your website. Whichever method you decide to use, you can be assured of having done something to make sure that your site visitors are secure when interacting or clicking on links left on your website. Do you have any experience with spammers on your website? You can share it with us below in the comment section.