No, I am not talking about the infamous “Spam” that we all love so much! Truth be told I actually kind of like the mystery meat we call Spam. In fact, this post is discussing the super annoying spam you will receive in the comment sections of your WordPress blog.
The very minute you install WordPress onto your website, there are thousands, if not millions, of bots out there searching for your website. Why are they searching for your website? So they can pollute your comments with spam! They are trying to use your website to promote their products and website, create back-links to their own websites (often some sort of scam), and profit off of your website.
How To Recognize Spam Comments?
Typically there are five types of spam comments I have noticed spamming my websites.
- Comments about completely non-relevant subject matter
- Comments in a language other than English
- Comments that are utter nonsense
- Comments stating how your site's SEO is not good and they can help you improve
- Comments that I just saying super nice & great things about your post and website
When I first started my first website I received some of these comments and just thought it was a confused person, or someone who was really bad at English. However, as I continued to receive more and more similar comments I realized they were not legit.
A few additional tell-tale signs that a comment is spam are:
- The “Name” of the commenter is a website name, business name, or nonsensical
- The website associated with the commenter is weird and doesn't seem to make sense
- The email address of the commenter seems a little (or very) strange
If you notice one or more of these three things, then there is a high likelihood that the comment is spam.
How To Stop Spam On My WordPress Website?
One thing to remember is that EVERY WordPress website will become inundated with spam comments unless actions are taken to limit and prevent it. Unfortunately, no spam filters are 100% accurate and some spam comments will always make it through.
Luckily for us, there are two WordPress plugins that will take care of 95% of all of the spam comments that are coming through your site. They are Akismet and Si-Captcha Anti-Spam. Both of these plugins come highly regarded from thousands of WordPress users and are super effective!
Let’s take a closer look at what each one does and how it can help your website.
Akismet is a service that works behind the scenes on your website to block as many spam comments and trackback comments as possible. The great thing about Akismet is that once you install its plugin on your WordPress site, there is little else you need to do!
Essentially, when a comment is submitted to your website, Akismet will intercept it and run a bunch of tests (over 100) to determine whether it has been produced by a spam bot or human spammer. If it does not pass the test it will be removed without you having to even see it.
Now, you may be worried that Akismet will actually blog legitimate comments as well. While there is a tiny chance this may happen, it is highly unlikely. Akismet is constantly monitoring what spammers are doing and is continually upgrading their algorithms and processes to provide the best, most accurate service possible.
I promise that once you install the Akismet plugin (See: How To Install WordPress Plugins…The Easy Way) on your website you will see a dramatic reduction in the amount of spam comments and trackbacks you are getting.
Because Akismet does not really have any effect on the look or performance of your website, there really is no reason to not install it. It is used and trusted by some of the largest WordPress websites on the internet.
Si Captcha Anti-Spam
Unlike Akismet, Si Captcha Anti-Spam actually has an effect on the user experience of your website. I’m sure you have seen a Si Captcha or some variation of it implemented on many other sites around the web.
A Si Captcha is the little thing that makes you enter in the numbers and/or letters you see in a funny, distorted looking image before you can send information.
The idea with Si Captcha is that an automated bot will be unable to decipher the correct code and, therefore unable to submit their spam comment to your website.
One of the chief drawbacks of using Si Captcha is that it can, at times, be an annoying additional step that visitors must take in order to leave a comment on your website. However, Si Captchas are becoming a much more common element on many websites so they aren't as annoying as they used to be.
Additionally, you don’t really have control of what image is presented in the Si Captcha box. This may only be a problem if you have a very well and graphically focused site. This is because the Si Captcha box might seem very out of place and not match your overall website theme.
Now You're Ready For Battle Against Spam Comments!
In conclusion, I think that both Akismet and Si Captcha Anti-Spam are excellent plugins to use together on your website. If you make use of both plugins I can almost guarantee that the amount of spam comments and trackbacks you receive will dramatically decrease.
At the bare minimum you should, almost by default, always install Akisment on your website as it will do nothing but positive things for you. If you are worried about adding another step for your users or the visual effects of Si Captcha than you can easily forego this plugin without any major drawbacks.
Some other articles and posts you may be interested in:
- How To Install WordPress Plugins…The Easy Way
- 4 Simple Steps To Build Your WordPress Website With Wealthy Affiliate
- How To Add YouTube Videos To WordPress Blog Posts And Pages
- Two Easy Methods To Install A New WordPress Theme
- How To Make A Blog Post In 11 Simple Steps
I hope you find this information helpful and now feel armed to go to battle against internet spam! Please let me know if you have any questions or comments regarding spam, Akismet, Si Captcha or anything else by dropping me a comment below! (And make sure you enter in the correct Si Captcha!)