Combating WordPress comment spam is an ongoing process and can be done with (a) the help of plugins or (b) with a little bit of tweaking the discussion settings in WordPress. In this tutorial, we focus on both methods. The 2 factors you should consider while deciding your next anti-spam plugin should be:
- Amount of traffic
- Number of comments
If both the numbers are on the lower end (for example, when you’re starting off a blog), you can go for technique (b), i.e. tweaking WordPress settings to manually prevent spam. It’s quite interesting to see just how much WordPress has to offer.
In part (a), i.e. preventing spam using WordPress antispam plugins, we first take a look at the important features an antispam plugin should have. Then we dive into the plugin list.
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Essential Features of a WordPress Antispam Plugin
There is lots you could look for in an antispam plugin, but there are a handful of key features that you really must consider. Let’s take a look!
Zero Client Side Actions
Client side actions, other than writing the comment, should be kept as low as possible – ideally zero. Your plugin should not ask your genuine commentator to check/uncheck a checkbox or type in an unintelligible captcha image. Entering captcha for comments significantly hampers the user experience and should be avoided.
Minimal WordPress Database Impact
Nip it at the bud
A good anti-spam plugin should not allow the spam comment to be entered into the WordPress database. As a result, the number of SQL transactions decrease, which means lower server load, i.e. improved performance – even during peak traffic hours. This risk here though, is if the antispam algorithm goes wrong, a genuine comment can be lost forever (oops).
Block New User Registration Spam
The WordPress registration page allows users to register on your website. The registration process is pretty straight forward and can be easily automated by bots.
Why Do We Need To Stop It? Once registered, a user can post as many comments as he pleases, without being filtered. This is the normal Discussion setting in a new installation of WordPress. Therefore, you can either change the default settings, or use a plugin like WP-SpamShield that blocks new user registration spam.
Trackback Validation consists of a filter that compares the client IP address of the incoming trackback against the IP address of the server. If both of them don’t match, then it is spam.
Statistics help in tracking and analysis of data. The plugin should provide weekly or monthly statistics of detected spam.
As with many plugins, some are free and some are paid. Some of the plugins, including Antispam
This article was written by Sourav and originally published on WPExplorer.