WordPress has always had a spam problem.
Luckily, there’s a few steps that will prevent a large chunk from entering your pending comments. I will show you how to prevent spam comments and ALSO delete any spam comments that currently exist on your WordPress site. It only takes a few minutes.
1. Bulk Delete Spam Comments
If you have tons of pending comments that are spam, this will delete ALL pending comments. This is often necessary if you have hundreds or even thousands of pending spam comments.
- Install the Delete Pending Comments Plugin
- Go to Comments –> Delete Pending Comments (see screenshot)
- Enter the text it tells you then click “delete pending comments”
- Delete this plugin when you’re done
2. Add A List Of Comment Blacklist Keywords
Now to prevent future spam from entering your pending comments…
- Open this file: WordPress Comment Blacklist Keywords
- Copy the entire list of known spam keywords
- In WordPress, go to Settings –> Discussions
- Paste the keywords into the Comment Blacklist section (see screenshot)
- Save changes
Thank you splorp for providing such a wonderful list (found here).
3. Tweak Your WordPress Settings
These settings should be tweaked to what preferences you want. You may want to disable “Allow links notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks)” if you’re getting a lot of spam through that. You’ll also want to make sure “Comment author must fill out name and email” is selected. Go through these settings and learn what’s right for you.
If you don’t use membership, make sure it is NOT selected.
4. Use Akismet Anti-Spam Plugin
On top of your other spam defenses I just went over, you’ll want to use an anti-spam plugin. There’s a lot out there but I found these ones to do the best job and have the highest ratings. Once configured, make sure you keep your spam plugin updated with the newest version as spammers are always looking for new ways to spam the hell out of us.
Akismet is the most used anti-spam plugin for WordPress – because it works (also has a 4.7 star review). Make sure you get your API key and enter it into the plugin.
That wasn’t so hard was it? Just remember to keep the Akismet plugin updated with the latest version and your WordPress website/blog should be close to spam free.
If you have any questions or feedback on preventing spam in WordPress, drop me a line below. And if you found this article helpful, please share it. I would appreciate it :)
I have Google’s Invisible Captcha installed right now and it does the job well as far as spam comments and bots filling out contact forms are concerned. However, it slows the entire site down considerably. Would you say that Askimet is a viable alternative (meaning effective and not slowing down the site)?
I use Antispam Bee, pretty such Askimet is a paid plugin now. Or you could try delaying the Captcha.
OMG, thank you so much! All those pending comments were freaking me out.
I needed this for my blog because there so many people commented on my blog with so many URL links.