Spam comments can be annoying. They affect platforms of all types and blogging software. No matter how much you try to get rid of them on a regular basis, they just keep coming in and eat up the space in your database. And when you are no longer able to control them, your website’s performance will eventually suffer.
But if you’re using the WordPress platform, you have every means to manage and reduce your spam comments. You may not be able to totally stop them but following these steps will greatly help in cutting the volume of your site’s comment spam.
WordPress allows users to moderate comments in various ways to ensure no spam gets published right away on your site. Look for the discussion settings page entitled “Before a comment appears.”
You have two options in moderating comments. First, you can manually approve every comment which is a good way to have total control over messages and filter those that come in. This option requires the approval of the publisher or website owner before a comment is displayed.
A second option requires that the author of the comment must have a previously approved comment on the site. This step ensures that people who give feedback are legitimate visitors of your blog or website. If you have had a comment approved in the past, your subsequent comments will be approved automatically.
Hold Comments with Links
You would know that a comment is spam when it contains a link to a website other than the email of the sender. As such, you need to send this type of comments to the moderation queue.
To manage this issue, go to the Comment Moderation section and set the number of links to one (1). Most often, spam comments contain only one link. It is only a new WordPress installation that sends comments with two or more links.
Check the Comment BLacklist
Every WordPress site has the comment blacklist feature but this is not often used. What this feature does is blacklist the IP address of spammers that attack your website or blog.
Blacklisting can be done via the URL, email address, name or content. Using this feature is an effective way of discouraging people from sending more spam comments to your site.
Close Comments on Past Posts
Another way to manage spam comments on WordPress is to close the comment feature on older posts and pages. You can disable it depending on how old the post or page is.
In the “Other comment settings” section, just check the box that says “Automatically close comments on articles older than…” then choose the number of days beside it.
Use Anti-Spam Plugins
If all else fails, it’s about time you install anti-spam plugins. Akismet is a popular tool and is normally included in every installation of WordPress. It is an automated service that fiters spam comments and sends them to the spam folder.
A host of other anti-spam plugins are also available and can be used in WordPress. Make sure, however, to choose the ones that are easy to use and won’t discourage your genuine visitors and commenters from visiting your site.
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By Wendy Chamberlain
Copyright 2014 Savvy Web Women Pty Ltd
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Wendy Chamberlain is the founder of www.savvywebwomen.com and creator of the Savvy Online Engagement Blog – the information packed resource that shows business owners and entrepreneurs how to use online strategies to connect with key stakeholders, influence decision makers and be seen as a thought leader, all via the use of social media. To receive your FREE Special Report and how-to articles to expand your Online Engagement toolkit, visit www.wendymoore.net.