Spam doesn’t seem like a big deal until it takes over your comment section and ruins your reputation with Google.
It’s a powerful, yet highly annoying weapon designed to benefit shady websites and hurt yours. You don’t have to stand quietly by and just deal with it.
You have the power to fight spam head on and win. All you need are the right tools and you’ll turn into a spam fighting superhero in no time.
How Spam Affects You
A few spammy comments might not seem worth the trouble, but a few turns into a dozen and then every post is inundated with links to work from home scams, dating site and malware filled software. Your visitors don’t want to see this. In fact, it could make them trust your site less. While no visitors expect you to be able to filter out all spam, they don’t want to see a site where the majority of comments are spammy.
Comments aren’t the only problem, though. Spam bots destroy your analytics data. For instance, a smaller website may find that 70% of its referral traffic comes from spam bots. This hurts how you market your site and prevents you from seeing your real traffic. All this excess traffic uses up valuable server resources and often increases your bounce rate, hurting your rank with Google.
As you can see, unwanted website spam is a serious problem and one you need to fix as quickly as possible.
Control Comments With Akismet
Akismet is one of the most popular WordPress plugins to control comment spam. The service uses a cloud-based approach to moderate comments and block any suspected of spam. Sometimes a few spam comments may get through and a few legitimate ones are blocked, but it’s easy to handle these few on your own. The best part is the basic service is free and paid plans begin at $5.
Block Sploggers With WangGuard
WangGuard is designed to protect websites from sploggers, or spam users. These are users who sign up for your site just to spam comments or add spam posts, if your site allows users to post content. The service is personalised based on data provided by website owners, giving it a community approach to spam protection. It’s free for personal sites, but requires a small fee for businesses and advanced features.
Eliminate Spam Bots With WP-SpamShield Anti-Spam
Don’t let the long name fool you, WP-SpamShield Anti-Spam provides a double layer of anti-spam security for your WordPress site. Unwanted website spam doesn’t stand a chance against not one, but two different spam prevention layers. The first blocks the most common automated spam bots, while the second fights spam with more than a hundred different spam detection algorithms. The plugin’s free, but you can donate to help support it.
Manually Block Spam With WP-Ban
If certain spammy IPs or URLs get past your other spam blockers, block them manually with WP-Ban. It doesn’t automatically block spam, but it does allow you to add IP addresses, referral URLs, host names and IP ranges to manually ban them from your site. It’s a simple, yet effective second layer for spammers who do make it past the other tools on this list. It’s also free.
WordPress Zero Spam
WordPress Zero Spam is designed to block 99.9% of spam comments and registrations. Like all the others on this list, you don’t have to subject your visitors to pesky captchas. It’s also built to work well with most other plugins, such as caching and forms. It’s free to use and if you love Mozilla (company behind Firefox), you might like this one as it’s developed and supported by Mozilla’s founder, David Walsh.
Spam isn’t something we’ll likely ever stop completely, but you can control how much of it affects your website. Tell spammers what you think by keeping them off your site completely. Start by installing an anti-spam tool before it’s too late and your site is full of spam and even worse, malware.
Need help installing a plugin, manually tweaking your site to block more spam or dealing with malware due to spam? Contact WP Get Support today to aid you in your battle against spam.
Image: Sean MacEntee