If you are a blogger chances are you are one of millions of people using the popular WordPress blogging platform. If your site has been active for at least a few months you probably have already seen how comment spam can start to pile up.
Various spam bots and automated programs scan websites/blogs on the web and automatically send data to try and fill in all your comment form fields. They do this in order to try and not only build backlinks to their programs, but to blatantly pitch and try to advertise a product in the same way that spam email does.
In WordPress you have several options to try and manage comment spam and one of them is to set your WordPress configuration to require comments to be held for approval by a moderator. This means no comments will post live to your blog, but also means you or another administrator will have to manually review and approve each comment which can be very cumbersome.
This is why there are several WordPress anti-spam plugins to help you control your comment spam and prevent you from having to review and approve hundreds of comments which can cost a lot of time and effort.
Here is a list of some plugins you can use to help you effectively block comment spam on your WordPress blog.
One of the most popular WordPress plugins on the web, this plugin will match a user against a known database of “spam comments”, “email addresses” and other data to make the determination if the comment was “spam”. In some cases you will get false positives where a valid comment will be marked as spam and show up in your spam folder in WordPress Dashboard. If you get enough comments you may end up having to go through your spam folder daily to undo and approve spam that was inappropriately marked as spam which is a con.
This plugin will add a captcha image to a comment if the plugin thinks the user is spam based on the browser client he is using and request being made to your website. This is useful in combination with Akismet and this plugin only works if you already have Akismet installed. This plugin helps reduce the number of comments showing up in your spam folder but sometimes again, false positives occur and users can complain about being blocked when trying to leave a comment.
Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin
This WordPress plugin was just released recently and is an alternative to the Aksimet plugin. The Growmap Anti Spampbot Plugin (G.A.S.P.) tries to thwart spam by adding a hidden email field which tricks spambots into filling out and automatically rejecting them. It also adds a checkbox to your WordPress comment form that a user must check to declare themselves not spam. This plugin proves to be an effective way of managing comment spam and has virtually no false positives, it does however cause some confusion for users who aren’t used to the checkbox and they may forget to mark themselves as “not spam” and be sent to an error page that reminds them to check the box.
This plugin is a catch all anti-spam plugin which sets 2 cookies in the browser and if the cookie isn’t present it won’t allow the comment to be submitted. This does effectively block a lot of comments spam but has a high false positive rate too and will block some casual readers on certain web browsers or when browsing in incognito or privacy mode.
The above are some of the best examples of plugins to help you manage your comment spam when blogging with WordPress and sometimes a combination of more than one plugin is required to help curb inappropriate comments from being left on your blog. Effective comment management will improve your time management efficiency (you spend less time weeding through spam comments to find valid ones) and you can be sure that less spammers will actually succeed in getting a spam comment published on your WordPress blog for others to see.