WordPress Spam Comments & How To Stop Them

WordPress spam comments suck, so in this tutorial we’re going to look at how to stop them once and for all.

It’s important first to understand how the default WordPress comment system works, and why spam is so prevalent.

Each time someone leaves a comment on a WordPress website, a link is created to their site. Some people have taken advantage of these links and built programs that scour the web for WordPress sites to leave comments on.

Sometimes these comments are automated, other times it’s a real human being creating the links and spammy comments.

Another type of WordPress spam comments takes the form of pingbacks and trackbacks. Depending on your settings, WordPress automatically creates a link back to another blog that links to you, in the comment section. This is called a trackback.

Certain sites like Seth Godin’s blog don’t have comments turned on, so the only way to let the person know if you mention their blog posts on your site is through pingbacks.

Now that we know how these WordPress spam comments are made, let’s look at how we can stop them!

WordPress Spam Comments: Solutions

WordPress Spam Comments – Plugin Recommendations

The first plugin that I recommend is Akismet. It comes with WordPress, but you’ll need to sign up for your account by visiting the Akismet web site.

Once you have Akismet installed, you’ll notice a sharp decrease in WordPress spam comments. There might still be one or two comments that slip through, but Akismet really does catch most of it. It also catches spammy trackbacks, so you won’t be linking to dubious sites automatically!

Alternative Comment Plugins

If you want to add more functionality to your WordPress site, you can check out some of these comment plugins. They’ll add another level of interaction, while keeping spam to a minimum. Also if you’re using these plugins you don’t need another anti-spam plugin like Akismet, since they handle spam nicely.

Disqus – This was the first advanced comment plugin that I tried, and it was great for showing what people said about my posts on social media. If someone tweets about your post, it will show up as a comment on your site, too.

Intense Debate – This plugin is in a similar league as Disqus, and some people prefer the interface in Intense Debate.

Livefyre – I’m a huge fan of Livefyre, for the live action comments and the discussions I’ve been able to have on my site and other’s sites as a result.

Hear that? It’s the quiet of reduced spam comments…

Now that you’ve learned my top tips for stopping WordPress spam comments and trackbacks… it’s time to leave a comment! If you have any more questions about this topic or if you’d like me to cover any other topics in future episodes, let me know!

Thanks so much for reading and watching, and be sure to get your free website checkup before you go.

3 Comments

  1. Purna on October 3, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Thanks Nath – great video. Really clear and detailed. :) I understand the pingbacks and trackbacks now!



  2. Nathalie Lussier on October 3, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Awesome Purna – glad to hear it. :)



  3. Dave on March 20, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    Yes they really can be a pain and this is one of the first things people new to WP should brush up on