Spam is a hassle. It’s unwanted, useless, and even slows down your site if left unchecked. There are a lot of different types of spam, too. From the obvious “get rich quick” scams to the user-generated “You’ll die if you don’t repost this” stuff, spam comes in many shapes and sizes. Luckily, identifying what is and isn’t spam and dealing with it is something we can help with.
If you’re working with WordPress, there are a lot of different plugins that can help reduce the amount of spam on your site. Akismet is, arguably, the most stable, secure, and useful of the anti-spam plugins. It’s free for up to 50,000 comments a month, very cheap for commercial use, and has some pretty good features for identifying spam patterns on your site.
Anti-Spam Bee is another good, free plugin. It’s a bit more hands-on though and so you’ll have to interact with it yourself to get results.
There are a whole host of other plugins as well so if neither of those tickle your fancy, just keep searching around.
Perhaps you don’t want a plugin though for whatever reason and would rather do it yourself. For smaller sites, that’s pretty easy! First you just need to identify what is and isn’t spam. Do you consider those annoying chain-comments spam? What about gibberish or completely off topic comments? It’s up to you to decide what spam looks like on your site so it’s a good idea to make a firm commitment to what you consider spam.
After that, you’ll need to look closely at your comments. Some spammers are getting crafty and while it might initially sound like the comment is in reference to the article, photo, or video, it’s actually an endorsement for their own product or website. Look for links inside the comment and read through it fully.
Now that you know what spam looks like on your site, you need to remove it. This can be done simply by deleting the comment, but what about future spam? Without doing any coding, this can be as simple as going to your admin panel — settings — discussion, and selecting blacklist. Here you can block email address by typing in the address or even entire domain names by simply typing @domainname (the domain name is the part after the @ in email addresses). If you suspect much of the spam is coming from a specific person though, you can even block their IP. Just look at their IP in the comments section, copy, and paste it in the blacklist section.
Spammers are always finding new ways to spam our comment sections and plugins are always being updated to combat it. So when it comes down to it, you’ll likely have to do some of the work yourself. Hopefully with these tips, it’ll be made just a little easier.