SPAM messages are any kind of unwanted and unsolicited digital communication, sent out in bulk to unsuspecting recipients. SPAM messages are usually not of value to the recipient and can be a source of frustration to a blog owner.
These messages, generally range from adult contents to advertising on products and services. The goal here is to force readers to see contents they may not be interested in viewing.
Sadly, blogs are not left out of this disturbing trend, on a daily basis, spammers are constantly dropping spam messages as comments on blog posts, encouraging readers to click on links to their sites.
SPAM comments are usually very easy to recognize because they typically have nothing whatsoever to do with the actual content of the post and they often contain multiple links to sites selling everything from designer sunglasses to ”adult” products.
Allowing SPAM messages on your blog can negatively affect your traffic numbers. Even worse, the visitors who do manage to find their way onto your blog will likely leave rather quickly, never to return.
Luckily, there are some things you can do to virtually block all SPAM comments from your blog:
1 – Every new WordPress blog comes with an awesome anti-spam plugin called Akismet pre-installed. Make sure you activate it because it will filter out the vast majority of SPAM comments that are left on your blog posts.
If you uninstalled this plugin because you didn’t know what it was for, I recommend that you reinstall it and activate it right away.
Simply click Plugins>Add New and search for Akismet.
2 – Moderate the comments that are left on your posts so you can manually weed out any SPAM comments that manage to make it through Akismet’s filter.
Click Settings>Discussion and then check the box beside Comment must be manually approved.
Click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the page to save the change.
Note: You can always select Comment author must have a previously approved comment but that can be risky. Some devious spammers will leave a legitimate comment the first time, then return again and again to leave SPAM comments now that their comments are being approved automatically.
Only moderating a visitor’s first comment is a definite plus from a usability standpoint, but it can be easily abused (and it quickly will be). You’ll need to decide for yourself how you wish to handle comment moderation on your blog. I choose to moderate ALL comments on my blogs and so far it’s working out just fine.
3 – Manually “blacklist” repeat offenders that somehow slip past Askismet’s filter.
You’ll find that a relative handful of spammers will be able to leave SPAM comments on your posts regardless of how many times you mark their comments as SPAM.
For whatever reason they’ll just keep on slipping through, costing you time and aggravation as you repeatedly have to remove them.
Luckily, it’s very easy to add repeat offenders to WordPress’ “Comment Blacklist” if they always include a certain phrase in their comments or the same domain name in the links they post.
Click Settings>Discussion and then copy and paste a phrase or website domain they always use in their comments into the “Comment Blacklist” box.
Again, be sure to click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the page to save the change.
That’s all there is to it. After you ensure that Akismet is enabled and change the comment moderation settings as explained above, your comment SPAM problem should either be greatly minimized or eliminated altogether depending on how strict you set the moderation level.