How to Fight SPAM in WordPress

Spam in Space
Creative Commons Licensephoto credit: Sarah G…
To the uninitiated, dealing with SPAM can become a huge pain the butt when running a WordPress blog. Thankfully, there are many ways that WordPress enables you to manage SPAM that reduces the time necessary to deal with it.

Most people don’t start dealing with SPAM until there is a problem, for example when their mailbox has been filled with hundreds of SPAM comment e-mails. It’s important to think about SPAM from day one so that it doesn’t suck your time into a black hole down the road.

Akismet – Activate it Right Away


Akismet is the ultimate spam fighting plugin for WordPress and it comes with every new installation of WordPress. It’s true that I don’t know how it works. But that doesn’t really matter because it does work.

The problem is that many people fail to activate it properly and don’t receive the benefits of Akismet protection. To use Akismet, you need to get a WordPress.com API key. My guess is that you have no idea what that is. Am I right? No worries…

The keys are free and not that hard to acquire. All you need to do is go to WordPress.com and sign up for an account. It doesn’t matter if you never use the account for blogging. WordPress let’s you have an account even if you aren’t using it to blog. Once you’ve activated your account, you’ll be given a WordPress API key.

From there, you can copy the code and then go to your WordPress admin panel on your blog and navigate to the Akismet settings page. From there, it’s just a matter of pasting your API key and activating it.

Once you’ve done this, it will knock most spam dead in it’s tracks.

Image Verification


Another way to battle SPAM is to prevent them from commenting in the first place, that’s where image verification comes in. You’ve seen them all over the web, those cryptic little boxes that have hard to read text that you need to enter into a box.

Well, there’s an easy to use solution for WordPress called Recaptcha

. You can download the free WordPress plugin and sign up for a free account at Recaptcha.net. Make sure to activate your account and set up the free API keys. Once you’ve done this, people will be required to pass an image verification test before they are allowed to comment on your blog (unless they’re logged in).

This plugin is a great way to stop any spam comments that Akismet might have missed.

WP-Ban

If you have a persistent spammer that keeps getting past your SPAM fighting ramparts or a bandwidth thief that’s using your valuable bandwidth thief by continually loading and reloading the same pages, then WP-Ban is your friend.

WP-Ban is a WordPress plugin that allows you to ban IP addresses. This means that if you have a persistent spammer, they won’t be allowed to even access your website. You can look at your stats in Statpress

Christmas in South Park video

(another WordPress plugin) to find the IP’s of people abusing your websites.

With these three simple steps, you can solve your SPAM problems and keep your website nice and clean without having to spend a lot of time managing SPAM. As your blog becomes more and more popular, you will see how important it is to set up a good spam fighting system from the beginning.

About the Author:
Justin Wright is a full-time blogger, WordPress Expert, and digital nomad. You can check out his Digital Nomad Blog to follow him on his travels around the world. He is also the founder of zoopmedia, an online media company that provides blog services.