How To Ban Spammers in WordPress

As blogs become more popular, spammers are become more and more of a problem. Spambots are becoming more and more bold in the ways they crawl websites and the content that they generate in comments.

It will happen to every blogger. One day, you’ll look at your stats and see that one page is getting literally thousands of pageviews a day. However, when you compare those thousands of pageviews with your actual unique visitor numbers, things don’t match up. This is a pretty good sign your site is being assaulted by a Spambot repeatedly. Who knows why they do it, or what they intend to do with it, you need it to STOP. It will clog up your bandwidth and make the rest of the site move slow.

So, how do you fight them off?

Well, there are a couple easy ways to deal with spammers in WordPress. The first is to manage your comments to block unwanted users. The second is to ban certain bots from crawling your site at all.

WordPress Comment Spam

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Most WordPress users keep their comments moderated to deal with spam. If you do get spam comments, all you have to do is mark them as spam and WordPress deals with them. I also highly recommend installed Akismet spam protection – it’s free and will save you a lot of headaches.

However, before you mark something as spam, it’s not a bad idea to block their IP completely. To do this, pull up their comment and copy the IP address from the spammer. Take that IP address and go to the Settings –> Discussion Menu and add them to the comment blocklist. If you do that, they won’t be able to comment on your WordPress blog anymore.

Helpful Tip:

Ban a range of IP’s. Many spammers have different IP’s but you can block them as well. For example if a spammer is commenting with:

192.168.1.175

192.168.1.176

You can block them by using a wildcard:

192.168.1.* – This will block the whole range of IP’s addresses from 192.168.1.001-192.168.1.255.

You can take it even further and block:

192.168.*

But be careful doing this, you can inadvertently block legitimate visitors from your site. IP’s can change frequently.

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This is different from comment spam. This is when one bot continually hits a page over and over. First you need to peer into the IP records in StatPress, the WordPress Web Statistic Plugin I frequently use and look for the IP address that keeps hitting the site. The easiest way to ban someone from even having access to your site it to get the WP-Ban plugin The Last Sin Eater rip . This is an invaluable tool. Once you enter the individual IP’s addresses, the bots will not be able to access your site at all.

Once you block the little bot spammers, your pageviews should go back to normal levels. You can use the same wildcards to block IP’s in WP-Ban that you can in the standard WP comment banning.

Click here to download the WP-Ban WordPress Plugin

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Good luck battling WordPress Spammers!

What’s your favorite way to block Spammers?