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7 Tools for Stopping Comment Spam in WordPress

Comment spam is the harsh reality and every green behind the ears, enthusiastic, unprepared blogger will be staggered by the sheer volume they receive of it. WordPress can help, but you need to mentally prepare yourself for the hard fact that more than 99% of the comments you will receive is going to be spam. If you leave the issue unattended, the spam can quite literally overtake your site database and get you permanently banned from search engine index.

The first thing on your to-do list should be to prepare your website admin (backend) to help you deal with such massive amounts of bull. That’s where WordPress bloggers have an advantage. As much spam there is, there are quite a handful of powerful solutions, available free or for pocket-change-cost, to help stop and/or manage spam influx on your website.

Here are 7 top tools for stopping comment spam in WordPress. Take a look at:

1.  Akismet

Availability: WordPress Plugin Directory and Akismet

Akismet

Shipped free of cost with every WordPress install, Akismet is a staple because it’s WordPress through and through. This is the prima donna of all anti spam plugins available for WordPress.

Developed by Automattic, Akismet is pretty damn powerful. The enterprise grade spam prevention (and management) features are off the charts, some of which include a self-learning spam detection algorithm (notes your ‘comments marked as spam’ and uses it for automatic spam marking in future). The plugin also lets you put your comments on Akismet server (where they undergo spam checks by the aforementioned algorithm). Comments that pass the inspection are published on your site’s front end, while the rest are marked spam and eventually deleted. All the comments (spam or genuine) are maintained in logs that you can check at your leisure.

Akismet comes with up to 50k spam checks per month, only for non profits and personal blogs. Commercial websites can get the API key by subscribing at $5/month charge – a reasonable cost which is absolutely worth it.

2. WP-SpamShield Anti-Spam

Availability: WordPress Plugin Directory

WP-SpamShield Anti-Spam

WP-SpamShield Anti-Spam is featured right on top in ‘anti-spam plugin’ search results on WordPress.org Plugin Repository. It deserves the spot.

The plugin is absolutely free of cost and efficient to the last degree. It can tackle spam in comments, registration/ sign up forms, trackbacks and pingbacks, etc. It can track and identify incessant spammers (based on IP) and let you blacklist the troublemakers to protect your site’s database from spam. It even has a JavaScript (cookie authentication) layer to help prevent spam from bots.

The plugin has nothing to do with Captcha or those lame ‘prove you are a human’ questions/ tick boxes. It automatically blocks proxy server users and supports every major WordPress form plugin.

It’s a smart plugin that costs nothing.

3. Anti-Spam Bee

Availability: WordPress Plugin Directory

Antispam Bee

With over a million active installs and counting and a glowing letter of recommendation from WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg himself, you can be sure you’re not wrong with Anti-spam Bee.

This plugin is free for all and super smart. It can take care of IP blacklisting (comment blocking), trackback validation, database optimization (a feature many people get by downloading a separate plugin like WP Sweep), and more. It shows you detailed monthly stats and spam activities in your admin dashboard and lets you ‘create’ your own spam detection algorithm by selecting certain indicators based on your knowledge of your user base.

Told you it’s an intelligent little beast. It’s also completely devoid of any annoying ads and complies with data privacy standards (Europe), which is another layer of icing on the freaking cake of awesomeness.

4.    CleanTalk

Availability: WordPress Plugin Directory

Spam Protection by CleanTalk

This is one of the best premium online (cloud based) spam protection services available for WordPress.

CleanTalk prevents comment spam, registration/ sign up form spam, and trackback spam and uses smart algorithms to detect spam within ‘genuine’ looking comments uploaded on the Clean Talk cloud. You also get detailed statistics and comments log, along with automatic moderation (spam detection) activity and history.

The service is free for a 2 week trial period, after which you can continue to use and scale up the service with a measly $8/yr charges per domain.

5. WordPress Zero Spam

Availability: WordPress Plugin Directory

WordPress Zero Spam

This is one of the simplest spam prevention plugins.

WordPress Zero Spam works by blocking comments from users who don’t have JavaScript enabled on the browsers. It works with client and server side JS validation, which works to prevent most bots from spamming your comments section.

It’s free of cost and superbly compatible with almost every major (and trusted) WordPress plugin (except Jetpack) and a whole variety of contact form plugins. Keep in mind that while it’s great against bots, it’s largely ineffectual against humans.

6. Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin (GASP)

Availability: WordPress Plugin Directory

Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin

Developers who hate the spambots with the intensity of thousand suns created Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin.

The GASP is simple: It adds a checkbox to your comment form asking your site visitors to check it to prove they are human. Since the box is generated using JavaScript on user’s own browsers, most bots won’t see it and fool the plugin.

It’s lightweight, effective, and free.

7. Stop Spammers Spam Prevention

Availability: WordPress Plugin Directory

Stop Spammers Spam Prevention

This is a Jack-of-all-trades, multitasking plugin that can take a load off your head while dealing with comment spam.

Stop Spammers Spam Prevention blocks comment spam, sign up form spam, trackbacks, and contact form spam by passing them through a set of powerful and thorough algorithms. The plugin can block IPs from over 100 countries. It also gives a warning (Request Denied) page to the spammer (human and otherwise) promptly followed by a captcha: this second layer prevents spambots.

Conclusion

Here you are: the top 7 tools to protect your WordPress site from spam and prevent it from accumulating in your server and database in the first place. Keep your WordPress website clean and well maintained, and install one of these as soon as you get your website up and running.

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