A great many webmasters have the experience to receive spam comments in WordPress. This is also likely to be a problem in your process to run a WordPress site. Based on our years of experience, a professional answer to “How to prevent spam comments in WordPress?” is available in this article.
1. Nofollow Comment Links
Some newbies take it for granted that dofollow links will better work as an encouragement to leave comments than nofollow links. Therefore, they decide to replace nofollow links with dofollow links in the comment section. But as a result, more spam comments will come to your website.
2. Activate Akismet
From the beginning to install WordPress, the Akismet plugin which can prevent spam comments waits for you to activate. That is, you have no need to install the plugin but to activate it. Then API key can be used to fight against spam. The fact is that Akismet will make some mistakes to regard good comments as spam. But you have the freedom to recover them on a regular basis.
3. Enable Honeypot Protection
The honeypot protection, which the WP Spam Fighter plugin provides, will do you a favor to identify spam bots. This can be enabled on the Settings > WP Spam Fighter. After that, your comment section will come with a hidden form which can only be seen by bots. As usual, spam bots will fill in all the blanks without any hesitation.
4. Reduce Comment Spam Using Cookies
Most spam comments come from spam bots which are automated scripts. Without the need to download any stylesheets or image files, spam bots can leave more spam comments within a shorter time. The Cookies for Comments plugin can change this situation, identifying those who automatic load the files as spammers.
5. Add Captcha Verification
Adding Captcha verification is also an effective way to block spam bots. WP-reCAPTCHA is a recommended plugin for you to check whether users are human. With the use of the plugin, your comment form will have an image which contains characters. Users cannot leave comments until they prove that they are not a spam bot by typing the characters.
But Recaptcha also comes with some potential problems. It has no influence on real users who submit spam comments. And some users will be bothered to type the characters before submitting comments. From this perspective, this is not an encouragement for users to leave more comments.
6. Use Math Quiz
Math Quiz plugin is a good alternative to Captcha verification. With the adding of simple question, commenters will feel it easier to verify their identity. So far, this has been only a very minor possibility that bots can answer your question. The question should be easy to understand so that real users can answer it in a quick way, for example, simple mathematical questions.
7. Remove Website URL Field from Comment Form
Spammers, bots or human, won’t miss the chance to spam your website, when your comment form has a URL field. Their submitted comments often have no relationship with your discussion. In fact, website URL field can be removed from your comment form. This will discourage those who are on the purpose to leave spam comments via website URL field.
8. Turn Off Comments
There are some instances where you have no need for comments in WordPress. Or you encounter the failure to moderate comment. No matter what time it is, you can switch off comments as you like. Below options are available for you to choose from in the Settings page.
The first option is to leave ‘Allow people to post comments on new articles’ unchecked.
The second option is to turn off comments on older articles.
9. Disable HTML in Comments
Here is easy to understand for disabling HTML in comments. Peter’s Literal Comments plugin will provide you the easiest way to get the job done. Upon activation, WordPress filers will parse all HTML inside the comments users have submitted to your website.
10. Disable Trackbacks
Trackbacks are also a big source of spam comments. In fact, they are not a necessary part of some blogs. Disabling trackbacks is approved in an individual post or on your entire website.
Settings > Discussion is the place where you can find the option: Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks). Having it unchecked, all the trackbacks will be disabled for your entire website.
And, registered users can be set as the only ones to leave comments. Then what you need to do is to check ‘Users must be registered and logged in to comment’ under the Other Comments Settings section.
11. Ban Spammer’s IP Address
The IP address can be seen from your dashboard, coming along with comments. You have the freedom to add suspicious IPs into your blacklist. Then your website cannot be accessible to these IP address. But there should be enough evidence to confirm that spam bots are behind the IPs.