Spam Control

In this video, we’re going to take a look at how to control or combat spam on your WordPress blog. Now, you may already have some spam plugins, for example, Akismet running on your WordPress blog, but WordPress also comes with several default settings that you can edit and tweak to get more out of your spam control mechanisms.

[evp width=”640″ height=”480″]tutorials/wpvideos/wp-spam-control.swf[/evp]

So the first thing you need to do is go to Settings and click on Discussion. So under the Discussion settings, there are several simple tweaks that you can do. Okay, most importantly, make sure that the comment author must fill out name and email, ‘cause if you do not check this option, then you can get all kinds of spam by automated software, and technically speaking, a lot of automated software out there are already targeted to spam a WordPress blog.

Now if you prefer your users to be registered and logged in to comment, then you can also check the second option here.

Next, you can look at your email notifications. So you can either choose to get an email notification whenever someone posts comments on your WordPress blog or when a comment is held for moderation. Now by default, both these options are checked. So it really depends on how much comments you’d get at the moment. It is pretty safe to not get an email for every comment that is posted on your WordPress blog, but make sure that you do receive an email for comments that are held in moderation.

Now, before a comment appears, you can also choose to have an Administrator always approve the comment. Okay? Now again, this depends on how much comments you get. So if you get a lot of comments every single day, then this is not really a very practical option. But the second option here is pretty easy to do. The comment author must have a previously approved comment. Now, by making sure that this option alone is checked, you’ll be able to eradicate a lot of spam comments on your blog simply because most spam comments, or most spam authors, would only visit your site once and leave a spam comment.

So this is a good way to make sure that you’ll only allow real users to comment on your blog, and if you do not approve someone’s first comment, then all future comments will not automatically be posted on your WordPress blog. Instead, the comment will be entered into the moderation queue.

Now, you’ll also notice that a lot of spam comments like to post links inside the comments themselves, so by looking at the comment moderation options here, you can actually choose to control the amount of links a user can put inside their comment itself.

By default, this is set as 2, but you can change it to 1 if you wanna be more strict with the way your users post comments.

Now, in this big text box here is another useful tool to control comment. As you may have known by now, a lot of spam comments generally promoting, or contain the same keywords or the same product names…so for example, let’s enter a few very general and very obvious spam words. Okay, so I’ve entered four words here: viagra, cialis, porn, and sex. Now, unless your blog is about any of these topics, then generally speaking, any comment that contains these words should be treated as spam.

Next, you can go to Comment Blacklist. Now the difference between this text box here and the one above is that Comment Blacklist would automatically block any comments coming to your WordPress blog, and you will not even be able to see those spam comments under the Spam section in your WordPress dashboard. So if you are pretty sure of certain IP addresses, email addresses, URLs, or words that you do not want to see at all in your WordPress blog, then you can just copy and paste the same thing here and then scroll to the bottom and click on Save Changes.

Okay, so now, my settings have been saved. So by just tweaking your Discussion settings a little, you’ll be able to eliminate almost all spam on your WordPress blog.