6 Best Anti-Spam WordPress Plugins (How to Stop Comment Spam in WordPress)

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Best Anti-Spam WordPress Plugins
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Spam comments in WordPress is a headache and a time-waster.

Here at ShoutMeLoud, I receive over 300+ comments daily and 90% of them are spam.

Recently, I took the matter in my own hand and decided to get rid of these spam before it actually appears in my comment moderation queue.

This post is the outcome of my own pain of batteling with WordPress spam comment.

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 the 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.

But first, let’s look at the WordPress settings which will help you to control spam comments to a great level.

How to Stop WordPress Spam Comments: WordPress Discussion settings

WordPress gives you complete control over comment moderation.

The spam filter will happen later, but first, it’s your job to make sure that no comments should go live without moderation.

Comments on your blog are valuable in many ways, such as:

  • Add value to the article: A good comment will add more points and improve the overall value of your blog post.
  • Trust factor: If your blog post gets a good number of genuine and meaningful comments, that helps in increasing the trust factor of your blog.
  • Search engine ranking: I have done testing in the past where I have removed all comments on my old posts, and that drastically reduced the ranking of my posts. Having meaningful comments will increase the keyword density and variation, and thus helps in the improved ranking of your blog.

Similarly, if you are not moderating your blog comments and spam comments are going live on your blog, you are more likely to see the decreased ranking and your blog might be affected by Google Penguin penalty.

Even if you have made the mistake of approving spam comments in the past, you should edit old posts and remove all such comments from your blog. This also includes those comments like “nice post”Good post” which doesn’t add any value to your articles.

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We will first look into WordPress discussion settings which you should configure for your WordPress blog to prevent WordPress comments spam and improve the default comment settings of WordPress.

To get started with it; log in to your WordPress dashboard, and click on Settings > Discussion and configure them as mentioned below.

Do read the details, so that you also learn what you are doing:

1. Default Article Settings:

WordPress Default article settings
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This is the first section of WordPress discussion settings, and here you should uncheck the second option which says “Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks).” Since I don’t find trackback and pingbacks to be very useful regarding adding value, I keep this option as unchecked. If you have accidentally approved trackbacks in the past, you can read this guide to delete all previously approved trackbacks.

2. Other comment settings:

WordPress Comment settings
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This is another straight forward settings, where you can simply copy the settings as shown below. If you run a membership site or a site where you want only registered users to comment on your blog, you should check the second option “

3. Before a comment appear:

Before WordPress comment appears
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This is the most important setting to ensure that no comments go live without moderation.

This is to ensure that you have complete control over your blog comments and only manually approved comments should go live. I have WordPress for iOS app on my iPhone, which is very helpful to keep moderating comments while I’m away from my laptop.

If you are one of those bloggers who like to instantly moderate a comment, I recommend you install WordPress App on your smartphone (Available for both iOS and Android) and moderate comments from everywhere you go.

4. Comment moderation and blacklist:

WordPress Comment spam battle
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This section is very useful to tackle spam comments on your WordPress blog. So far, from all the above settings we have already set that no comments should go live without moderation.

If you have selected the option where commentators comment will automatically approve if the commentator has earlier approved a comment, you can further put a spam check with comment moderation and blacklist settings.

With comment moderation settings, you can put any comment for hold if it has more than “X” number of hyperlinks. Where X could be any number. In my case, I have set it up X as 1.

Similarly, you can also hold a comment based on Word match. I don’t explicitly use this feature, as this causes many genuine comments to land into spam or moderation queue.

You can find an updated list of WordPress comment blacklist here.

With the above settings, you will be able to have complete control of WordPress comments moderation. This not necessarily prevents your blog from spam comments, as we need to use anti-spam comments WordPress plugins to check all comments in the moderation queue for spam.

6 Best Comment Anti-spam Plugins for WordPress

1.  Akismet

Availability: WordPress Plugin Directory and Akismet

Akismet
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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 the 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.

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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. Anti-Spam Bee

Availability: WordPress Plugin Directory

Antispam Bee
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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.

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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.

3. CleanTalk

Availability: WordPress Plugin Directory

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This is one of the best premium online (cloud-based) anti-spam WordPress plugin.

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.

One of the cool features of Cleantalk is, you could check existing spam comments in WordPress.

This is highly useful if you have not moderated comments for a while and need to get rid of spam comments from the moderation queue.

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You also get detailed statistics and comments log, along with automatic moderation (spam detection) activity and history.

The service is free for the first 5 days, after which you can continue to use and scale up the service with a measly $8/yr charges per domain.

4. WordPress Zero Spam

Availability: WordPress Plugin Directory

WordPress Zero Spam
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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.

5. Stop Spammers Spam Prevention

Availability: WordPress Plugin Directory

Stop Spammers Spam Prevention
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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.

6. WP Armour – Honeypot Anti Spam

This is one of the simplest plugin to prevent comment spam in WordPress. WP Armour uses the honeypot anti spam technique to prevent spam in various fields and is not limited to WP comment form only. Using this plugin, you can prevent spam in:

  • For WP Comments
  • For WP Registraton
  • For BBPress Forum
  • For Contact Form 7
  • For Ninja Forms
  • For Gravity Forms
  • For WPForms
  • For Formidable Forms
  • For Caldera Forms
  • For Toolset Forms

The best thing about WP Armour plugin is, it is plug and play plugin. You simply install it, and it starts working out of the box. The free plugin is good enough for part-time users, but for those serious about catching up spam, and needs data, can upgrade to any of the lifetime license of this plugin.

Download Free version || Download Pro version

Conclusion

Here you are: the 5 plugins 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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Authored By
A Blogger, Author and a speaker! Harsh Agrawal is recognized as a leader in digital marketing and FinTech space. Fountainhead of ShoutMeLoud, and a Speaker at ASW, Hero Mindmine, Inorbit, IBM, India blockchain summit. Also, an award-winning blogger.

46 thoughts on “6 Best Anti-Spam WordPress Plugins (How to Stop Comment Spam in WordPress)”

  1. Rahul Gandhi

    Hi, i am daily getting 100s of spam messages.., what should i do? plz reply…

    1. Akhil

      Use one of the above mentioned plugins.. 😀

  2. Nirmal Kumar

    Comment spam stop plugins are a great way to reduce the spam in plugins. But, they are not 100% accurate. Akismet sometimes marks valid comments as spam. You will have to keep an eye on the spam comments too because you may not know how valuable that comment would have been. But, overall they perform well !

  3. Aditya Vikram

    @Lucy

    Well Nice to hear about these 7 tools and maybe there are so many other tools other than these to prevent spam but personally i would say just to install Akismet and sit back and relax, it will automatically detect the spam and will move it to the spam section of comment from where you could remove or un-spam it. Best spam preventing tool,

  4. Angel Costa

    I, honestly, just use cloudflare and I have not had a single problem with spam for a long while.

  5. Nagaraj

    I use Akismet free version but I found best result. Anyways, thanks a lot for letting us to know about other plugins.

  6. Alestair jhons

    hello there!!
    sir actually i have got alots of spams in a shape of comments on my website after reading your new article i applied this and now i am much satisfied thank you for sharing with us

  7. jaidayal saraswat

    Using akismet from long time on my blog , never tried any alternative because i am happy with results of it 😀

  8. Vishwajeet Kumar

    Great article Lucy. I am using Askimet Plugin and its protect me from comment spam. I Never heard some of the Plugins listed above. I will try them out on my other blogs.

  9. Indro

    Use discus instead, much easier and easy to setup. Moreover the dashboard is outside your WordPress, so does not use your server resources. Always recommended over anything else. All comment links are no follow.

  10. Amar Banshiwal

    Hi Lucybarret,
    Every new blogger have spam comment problem. You mentioned here best tool here. I personally use akismet. Thanks for sharing ultimate article.

    Harsh sir, can you tell me that why spam comments come to our blogs.

  11. Baljeet Kaur

    I am Still facing the issue as i am using the Akismet plugin. Thanks for the list i will try the WP-SpamShield Anti-Spam and then check the results..

  12. Shibam Kar

    I found Akismet best among all the spam detecting tools described here. Its effective and free. We have just to register and get the API key to get started with Akismet. great post. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Rabin

    I am personally using Akismet. It is a great tool for WordPress. But however I have noticed that it sometimes mark genuine comment as spam. That is the only reason that I was looking for some alternatives to the Akismet and found this article.

    I just installed WP-SpamShield and I hope it will work perfectly.

    Thank you for this article.

  14. Louis

    Akismet would the tool for blogger to preven spam comments, but some bloggers still got mark as a spammer even though they might a have ea proper blog, email and website url.

  15. BARNALI

    I am using Akismat and its working properly. But I did not before that spam comments that come into your site should be dealt with properly. Else, you run the risk of incurring the wrath of the search engine.

  16. Himadri Saha

    Nice article for the WordPress bloggers who are struggling to stop spamming in their blogs. Akimet is the best. After using this plugin I did not get a single spam comment in my WordPress blog. Thanks for your informative article.

  17. Manikandan

    It is working well for me, but I’m little confused whether this plugin affects my website performance or speed? Help me out.

  18. Rohit Patel

    Personally i use Akismet which by default install in WordPress.
    It works really well and clean my site from spammy comments.

  19. Manikandan

    It’s new to me hearing this spammer prevention tool. Before I had no clue to eliminate the spammers but after reading your post, i prefer to use some of the referred plugins to stop comment spammers. I used in my website and followed your instruction. These tools are great! Preventing my comment spam.

    Thanks for sharing this Lucy Barret. It is very useful, and I love using it.

  20. Vikal Singh

    Hi,

    I am facing spam comments issue our newly blog. And I am searching for any solution for this And suddenly I got new message our inbox and I was happy. I did choose one tool which is given in this post.

    Thanks a lot:)

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