- WordPress comments are dying!
- I’m tired of automated bot comments!
- I’m tired of people commenting like they never read the post!
Sounds like something you could relate to?
Let me be brutally honest with you!
I love comments!
Even though many blogopreneur has announced the death of comments so many times, I feel they are all wrong. Comments are an invaluable aspect of blogs or any content. It helps the creator connect with like-minded people, it helps in hearing the other side of the argument, and it also helps in improving the content based on users feedback.
Then why do many hate comments?
If there is one reason, that would be bot comments.
Comments that look genuine, but they are not! They are created by frustrated users who are looking for a shortcut to build links or drive traffic with no intention of adding value. These people take help of automated commenting software to comment, and boy, they are smart! They know how to turn a spam comment into a genuine-looking comment.
For us, it is frustrating as when we sit down to sort the comment, we are faced with this endless spam comments which eat our finite creative juice, and left us with tiring an endless number of unmoderated comments. Here at ShoutMeLoud, I get a ton of comments, and almost 80% of the comments are spam.
It is such a time waster to simply sort through these automated bot comments, and find genuine comments to approve and reply.
So all those who have removed comment box from their blog to battle the bot comments, I hear you. I reckon with your frustrations, but there are better solutions. You don’t give up to spam by removing a feature, rather you find the write weapon and hit it head on.
Akismet WordPress plugin is one of the most popular anti-spam solutions for WordPress, but it is certainly not the best. In fact, I find it almost useless when it comes to battling the bot comments. It could do better, but been waiting for years, Akismet is far away from being the best spam comment catcher plugin.
This put me in the quest to find an alternate solution, and recently I bumped into WP Armour plugin. A free plugin, and perhaps the most simplest and smartest solution to stop bot comments on a WordPress website. Just to let you know, it not only work with comment forms, it also takes care of other forms like
- Registration forms
- Contact forms
- Event forms
to name a few.
Note: After installing the plugin, do clear your browser and server cache. Try commenting from incognito mode, to see if the plugin is accepting genuine comments or preventing that as well. A lot of users reported that this plugin is preventing genuine comments too.
WP Armour: Shielding WordPress forms with Honeypot Anti Spam Technique
WP Armour uses the honeypot anti-spam technique to prevent the automated bot from filling the forms on your WordPress website.
Here is how Kim Perry explains about Honeypot anti-spam technique:
When a spam bot comes to a form, it fills out EVERY input field, but it ignores the CSS code. This is the behavior we can exploit. You would create a regular form input field with HTML (this will be the honeypot field). The spam bot will see the field, but you’ll use CSS to hide the field from users.
It is this simple, and much better than using a captcha plugins which adds a lot of friction for end users. And we all know, frustrated users are not good for business.
Here are supported forms according to the plugin author:
- 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
Anyways, here is how to configure WP Armour plugin:
Seriously, Thats it!
This is a plug and play plugin, that works out of the box. However, if you start getting spam comments again (never undermine a smart spammer), you need to change the honeypot field name by going to WP armour settings.
The below statistics tab shows the spam blocked by WP Armour plugin in 24 hours, and a clear breakdown based on form wise:
There is also a premium version, which unlike any other plugin offers lifetime license, and is pretty cheap. The premium (Extended) version offers features like:
- Record Spammer IP: Record spammers’ IPs to block them from future submissions.
- View Spam Submission: See what data spam bot was trying to submit.
- Auto Block Spam Bot IP: Allows you to block the spam bot IP so that they can’t visit your website.
For me, I don’t need those stats as of now, so I’m sticking with free version. So far, it has proven itself worthy of being featured here, and doing an amazing job by giving a stress free comment moderation panel.
If you have been finding a solution for combating spam in WordPress, this one will be really helpful. For now I’m using it along with Akismet plugin. Do let me know how you are combating bot comments on your WordPress website? If this plugin is something you have been looking for a while, do share it with other WordPress users, as they will thank you for this useful information.
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