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How To Stop SPAM To Your WordPress Website
One of the most frustrating, and seemingly day-to-day occurrences, is the amount of spam that arrives in your website or inbox. If you have a WordPress website (in particular), you know exactly what I mean.
How many times have you received an email that you have new comments to view. Or, someone posted a comment on one of your blogs or articles. Do you want to publish them, spam them, delete them, etc.
It’s super annoying because you have enough going on in your every day that the last thing you need to do, is monitor which comments are legit, where the spam is coming from and so on.
Key Reasons to Monitor Spam Comments
- It makes your website look unprofessional (those Viagra ads, while I’m sure they rise to the occasion, are often just links to spam websites).
- Visitors to your website will have a difficult time engaging with you when their comments are pushed down the page from excessive spam. You might not even see the legit comments or questions from potential customers.
- Most comments contain malicious links that can trick your visitors to give away their personal or business information.
Don’t forget, it’s up to you to monitor these comments and urls and protect (not just yourself or your own business) the people coming to your website.
So, how can you stop spam to your WordPress website?
The quickest way is through a plugin. WordPress has lots of different plugins, most of those for free, that can be used to stop (or at least slow down) the amount of spam to your website. Akismet is one of those plugins.
Another I highly recommend is CleanTalk. It monitors IP addresses that visits your website, compares them to others marked spam (usually from countries outside North America), and spams those comments for you. You won’t even need to check your email or comments because it takes care of that for you.
The CleanTalk plugin will cost you a cup or two of coffee, but how much do you really need that extra caffeine? A few bucks is better spent making sure you, or your marketing or web department, aren’t spending half their day reviewing and deleting comments and other emails.
To install those plugins, or any plugins for that matter, simply login to your WordPress admin panel. Then, click Plugins on the left side menu. Click Add New, in the top left corner, and type in either of those names into the search bar. Or, simply type in the word spam. Click the Install Now button then Activate the plugin. It’s really that simple. And, only takes you a minute or less of your time. Think of the time you’ll end up saving.
Another way to slow down or stop spam is using a third-party comment system like Disqus. This plugin will also allow you to build your Facebook engagement and share your articles with others. A great way to build your online community and followers at the same time.
The one thing I highly suggest is always looking at the email address that sent the comments. If it’s a long string of characters, followed by letters and numbers (or simply doesn’t look like a legitimate email), do not publish the comments and send it straight to your spam box.
I’ve seen too many folks add the comment to their blog or article or web page which then sends a notification to that email that you’ve approved the comment. In doing so, get ready to enjoy the world of headaches and frustration as you will end up on their spam list and get endless spam comments flooding your website and inbox.
A little TLC each week, and using the plugins suggested in this blog and podcast, are the easiest way you can save time and energy. It’s also great housekeeping for your website and your visitors will thank you for it. With their legit comments.