Guarding Against WordPress Comment Spam
In this video, we're going to talk about how to fight comment spam. If you have comments turned on anywhere in your site, even if it's just one post from long ago that you've forgotten about, you'll get spam. Now WordPress has built in the ability to mark a comment as spam. I'll go ahead and click this one and now it's in my spam folder. Unfortunately that doesn't really do anything. It keeps it off the front of the site but so does trashing it. What we really want is a system that can read your comments for you to figure out which ones are spam and deal with them appropriately. If you go to wordpress.org and search for spam you'll note that there are more than a thousand plugins that deal with spam in some way. There's spam protection by clean talk, spam master, spam protection and anti spam, spam bye bye, the list goes on and on and on. When choosing an anti spam plug-in, use all of the methods we talked about when choosing any other plug-in. Look for active installs, last updates, compatible up to, how old it is, that sort of thing. Given that these are all free, it can't hurt to try several. Not all at the same time, just one at a time. But you can try one and if it works, great. If it doesn't, you can try another one. That's the glory of free software. Another one I want to point out is called Akismet. A copy of Akismet comes with every install of WordPress but the way it works is that your comments get routed through their servers so that they can read them. This means that everybody that uses Akismet has all of their comments get routed to their servers and so they get a wonderful sample of what is spam and what isn't. Additionally, when you're running Akismet, if something gets through when you mark it as spam, it lets them know and that increases their accuracy. Acusa, that's been around for several years and the longer it's around the more accurate it gets because people mark things as spam appropriately. I want to point out that Akismet requires an API key for premium. It's nine dollars a month and comes with these options for plus it's $5 a month. For basic its name, your price, and that price can be zero. Akismet will let you get an API key for zero dollars and use it for free forever. If it works for you, I recommend giving them some money because it helps keep the system running. Now with both of these, Akismet and any of these others, what actually happens is they simply go in the spam folder like I showed you with this one. There, now I have one in my spam folder. The problem is spam comes very quickly. You would be amazed at how much spam comes in to your site or maybe you wouldn't. That's why you're listening to this. If you don't keep up with emptying your spam folder - see, there's a button right here for that - then you might end up with hundreds or thousands or maybe even tens of thousands of spam items. The problem is if you click empty spam it tries to do them all at once and no server on earth can do ten thousand spam deletions at once so for that reason I recommend batch comment spam deletion. It allows you to go ahead and click this button but rather than try to delete them all at once it does it in batches. It'll pick a hundred at a time and do it over and over and over until they're all gone. So you can simply click empty spam and walk away and all 10,000 spams will go away. So, to reiterate, on wordpress.org there are thousands of anti spam plugins. You can try them and if they work, great. If they don't, try another one. Akismet is what I use, personally. It works very, very well and I love the fact that my usage contributes to its accuracy. Then, lastly, if you end up with thousands of spams and you can't delete them all, use batch comment spam deletion. It'll speed up your database and it will get clutter out of your WordPress admin.