One of the most frustrating parts of blogging is spam.
Ok, it’s one of the most frustrating parts of the internet, but it’s especially annoying when you’re a blogger. I have gotten as many as 100 spam comments in a single day.
Using a spam filter such as Akismet is helpful, but there are other things you can do, too. Akismet is free for personal blogs and only $5/month for business blogs. After wading through those 100+ spams a day, it is definitely a bargain. You can learn more here. Akismet will catch probably 95% of the spam. Occasionally, one sneaks through.
Another completely free alternative is a plugin called AntiSpam Bee.
How to Change Your WordPress Comment Settings
So, what are your other options?
First, change your comment settings on your blog. To do this, choose the “Discussion” tab under “Settings” on the left side of your WordPress dashboard.
You do want to check the box that allows people to comment on your articles. You should also check the link notification settings as in the illustration below.
Next, require commenters to put in a name and email. Emails don’t show up in published blog comments. YOU are the only person who can see those email addresses, but this will deter not only regular spammers, but those who would post nasty, ugly comments as well.
I don’t recommend requiring user to be registered and logged in to comment. This will just deter any kind of commenting. As a rule, I generally don’t comment on blogs that require me to register. I don’t have time to register for every blog I read. I visit an average of 30 blogs a day, so you can imagine how much time registering on every blog would take.
As for closing comments, that’s up to you. Personally, I don’t because many of my posts get retweeted and shared long after they’ve been posted and I don’t want to miss out on any feedback, especially since the retweeted posts continue to be relevant. But that’s your call.
This one is up to you. If you get a lot of comments on your blog, you probably don’t want to check this one, otherwise you may end up with an overflowing inbox.
And that brings us to the most important setting in the discussion box. Check the box that says “An administrator must always approve the comment.”
It doesn’t really matter to me whether my commenters have commented before. It’s just easier for me to approve all the comments. Plus, this means I see them all and I won’t miss responding to anything that requires my attention.
Yes, this means you will have to periodically visit your blog to approve the comments before they show up, but this is also the most foolproof, sure-fire way to prevent spam from showing up on your blog. I have been doing this as long as I have had a blog and my blogs have no spam. It takes me about 3 minutes on a busy day to approve the comments–and a few more for me to respond to them.
Yes, there are many plugins out there that claim to control blog comments and prevent spam and they’re great if you have no plans to follow up on your blog posts or aren’t really interested in interacting with your blog visitors.
Part of having a successful blog and helping it grow is to interact with those who take the time to come and read your blog posts. Following up on blog comments is not only the polite thing to do, it’s essential to being a good blogger. It doesn’t mean you need to respond to every comment someone leaves, but you should be reading them and at least occasionally thanking your visitors and answering their questions. In addition, visitors are more likely to comment when they don’t see spam all over your blog.
So, if you’re tired of the blog spam–or you just want to avoid it–follow these easy steps and enjoy a spam-free blog today.
How do you control spam on your blog? Is it an issue or does it just not matter? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.