WordPress now powers more than 30% of the internet. WordPress’s ease brings to people with little to no technical background and that there is a wide variety of themes and plugins that can be used for absolutely free.
Nowadays, creating and running a WP website is not a difficult thing to do these days. There are so many tutorials that you can follow yourself or hire a WordPress developer to take care of your WP site needs. Just make a website, install plugins, live chat app for website and start engaging with your visitors.
Only problem is spamming is still prevalent in the online world. Spam can be thought of as unwanted material that malicious actors might try to insert on your website.
Spam not only reduces the overall quality of your website, but it also scares people away from your website. Also, search engines do not like sites with a high spam score, which can lead to your site being penalized.
To keep your website healthy and relevant, you need to make a conscious effort to prevent and eliminate spam from your website.
Here are some tips on how to reduce spam on your WordPress website:
- Only open comments to registered members.
Comments are an essential mechanic that your website audience uses to interact with you and other people within your community. But unfortunately, a lot of spammers abuse website comments.
These spammers see your comments only as a way to insert links or direct traffic to their own website. But in some extreme cases, spammers choose to pollute your website with obscene content, which is detrimental to your website’s quality.
One of the absolute best ways to reduce spam on your website is only to open comments to registered members. Most spammers want to insert a quick link and move on to the next site. Making spammers put in some effort to write a comment will prove to be a pretty significant detriment to spammers.
Once you’ve decided that only registered members will be able to comment on your website, you will need to think about the kind of information a user has to give to become a registered member of your site.
Make sure to abide by all laws and regulations when it comes to collecting data from your audience.
By only allowing registered members to comment on your website, you will notice an immediate decrease in spam. It will also allow you to maintain the quality of your website. If a registered user is only making spammy comments, then it’s best to warn them first but ban them if they continue to spam.
- Do not allow multiple links in the comments.
Let’s face it. Most spammers want to comment on blogs just so that they can insert random or even sometimes inappropriate links.
Not only does this ruin the user experience for others who visit your website, but it also becomes a hindrance in the way of people who want to write a comment that actually contributes to the overall discussion.
One way to eliminate the spammer’s incentive is to remove all kinds of link insertions in your comments section. That way, there won’t be any irrelevant links in your comments.
But you might not want to do that. Sometimes, to further the discussion and to help other people, adding links to valuable resources is essential. But even then, you don’t want people adding so many links that divert your audience to other platforms.
The number of links you allow in your comments ultimately comes down to your own preference. But it would be best if you prevent users from entering multiple links.
- Use an anti-spam plugin.
One of the defining features that make WordPress websites stand out is that there are many plugins available that do all sorts of things for your website.
If you want to prevent spam on your website, you might want to use a plugin that helps you filter comments to eliminate as much spam as possible.
One plugin that is highly recommended to prevent spam is Akismet. It comes pre-installed with WordPress, which helps alleviate some of the hassles of installing it.
Akismet takes all of the attributes that contribute to a spam comment from all participating websites and uses it to filter spam comments on your site.
The best part? The Akismet plugin is absolutely free to use.
- Block spammy IP addresses.
Blocking spammy IP addresses might not be something that you’ll have to deal with from day one of starting your website, but it is something that you should definitely be keeping tabs on as you go on.
Anti-spam plugins like Akismet help your website by filtering out comments on your website to ensure that the comment doesn’t contain any blacklisted words or links, etc.
Most of the time, spammers will be using the same kinds of IP addresses. Maybe they’re using the same types of web browsers or are situated in the same geographic location.
If that is the case, then you can block certain regions and IP addresses from accessing your website.
An excellent plugin that you can use to block users from specific IP addresses is Sucuri. Sucuri can help protect your website from spam by preemptively preventing suspicious people from accessing your site.
The only downside to using Sucuri is that it costs around $200 per year. There are other alternatives to Sucuri that you can check out as well.
By reducing the spam on your WordPress website, you’ll be able to maintain the quality of the content on your website. Your audience will also feel more at ease if they don’t see some random links to sketchy sites.
There are many things that you can do to prevent spam on your website. By thinking proactively about the user experience on your website, you’ll be able to find loopholes on your site that spammers might take advantage of and prevent any funny business early on.
By following the tips in this post as a starting point, you’ll be able to make your site more secure and safe.
Hamzah Adil is currently working as a digital marketing executive at a tech startup that has launched a live chat app called SwiftChat. He loves exploring web and finding new free tools so that he can provide his readers with something new everytime.