Ah spam, that thing we all “love” to see in our inbox’s, mailboxes and in this article’s case, our WordPress websites. It’s unavoidable, but thanks to certain plugins developed by some awesome people, if you have a website, you can almost completely eliminate the need to worry about it and let it handle it.
So what is the best anti spam plugin available for WordPress websites? Well I haven’t tested them all, but the 2 I know work VERY well for me are:
#1: Anti-spam by WebVitaly:
Even though we have the same name, I have no association to the gentleman who created this plugin, but I did hear about it from a friend of mine who had been using it for quite sometime after he encountered problems with a popular one called Akismet.
At the time I was also seeing problems with it as well. Too many spam comments were getting through way too often and having to filter out over a 100 of them daily was not something I wanted to do. So I began to look at others and that’s when this one came up.
It’s completely free to install, the only problem is finding it. If you go to your WordPress dashboard, then plugins and click “add new”, you have to type the following: “Anti-spam webvitaly” just like that and it’ll be the first one that shows up. Here is a screenshot picture:
It’s very easy to install, just click on the install now button and then activate it. It should begin working immediately. There’s no sign up and no loops.
This is the one I’ve been using on this website for almost half a year and I couldn’t be happier. Sometimes, I’ll get comments that I think are bad, but it seriously happens to rarely that even these small occurrences are forgivable.
I think out of 10,000+ blocked comments, maybe 1 or 2 bad ones get through once in awhile. Also it has a 5 star rating from users. There’s one you can trust. Add 5 stars from me as well!
#2: WP-Spam shield.
I haven’t really been able to test this one out yet, but I do know a couple of things about it:
A) It’s recommended on Wealthy Affiliate and if they recommend it, I know it’s good. In fact, they switched over to this one a few weeks back after they left Akismet.
You can either manually install it for free or if you go through Wealthy Affiliate and build a website there, it automatically comes equipped with it.
B) It’s been rated 5 stars by over 300 people and installed over 100k times:
Now if you plan on manually installing it, just like the first one by WebVitaly, you have to type in the right keyword to find it right away. Just type: “WP-SpamShield”. Installation should also be very easy. I also rate this one as high as it can be rated.
These are really the 2 I recommend. Unless you have something you believe is better, let me know below, but with these things, you don’t need so many options, just 1 or 2 that work and you’ll be set.
Installing one of these should be mandatory!
If you’re new to building websites and believe that you can go without this kind of thing on your website or are paranoid that it’ll get in the way of something, don’t be. Deleting comments on your site and inbox are 2 different things. When something lands in the junk folder, you can erase any quantity right away.
With WordPress, although the platform is VERY comfortable to build sites, it has problems too and one of the most inconvenient ones is that you can only delete up to 20 comments at a time (per page). So if you have a 1,000 pending comments, it’ll take you awhile to delete them all. I hope they one day release an update where you can just erase any quantity without having to click to the next page.
I once had a website where I made this mistake, didn’t have anything installed and let the comments pile on top of one another. After a few months, I had to go through over 14,000 of them, of which 99.9% were spam! I couldn’t just bulk erase them either because in between them, there were some posted by real people.
People who spam and the bots they use are relentless. They will latch onto your website and do everything to get their links across.
Most spam comments are easy to notice (they usually have tons of links in them), but when you’re going through so many, they all start to look alike! Just don’t let this problem ever get to that point, install something to handle the bad stuff!
And don’t worry about these things labeling legitimate comments either. Again, back to the Akismet thing (which used to be the most popular one to use back in the day), I did have a couple of times when I had legitimate comments marked in the spam folder. With these 2 plugins, it’s never happened.
Note: Make SURE you do not have another anti-spam plugin installed before using one of these two or any others that are meant to do handle the same job. If you already do have one, head over to where it’s installed, de-activate it first, then delete it followed by installing the new one and then activating that one.
Note 2: Always make sure to have everything and I mean EVERYTHING on your WordPress site updated, not just your plugins, but your themes, and anything it asks you to update. WP is extremely organized when it comes to this and if there’s a new update on anything in your dashboard, it’ll let you know. Don’t wait around for that to happen, install it as soon as possible, otherwise your website may be open to hacker attacks or can even break down.
What other plugins do I recommend?
There’s a post I wrote where I list the ones I have installed. It’s just a few, but you should keep that list in mind.