What to Do With Comment Spam

We often install WordPress as a CMS for businesses at Silicon Dales, because we know how important it is for companies and small firms to communicate with their customers and clients.

This does, however, introduce the business web manager to a new thing: moderating comments; and comment moderation’s ugly sister – Comment Spam!

A lot of new WordPress webmasters ask about comment spam, what it is, and how to deal with it. This guide is for those people!

How to Combat Comment Spam

So, what do you do when you are faced with a raft of seemingly unstoppable Comment Spam on the blog sections of your website?

Turn off commenting altogether? No, you don’t need to.

Luckily, like the people who made your email software, the people who (like the team at Silicon Dales) contribute their time and energy to developing the Open Source code at WordPress have come up with some solutions to help tackle comment spam – systematically.

Use Akismet for WordPress

This system is a plugin called Akismet. It comes pre-installed with your website.

Business clients at Silicon Dales who use our monthly maintenance packages automatically get comment spam removed by us – using the Silicon Dales WordPress API key and Akismet combination, and a member of our team’s “This is Spam” clicking finger!

However, we’re here to help those of you who choose to self-manage, too.

Setting Up Akismet

To setup Akismet, what you need to do is:

  1. Visit the “Plugins” section of your website’s WordPress Admin area (at [yourdomain.com]/wp-admin/plugins.php);
  2. Click “Activate” on the “Akismet” plugin and follow the prompts;
  3. You’ll need a WordPress.com API Key or an Akismet API Key to use Akismet – get the latter at http://akismet.com/wordpress/ – this costs $5 per month;
  4. Once you’ve got your key, enter it at the appropriate place in the WordPress Admin area and hit “Save”
  5. That’s it – every time you receive an obvious spam comment, it will be spam filtered. You can help to train Akismet by clicking Spam on any that slip the net (and clicking “Not spam” on any that are incorrectly spam filtered!)

The use of our API key for Comment Spam is just one of the bundled services that our Maintenance Package clients receive each month – click here to view the packages available.

Watch Out For Generic Compliments!

Be careful, though, a lot of spammers are getting quite sophisticated – and they prey on your ego – by offering generic compliments in spam comments, with their name linking (sometimes, but not always) to some URL or other.

Err on the Side of Deletion!

Delete anything that is not directly related to the topic in your page or post – it is most likely spam if it is “generic” in any way! If the comment also contains a URL or has a URL linked to the author’s name, then hit “Spam” too, as chances are this is an automatically posted comment spam.

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