Spam can be a real problem if your website or blog uses hosting for WordPress. Even if you deal with a relatively small number of visitors, your site is constantly scanned and accessed by bots. Every year, the percentage of automated traffic keeps growing, with bot traffic growth outpacing organic traffic. That’s why the problem is to be resolved until it causes global problems for your business. We have taken a closer look at why you should start using anti-spam WordPress plugins?
What Is Spam and Why Fight It?
Do you not want to deal with hundreds/thousands of spam emails daily? Want to prevent your online DB from accessing and hacking? Then https://cleantalk.org/wordpress-anti-spam-plugin WordPress Anti-Spam Plugin is what you should consider among the other solutions. At the moment, several methods are allowing for spam combating.
The first and easiest way to avoid spam is to switch off the function of leaving comments on your site. This option is suitable for single-page websites and landing pages; however, it will not work if you manage a forum or a large online shop. If you do not want to or cannot remove a form, there is the possibility of restricting access. To do this, you can make a user authorization a must or check the moderator’s comments. The second way to protect your WordPress solution from spam is to use various plugins.
Why You Should Start Using Anti-Spam WordPress Plugins? – Reasons and Types of Spam
Spam in comments below the blog post or spammy leads delivered to a CRM because of spambots manipulations with a webform, which are a big problem that site owners often encounter. This is especially true about blogs, forums, or lead collecting landing pages. No matter what online project you are running, it is not the best thing to deal with hundreds of spam comments or a CRM database full of spam leads, which you have to remove without affecting sensitive data.
So why are spam comments posted? What purpose do hackers pursue when attacking your site with bots? There are the main reasons:
- Advertising – As a rule, robots publish an advertisement with a link to a site where you can buy or order something. The main goal of such a spam attack is to lead customers to the key page where the purchase operation is going to happen;
- Malicious actions refer to cases when a comment is similar to a regular advertising post, but the link leads to a virus, a phishing site, or simply to some tricking site. For example, it can be a site where users can buy something at a great discount, but after getting money from a customer, scammers disappear;
- Link promotion – In such cases, a real person can post a “spam” comment. In practice, it works as an advertising post, with the only difference that the topic for link promotion is inserted more naturally.
Why do such comments appear on your site? Everything is easy – WordPress sites cannot be configured to protect against spam. At least, such a feature is not included in the basic CMS software pack. If a site is managed automatically and doesn’t have any moderation, then you need to add a certain protection mechanism to the resource that will allow you to combat or prevent such a problem.
Why Are Spam Comments So Dangerous?
Apart from creating problems with running a site, downsizing its trust rate, or even ranking rates in SERP, spam comments are dangerous because of some other reasons:
- Spam comments redirect users to other sites – Because of this, you can lose a significant amount of traffic. Do not forget about fraudulent and other insecure sites – this is dangerous not only for users but also for your reputation;
- Links that are not related to your site’s theme may adversely affect the ranking of the site and its place in the search results. Sometimes this can pretty much affect the “opinion” of search engines about your site;
- Users negatively perceive spam comments. So the presence of spam on your site makes it look like a second-rate and unprofessional platform, which many users will not trust. Having spam comments is a direct way to lose real users;
- Multiple spam comments sent to your database pose a risk of it being damaged or even hacked. Far from every DB can boast of ironclad protection and resistance to “bombarding” attacks.
If you want to safeguard your online resource from spam and its negative consequences, then you need to use special software solutions or resort to some other protection services.
What to Do with Spam?
There are a couple of solutions when it comes to spam combatting and prevention. All have different use cases; we recommend that you choose a solution based on your online project specs’ specs.
1. Manual Moderation
The option is convenient and reliable, but it works well for small sites with limited traffic and number of pages. Large platforms, webshops, and forums should be either moderated by a team of specialists or have an automated protection system.
It is the simplest and the most effective solution implemented in every second site.
3. Anti-Spam Plugin
There is no need to reinvent the wheel – you can already use the tools you have already created. Each platform has its own plugins, and WordPress is not an exception in this regard. We will talk about dedicated WordPress plugins further in this post.
4. Automated Moderation Based on Pre-Set Rules
You can set up a couple of criteria to evaluate content posted by users on your site. These can be different; the following criteria are used for detecting spam:
- Blacklist IP addresses posting multiple comments on your site within a short time (2-3 seconds);
- Enter stop words for usernames and website addresses;
- Enter “no-go” words for the message text. Thus, comments containing “stop” words can be sent for moderation or blocked immediately.
Although there are multiple approaches to dealing with spam, WordPress anti-spam plugins are considered the most effective method of spam detection, block, and prevention. By having the right plugin as a part of your CMS solution, you can forget about having spam comments on your site or getting rid of fake data in the CRM.
How to Choose the Right Plugin?
There are many options. Not all of them are worthy of attention. The optimal solution should be selected according to a number of criteria. The first thing to consider is the amount of traffic. This is the number of resource visitors for a specific period: day, week, month, year. It is advisable to analyze the time spent by guests on the site. Bots that leave spam comments and “come” to the resource for just a couple of seconds. With the traffic estimation, we proceed to the spam analysis. This is due to the inability of some effective extensions to process more than a certain number of comments.
We also recommend that you pay attention to the following features:
- Restrictions on user actions – Bots work according to algorithms that affect a number of operations in addition to commenting. Allow only registered users to leave feedback on your site. Avoid captcha as it is of little help and only irritates site visitors.
- Removal/prevention of spam without storing it – Some solutions work according to the principle: “spam is filtered out, but it is kept on your server.” It is not the right approach since a big part of your server space is just wasted.
- Block of spam registration – It is a very useful feature. Special filters detect and block suspicious and dangerous registration attempts.
- Comparison of the IP device and server – This means a unique connection identifier. With a normal connection, they are the same. Bots use third-party identifiers other than server ones. The timely comparison allows you to quickly identify them and block their access, and with the right plugin, you can do so automatically.
- Statistics collection – It’s important to keep track of the percentage of incoming and blocked spam to evaluate the risk level and detect potential threats if any.
Having taken all these in mind, you will be able to find the best solution for your online project and get maximum out of using it.