Even if you aren’t regularly publishing blogs or using the blog feature at all, you could still have a problem with your WordPress blog getting spam comments. What is causing this and how can we stop it? Let’s discuss!
By default, every single WordPress installation comes with a blog. After all, this was the primary reason for WordPress when it was invented. Over the years it has become a robust CMS (content management system) that can be expanded into endless uses with all of its plugins and customizable components. But at it’s core, there is a fully featured blog that uses posts and can accept comments, and all of it is activated by default even if you don’t see it.
What is happening?
Short answer: bots. Some spam bot have found their way to your website and are trying to use your comment section to spread their odious message to the masses.
Why is this happening?
Link building is an important part of a well rounded SEO (search engine optimization) strategy, and bots have found that the easiest way to spread their links around the web is by infiltrating your blog’s comment section. It’s a silly strategy because Google’s algorithm is smart enough to spot these fakes and penalizes them in search rank.
How did the bots find my website?
Bots crawl around the web looking for forms to fill out. If your blog posts have a comment form, a bot is going to give them a try. Bots are like those creeps who hit on every single person in a bar in the hopes that they are increasing their odds of finding someone who will take their repetitive bait. Some websites are poorly defended and will let through all of these spam comments. But other websites, like WordPress ones, are more picky and will trap those spam posts and only release them if you approve them.
How do we stop the bots?
There are a few solutions you can try.
Solution 1: Disable comments for your entire website
From inside of your WordPress dashboard, go to “Settings” and “Discussion” and deselect the option that says “Allow people to submit comments on new posts.”
Solution 2: Disabled comments on your existing blog posts
Go to your “Posts” section and “Select All” of your posts and then select “Edit” from the bulk menu. You can now change the option for your “Comments” to “Do not allow.”
If you only want to change a few, you can use the “Quick Edit” menu to uncheck the “Allow Comments” option.
Solution 3: Use a plugin
Slow down the bots by putting in a hurdle. Plugins can use a variety of tactics to defeat bots. A Captcha requires users to verify that they aren’t a robot by making complete some sort of a challenge. A honeypot can trick a bot into checking a box that no human would ever see. And some plugins use AI to predict which comments were made by bots. Akismet is the most popular plugin for comment spam prevention.
Solution 4: Delete all of your unused blog posts
Reducing access points for bots is an excellent way to keep bots from commenting. They can’t comment on something that doesn’t exist. So, if you aren’t using your blog, then really don’t use it and delete everything! Especially the “Sample Post” which was automatically created when you installed WordPress or a new theme.
Have more questions about bots, spam, comments, and such? Feel free to reach out to our team. We’d be delighted to help you keep your website healthy and happy!