Thankfully you don’t need to make your WordPress blog commenting as difficult for your readers as entering Fort Knox anymore. Now there are easier ways to discourage spammers and gain followers.
Wasn’t all of that long ago that I used the Intense Debate plugin due to so many spammers flooding my blog. Those who wanted to comment on any of my posts were forced to sign up for an Intense Debate account. You can well imagine I never had very many comments.
However, as time went by, I found spammers signing up for their very own Intense Debate accounts enabling them to, once again, spam my WordPress blog. From then on, it was out with the old and in with the new.
My advice to blog owners is this:
- Always select to moderate your comments. Go to Settings/Discussion scroll down to Before a comment appears and make sure to checkmark “Comment must be manually approved”.
- At Commenting Moderation change the “Hold a comment in the queue if it contains” field to 1 from the default value of 2.
- ALWAYS Blacklist abusers/spammers to your blog. Go to Settings/Discussion scroll down to Comment Blacklist, and follow the instructions provided there.
I have even had to blacklist of abusers/spammers of my Contact 7 form!
Now there are several simple, easy to install WordPress plugins to help protect your blog from spam bots while making it oooooh, so easy for those who visit your posts, and are itching to comment. The best part is, most of these are FREE to use!
Following is a list (an incomplete list, I’m sure!) of 9 such plugins:
Anti-Spam which is free to use. This plugin needs no CAPTCHA, no questions, no counting animals, no puzzles, no math to block spammers. Users give this plugin a 4.9 of 5 rating.
Another Anti-spam free to use, this plugin blocks spam in comments invisibly for users and administrators. No CAPTCHA, no moderation queues, no settings page. Users give this plugin a 4.8 of 5 rating.
Cookies for Comments is free to use. This plugin uses a stylesheet or image as a cookie drop. If the user leaves a comment and the cookie doesn’t exist, the comment is marked as spam. Users give this plugin a 4.9 of 5 rating.
Stop Spam Comments which is free to use. No setup required. No CAPTCHA, no tricky questions or other user interaction required at all. Users give this plugin 4.7 of 5 rating.
Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin this plugin is free to use, and it adds a client-side generated checkbox to your comment form asking users to confirm that they are not a spammer. Users give this plugin 3.9 of 5 rating.
Akismet costing from as little as $5 up to $50 monthly depending on your use. This plugin comes standard in all WordPress installations.
WP Spam Fighter is free to use. Like Stop Spam Comments plugin, this plugin stops spam without requiring CAPTCHA or arithmetic questions.
Math Quiz free to use, this plugin generates a dynamic math problem in the comment form to beat spam robots while supporting customization of form style.
WP-reCAPTCHA-bp is a free service that protects a website against spam and other forms of attacks from bots. CAPTCHA is a Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart.
And the list could go on…
For the Pros, I offer you these BONUS tips: How I Stopped WordPress Comment Spam
Can you imagine? No more need to ask your website visitors to “jump through hoops” in order to leave a comment! You really can secure your blog while making commenting easier.
Now it’s time to go make your comment form more user-friendly. With so many blog posts available, I’m likely to choose to comment on those that cater to MY communication preference.
What do I mean by that?
Well, let me give you an example: some blogs force users to use a Google ID. Since most of us don’t access a gmail account regularly, we’re not likely to see any follow-up comments. If that’s the case then I simply say to myself, “why bother commenting at all.” and I leave the site. I’m sure there are ways around this, but why should I have to work so hard just to contribute to someone else’s blog?
Here’s another great tool if you wish to create ongoing chats on your posts. There are several WordPress plugins available that will notify those who left a comment on your blog and have received your response.
What a great way to get those people back to your website, right?
I do hope I’ve provided you with something to think seriously about changing if your blog offers this sort of complicated commenting form.