Best Anti-Spam Plugins for WordPress 2020
February 29. 2020
Virtually any website where people can comment will get spam every once in a while. It’s repetitive, annoying and not a good look for your users either. And yet, if you’ve ever run a WordPress website, no matter how small, you’ve encountered it. But you can’t just give up and let spam overrun you! There are ways to fight these formulaic, boring and unsightly comments. And we don’t mean that someone sits for hours on end going through every single post to delete the fake comments by hand. After all, you pay WordPress professionals for much more important work than that. No, what you need is a WordPress spam blocker. We’ve put together a list of the best anti-spam plugins for WP in 2020 so that you can choose a good one!
What is comment spam?
If you’ve run a blog or another website with commenting options or even just visited one and scrolled down to the comment section, then you’ve certainly seen comment spam before. Like all other spam, comment spam is a form of an unsolicited and disingenuous message. Most spam comes in the form of an email (just check your own junk folder). Comment spam, however, is incredibly common too and has become a persistent issue in WordPress.
Why is comment spam bad?
Spam comments are still comments, though. And comments on your content are always good, right? Well, not quite. There are both pros and cons to WP post comments. One of the biggest cons is the amount of spam you’re likely to get, especially if you run a large website with lots of traffic. Such comments are obviously fake, repetitive, and annoying – not something you want on your WP website! But the real reason why you want to block comment spam is far more sinister.
Comment spam is a way for other websites to use you to improve their own rankings and reach. They do this by adding a link to their comment. The link can be in the comment itself or it can be entered into the optional field for the commenter’s affiliated website filled in along with other personal information. This isn’t only for the benefit of your users either! By putting their link on your website, the spammers have no connected themselves to you for search engine bots as well. Although these shady practices are generally frowned upon, they’re an easy way to improve a website’s search engine standing so many people still use them for link building.
How can you fight comment spam?
Fighting comment spam is an ongoing process. It’s best to adopt a multi-pronged approach to it. You’ll want to combine anti-spam plugins, professional website maintenance and closing down comments when necessary (if a plugin fails or you notice a sudden uptick in a new type of spam that blockers still don’t register, for example) for the best results.
What are the best WP anti-spam plugins for 2020?
We understand if you don’t want to turn off comments altogether just to avoid spam! After all, you still want your actual users to contact you about your content. So your best bet is to use one of the best anti-spam plugins for WP instead. Here are the top 5!
Akismet – the most popular and overall best WordPress spam blocker
Easily one of the most popular anti-spam plugins in WP is Akismet. You definitely have to know about this plugin because it’s a great option, as millions have already discovered. Developed by the people behind WordPress itself, Akismet is easy to use, compatible with the vast majority of other plugins and even automatically updated. It scans your comments and marks suspicious ones quite successfully. The basic free version works well enough for most blogs. But for a business, you should get the premium version with more options (prices start at $5/month).
Antispam Bee – the best WordPress spam blocker that works without registration
If you’re looking for a free yet comprehensive and reliable WP spam blocker, then Antispam Bee is what you need. It keeps track of suspicious IP addresses, blocking them from commenting again after they spam your website once, notifies you of any spam comments you receive, and empties your spam folders automatically. What more could you ask for?
Anti-Spam by CleanTalk – the best premium WordPress spam blocker
Similar to Akismet, Anti-Spam by CleanTalk is a premium anti-spam plugin that scans through your comments and decides whether they are fake or real. However, it also offers you a statistical analysis of the spam you’re getting and a log of the spam you’ve previously received. It is compatible with most of the popular WP blog plugins so you won’t have to worry about that. You’ll pay $8/month for it, but don’t worry – there’s a 14-day free trial you can use to decide if it’s worth that much!
Stop Spammers – the easiest WordPress spam blocker to use
Although Stop Spammers is pretty lightweight and very easy to use (all you need to do is download and install it), it’s quite an effective spam blocker. It walks the fine line between stopping spammers and allowing second chances by scanning through comments for spam, flagging IP addresses that post suspicious comments and then showing CAPTCHAs to those users only. It also allows you to block entire countries if you suspect spam from a certain area. Neat!
Spam Destroyer – an unobtrusive WordPress spam blocker
A simple and straight-forward spam blocker, Spam Destroyer is ideal for small blogs and websites. It stops automated spam without disturbing your regular users with CAPTCHAs or other unnecessary fields.
Choosing the best anti-spam plugin for your website
All five of these anti-spam WP plugins will get the job done. So how do you choose the best WordPress spam blocker for your website? It all depends on what you’re looking for! Are you running a big website that gets lots of comments or a small blog that only gets 1-2 comments a month? Are you willing to pay for additional spam blocking options? Do you want your spam-blocking plugin affecting your users’ experience? Answers to these questions will help you pick the right plugin for you!