How to deal with spam emails on your WordPress site?
July 25. 2019
Unfortunately, spammers are everywhere these days. Even your WordPress website won’t be completely immune to their mischevious ways. The situation has gotten so bad that it urged the creation of new plugins which are specifically designed with the purpose of stopping spam comments, registrations spammers, and e-mail harvesters. In case your inbox has been flooded with notifications because spammers somehow found their way around the spam blocking plugins, you are probably feeling frustrated and maybe even slightly enraged. If unsubscribing from these types of emails is not a feasible option, you’ll have to find a way to deal with spam emails on your WordPress site. Don’t despair – there are many benefits of using a WordPress website and one of them is precisely the fact that your options are always numerous.
As the first layer of protection, use anti-spam plugins
The truth is simple – the more online traffic your website garners, the more likely it is to attract spammers. And spam, being in the form of emails or comments is detrimental for your website for many reasons. For starters, it makes it look unprofessional. Plus, it prevents actual visitors from easily finding the thing that attracted them to your website in the first place. Luckily, there are a few plugins functioning specifically with the purpose of stopping and blocking spam from your WordPress website. Not having them installed would simply be ludicrous!
There is a very good reason why many WordPress installations come with Akismet included in the package. This plugin is a powerful tool in recognizing comments which are troublesome and filtering them out. Since WordPress sends out comment notifications to site administrators, you can imagine how Akismet will significantly reduce the number of spam emails you receive. Just sign up for an Akismet plan, activate the plugin, and relax. It’s as simple as that!
Since reCAPTCHA’s motto is ‘easy on humans, hard on bots’ it should give you a general idea of how this spam-fighting service works. It’s completely free for use, and it works by detecting abusive traffic while at the same time allowing easy access to your real-time (or human) visitors. By preventing spam and protecting your WordPress website, reCAPTCHA gives you a chance to focus on other aspects of your site. Whether that aspect is speeding up your WordPress website or something else, doesn’t really matter.
Deal with spam emails by setting up a comment moderation system
In case you have the time, patience, and energy, you could set up a comment moderation system. Why will this system demand a lot out of you? Because you will have to manually approve every comment before it is permitted on your website. What you have to do in order to enable this feature is to go to Settings – Discussion – Before a comment appears section. Mark the Comment must be manually approved section and voila – you’ve made a significant step in fighting spam comments and emails.
However, this option may not be perfectly suitable for everyone. You won’t have a problem approving a dozen of comments per day, but what if you get a hundred of them? All the comments will have the pending status until you can manually approve them. This might take some time away from other important issues, like WordPress website maintenance. You’ll just have to get your priorities straight.
‘Blacklist’ certain words
Another great way to prevent spam comments is by creating your own list of ‘blacklisted’ words. Usually, spam comments contain some very recognizable keywords. Once you finish making the list, and a comment contains a word that you’ve put on the blacklist, your site will immediately flag the comment.
However, this is a double-edged sword! You want to create a list of prohibited words very carefully. The goal is to ban spam comments, but still allow legitimate users to comment freely. To enable this option, go to Settings – Discussion – Comment Blacklist and simply type the blacklisted words.
Restricting comments to registered users only might be worth a shot
Bear in mind that this won’t prevent a spammer from leaving a comment on your post, which will send you an unwanted email right away. But one way to prevent spam email is by making it more difficult for spammers to leave comments! And this will certainly do the trick. By restricting the commenting benefits to only those users who have an account on your website, you will create a direct hurdle for spammers. And since their goal is to leave as many comments on as many websites, this hurdle might be the turning point that urges them to say ‘it’s simply not worth it’.
Besides, this will give people an additional motive to register for an account or a membership. So you’ll be killing two birds with one stone. That’s called efficiency, and we here at WP Full Care propagate efficiency every step of the way!
Ensure further safety by blacklisting certain email domains
Similarly to blacklisting certain words, you can also blacklist email domains. The principle is as follows: when a user whose email domain is blacklisted tries to register on your website, it will be unable to do so. Only those domains which are whitelisted can successfully register. There are certain plugins created for this purpose, such as the CM Email Blacklist. Checking them out should be more than worth it.
Combining this method with the other ones in our list will be a powerful way to prevent spam comments. Once you manage to prevent the spam comments (or at least reduce their number), you’ll be able to say you’ve found a good way to deal with spam emails on your WordPress website. Although, it shouldn’t surprise you if every once in a while a spammer manages to surpass all obstacles. Exceptions do happen.