Finally learning how to block and stop all of that annoying WordPress spam once and for all that every single WordPress website owner knows about will make your life as a WP website builder so much more stress-free – it really will. In this guide, we will take you through what you need to do to banish spam from your WordPress websites once and for all.
Firstly, a bit about the WordPress SPAM problem and how it all works
The spam problem in WordPress is a huge one. It’s been blighting the lives of WP website builders since the beginning when the WordPress blogging software was first released – just check on Google or the many WordPress-related forums and you will be able to see what I mean for yourself!
At first, after setting up a WP website, you will get no spam at all. Then, the random occasional spammy email will find its way into your inbox; this will then turn into a slow trickle of spam and then an avalanche – until every single day you are getting spam emails into your inbox. Emails that often do not even make any sense or may appear to be written in Russian – which can be scary as the Russians are known for having some of the world’s best hackers and programmers!
How the spammers find your WordPress website & contact you
If you have enough money, you can get software developers to write just about any piece of software for you. Even software that is destructive and detrimental to others. This is exactly what those who intend to send out junk emails have done.
Spamming is a multi-million if not billion-dollar industry. Unfortunately, unscrupulous people want the ability to be able to contact people out of the blue who has not requested or signed up to be contacted.
Here’s how they find your WordPress website
Spammers have invested millions into having specific software that has the sole purpose of crawling the internet seeking out WordPress-based websites that have unsecured forms on them.
Their main aim is to:
1. Find websites that have been built using the WordPress platform. Their software looks for the specific pop files that WordPress websites are known to contain.
2. Send out bots (automated mini robots) to find and capture the contact details of people just like you and us who are just trying to earn an honest living via the internet.
Their software actually seeks out email addresses from websites and “scraps” (gathers) them, often into a list or database that is owned by someone. This is then used to send spammy offers to unsuspecting people that have not agreed to be placed on their mailing list – which is just wrong!
What to do about the WordPress spam problem. How to stop Word Press spam once and for all
So we have learned all about the WordPress spam issue. Now let’s take a look at how we stop this annoying spam from arriving in our inbox once and for all…
The key to stopping spam on your WordPress blog, website or store is to shore up your digital defences and make your email address/contact form on your website really hard to be found by automated bots – which will in turn make your email contact details harder for them to be able to scrape onto some database.
Keeping a WordPress website more secure
Preventing WordPress spam is just one small part of having a more secure WordPress website. Your entire website needs to be secure and up to date. As hackers and spammers are always looking for easy ways to be able to exploit less-secure wp websites.
There are many plugins available that will provide you with all-around solutions to keeping your website secure. These plug-ins often allow you to do things like:
- Move the location of the admin area of your website
- Limit the number of admin log-in attempts allowed.
- Block web traffic from certain locations and even countries
- Add a captcha to forms throughout your website
All of the above can really help to make your website a little bit more secure and protect it from modern-day threats.
Other definitive ways to STOP WordPress spam once and for all…
So now that you have learned that keeping your website more secure is multifaceted, let’s take a look in more detail at specific actions you can take today to ensure that you have a more secure WordPress website.
Keep your WordPress software version up to date
The creators of WordPress software are well aware of its many flaws and they at least try to fix several of these each time that they release updated versions of their software.
Of course, any updates released to keep your website more secure will only be useful to you if you keep your website’s version of WordPress as up-to-date as possible. So remember to update your version of WordPress often and look out for updates from their developers.
When you log in to your admin-area dashboard, you will often see a message telling you to update if there is a newer version than yours that is ready to be downloaded – so keep an eye out for this.
Make use of the built-in spam protection features
With millions of websites built on WordPress, the creators of WordPress are well aware of the number of spam emails their software attracts. So, in current versions of the software, they have included several built-in spam protection features that you just need to activate in order to take full advantage of.
To get to where you are able to adjust the comment settings for your website, just navigate to Settings > Discussion.
Disable comments across your entire WordPress website
The most brute-force way of preventing your website from receiving any spam at all is just to completely cut off the ability for people to be able to comment on any of your posts at all. I call it “brutal” because it is quite a severe action to take!… Kind of like cutting off your entire nose just because you’ve got an unsightly spot on it. It’s quite a drastic action.
You may not want to disable commenting across your entire website if you want any kind of interaction from your visitors, as comments can be a great way to encourage visitors to interact with your website.
If they are able to post questions, thoughts or opinions, then this could have a really positive effect on your website’s SEO.
Having a comments section on a website is also great for search engines – so disabling the ability for your visitors to be able to comment at all, may not be the best possible solution to stop receiving spam on your website.
I know that spam comments can be quite frustrating as a web developer/owner, but definitely think about this before you disable comments entirely on your website, as I have personally found that it can be extremely hard to re-activate comments on your site in the future should you wish to – depending on the method that you used to disable comments in the first place.
Disable the ability to post comments for users that are not logged into your website
Another simple way to reduce the number of spam comments that you receive is to take away the ability for non-logged-in users to be able to post comments on your website. You see, the majority of spam is posted by people/bots using automated software and not by real users that have taken the time to sign up to your website and provide you with a genuine working email address.
Making only logged-in users able to post comments is another way to ensure that only genuine users of your website are able to contribute to your content.
Those with the intention of posting spam comments are unlikely to want to go through the sign-up process for every website that they want to post spam to – which could mean that your website gets skipped if they know that they have to sign up in order to post a comment.
Moderate all in-coming comments
Another great method for reducing (not completely stopping) vast amounts of incoming spam, is to ‘enable common moderation’.
Comment moderation means that the owner of the website will need to moderate all comments before they are allowed to show on the front end.
Comments will remain in “pending” status until they have been approved by a moderator – only then will they be visible on the front-end of your website.
Come up with your own list of banned unuseable words
If you would still like to allow comments on your site, but (maybe) you don’t want certain topics to be discussed or certain words mentioned, then there is a way to set this up on your WordPress website.
You can define your own list of “banned words” – these are words that are not allowed to be mentioned on your site.
To set this up, just go to…
Turn off links in the comments section
Many of those posting spammy comments are just looking for ways to be able to post a link back to their website from other dubious websites on the internet – as this can help their site to rank better in the likes of Google. This can be an instant way for them to enhance the performance of a website
Turning off links in your comments section can help to make it not worth the time that it takes to post a spam comment – once they know that they will not be able to get a free link to their website out of their post on your site.
So, not only Is it a good idea to turn off links in the comments section of your website, but you should also let comment-posters know that they will not be able to post a link back to their website in their comment, so if this is their intention and sole reason for posting a comment, then they should not bother.
CONCLUSION – How to stop WordPress website spam junk emails
As long as WordPress exists, I am sure that there will always be WordPress SPAM. So, if you have used WordPress for your Dropshipping website, you need to remember that you will always be vulnerable to having your website targeted by both spammers and scammers.
It is our job as website owners and web developers to do all that we need to in order to protect our entire websites from the latest methods of online spam as well as hacking attempts.
Spammers will be relentless in their efforts to get through to people with a view to communicating their spammy message to the masses. Therefore, we must be relentless in our efforts to protect our websites.
Using these methods, we can definitely ensure that we have a more secure WordPress website, that continues to be secure for many years.