The internet is a digital ecosystem and like all ecosystems, the members thrive on competition. Still, certain mutual benefits can be agreed upon by different websites and companies; coexisting with one another is very much viable. However, just like any ecosystem, there exist some parasites that can bring down your website and leech off others in the form of spam comments. For those, you need some trusty spam tools.
These are the plugins and other software you need to employ in order to combat people who would take advantage of your defenseless comment section. Simply ignoring them doesn’t work anymore because they tend to bring down your search engine optimization (SEO) rating or credibility. Moreover, your audience is also exposed to adware, spyware, malware, ransomware, and other viruses.
Hence, in order to protect them and your website, spam tools are in order. Lucky for you, we have compiled some of the best of them; they are your first line of defense against spam comments.
This list is by no means a ranking of the best plugins you should use but CleanTalk is something you’ll want to consider nonetheless. It features a wide range of protection from different potential spam sources such as comments, orders, widgets, registrations, bookings, web forms, contact emails, and subscriptions. Don’t expect that level of filtering to come in cheap, though; CleanTalk only offers premium services with a limited free trial if you want it.
- All-around spam filtering
- Shows advanced statistics for your blocked spams
- Shows a reason for blocking a particular spammer
- Comment validation works at Cloud-level
- In-depth validation checking
- Free trial is only 14 days
- Premium commercial license costs $8 per year per website
Compared to CleanTalk, Math Comment Spam Protection is rather simple. The way it blocks spam comments is familiar to all of us: it requires users to answer a math test before being able to post. It’s an old and neat trick to prove that the visitor or commenter is a human and not a bot, though the plugin’s functionality appears to be limited to comments and to bots only.
- Uses encryption for the math answers on both ends
- Not as in-depth as others here
- Doesn’t protect against human spammers
For many, Akismet is the be-all, end-all anti-spam tool. It’s one of the best spam tools ever and one that usually comes to mind when looking to combat spam. Like CleanTalk, Akismet also uses Cloud-level filtering where all comments are uploaded to their servers first to be filtered. As such, they undergo extensive checks before finally being approved and published to your website. They actually boast numerous anti-spam algorithms meaning they spared no expense.
- Cloud-level filtering
- Has a free version
- Premium is affordable
- Lets you view every comment’s history, even the spam ones
- Extensive WordPress and other software compatibility
- Free version is limited to 50,000 monthly spam checks
WP-SpamShield Anti-Spam sounds like a serious plugin and it is. It might even be a contender for CleanTalk for how many types of spam it can block. To name a few, WP-SpamShield Anti-Spam covers comments, registrations, trackbacks, and contact forms. Apparently, it also uses an advanced algorithm and filtering method for spammers, particularly by utilizing blacklisting and logging tools.
- Has a free version
- No Captchas/challenges
- No inconvenience to visitors
- Regular license costs $39
- Extended license costs $195
- Excellent bot spam protection
- Free for both personal and commercial websites
- Essentially doesn’t guard against human spammers
If Akismet is still a little too expensive for your budget, try free plugins without many compromises, particularly Antispam Bee. The completely free plugin filters both comment and trackback spam while requiring no Captchas or challenges from visitors. That means no personal user information will be sent to third-party services. Despite being 100 percent free, Antispam Bee will not bother you with ads- it’s too good to be true, but it exists.
- Free for personal and commercial use
- Liberally generous
- Can log and keep track of spammers using Fail2Ban
- Displays monthly statistics
- Spam purging after several days
- None we could find, but apparently has problems with Jetpack commenting form
If lightweight plugins are what you’re after, then Spam Destroyer might be the tool you want. It does sound heavyweight and packs in quite a punch against spams and bots, but it has been designed to be as unobtrusive to users as much as possible. Even the developers have promised it to be effortless to use and simple to install. That makes it perfect for beginners or those with new websites.
- Light and simple
- Installation is a breeze
- Won’t upset the user experience
- Not for big and high-traffic sites
- Some spam might still come through
Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin is what you need if you want to fully control how your plugin filters the spam. It comes with client-side checkbox to the websites comment section which can be used to ask users whether they are a spammer or not. Moreover, you can set a maximum number of comments a user can have, meaning it also gives a good amount of protection against human spammers. That doesn’t mean its lacking in the bot spammer protection department either.
- Has a free version
- Lets you control your comment section better
- Not very good at handling hackers who mess with the plugin parameters
- No beginner-friendly