Say Goodbye to comment spam on your WordPress blog or website. Antispam Bee blocks spam comments and trackbacks effectively, without captchas and without sending personal information to third party services. It is free of charge, ad-free and 100% GDPR compliant.
Why You Need to Secure your WordPress site from Spammers
Spam comments take up unnecessary space in your WordPress hosting database. What’s worst is if you accidentally approve a spam comment, then it will haunt you forever by telling that spammer to continue to target your site since you’ll approve their comments stuffed with bad links.
There are multiple ways to block spam comments in WordPress. You can do it manually by reading and deleting them one by one, but that could take hours. Alternatively, you can use the free Antispam Bee plugin to automatically block the spam comments based on the rules that you set.
Why Antispam Bee is better than Akismet
Both spam plugins are proven to be effective at detecting spam, but how they do it is fundamentally different.
Akismet works by filtering all incoming comments through their servers, which means sending data back and forth between your web server and theirs.
The disadvantage is that this can put extra strain on your hosting server, especially for established larger blogs. Plus, there are privacy concerns to consider. In some countries, it is unlawful to send private data to a third party server without consent.
Antispam Bee, on the other hand, does all it’s processing locally, which can be faster, and the architecture makes it GDPR compliant.
How to Set Up Antispam Bee
Antispam Bee is free to download from the WordPress.org plugin directory. From your WordPress Admin Dashboard, click on ‘Plugins‘, then “Add New“. In the Keyword Search Box, type in Antispam Bee. Click on the ‘Install Now‘ button, then click the ‘Activate‘ button. You’re now ready to set up the plugin. You could also download Antispam Bee as a zip file from the WordPress Plugin directory and upload it to your Plugins page.
*Note If you have the Akismet plugin installed, go to Plugins, find Akismet and click the Deactivate link and then Delete.
Look at the left-hand navigational menu of your WordPress Dashboard. Navigate to Settings » Antispam Bee to customize the plugin settings for your site. This takes you to the Antispam Bee configuration screen.
I have found these settings to perform the best for stopping unwanted comment spam. It’s a good blend of automation while allowing time for a manual review before auto deleting them.
Antispam Bee Settings > Antispam Filter
Antispam Filter settings are the basic settings that help you detect spam comments. This allows you to filter and review the comments before they show on your blog posts or website.
Trust approved commenters: CHECK – You can enable this option to automatically approve comments from regular and trustworthy commenters. The plugin remembers these visitors and approves their comments right away.
Trust commenters with a Gravatar: IGNORE – this used to be a sure thing, but now spammers have gotten smarter and have registered their emails with Gravatar to get around this setting.
Consider the comment time: IGNORE – If enabled, this filter will consider the comment time in it’s evaluation. This setting is not recommended for sites using Caching plugins or CDNs.
BBCode links are spam: CHECK – All comments with BBCode (Bulletin Board Code) links are spam, spammers are the only ones that use this.
Use regular expressions: CHECK – It helps in finding the unwanted comments with a set of predefined patterns that are useful to detect spam. I find it to be accurate.
Look in the local spam database: CHECK – If you check this option, it will look for the spam content on your site’s database and if matches previously marked spam content, it too will be marked as spam.
Block or allow comments from specific countries: CHECK – You can add a list of specific countries to approve or deny comments from. This is hierarchal, so all potential spam comments coming from Russia, a known origin of Spam and Hackers, will automatically be blocked before even going through additional filters. If you have an International blog, be sure to add your top visitor countries of origin into the Allowed box. You’ll have to look up each country’s ISO 2 digit country code before entering it into the fields.
Block / Denied Countries: CN, RU, UA
I’ve denied China, Russia and Ukraine – all notorious for spam and hackers.
Allowed Countries: US, GB, AU, CA
I’ve allowed USA, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. Relatively safe countries.
Allow comments only in certain language: CHECK – Allows you to specify a language for the commenters, so comments in all other languages will be blocked/deleted. Real Commenters don’t post comments that are in a different language than your blog.
Antispam Bee Settings > Advanced
In the advanced settings, you can further set the options to manage, block and delete the unwanted comments.
Mark as spam, do not delete: CHECK – Checking this will set it up so you have time to review what’s marked as spam before it auto deletes the comments.
Spam-Notification by email: IGNORE – you don’t want an email every time you get spam.
Do not save the spam reason: IGNORE – you want to know the spam reason. If you find a comment that shouldn’t be spam, then you’ll know which rule to tweak.
Delete existing spam after X days: CHECK – Enter in 30 for the amount of days. After 30 days any comment or Trackback not manually rescued from spam will be deleted.
Limit approval to Comments: IGNORE – you want both comments and trackbacks/pingbacks checked for spammy sites and content.
Delete comments by spam reasons: CHECK – You can delete comments with predefined spam reasons. You can select multiple reasons from the options to delete the unwanted comments automatically. I’ve listed those that without a doubt are spam and are okay to delete without a second thought.
PCs: press CTRL and click Macs: press CMD and click on each of these to select
- Local DB Spam
- Fake IP
- Regular Expression
Delete Antispam Bee data when uninstalling: CHECK – If you uninstall this plugin, not just deactivate, but uninstall, then the data will be erased too. Why would you uninstall this amazing plugin? If you’ve completely turned off comments from your blog then there’s no reason to use it.
Antispam Bee Settings > More
Skip these first 2, you don’t want to know how much spam you’re getting and stopping, it’ll just scare you. But seriously, enabling any of the first two settings will only slow down your WordPress Admin area. We don’t want to do that.
Generate statistics as a dashboard widget – IGNORE
Spam counter on the dashboard – IGNORE
Do not check Trackbacks / Pingbacks: IGNORE – I ignore it, as I have Trackbacks/Pingbacks turned off. If this box is checked, the trackbacks/pingbacks from any site, including spammy sites, will be automatically approved!
Comment form used outside of posts: CHECK / IGNORE – If you have turned on Comments on your Archive pages, then check this box, otherwise ignore it.
Once you are done, click on the Save Changes button to apply these settings on your blog.