4 Best WordPress Plugins to Stop Comment Spam

Which are the best WordPress comment spam blocking plugins? Probably most of you use the amazing Akismet plugin which comes bundled with WordPress, but it is not enough to stop hundreds of spam comments on popular blogs, and many slip through (We got over 3 million spam comments!). The problem with thousands of spam comments is that the good comments are masked and its a huge effort to weed out the actual comments from spam comments.

There is a need to have excellent spam blocking tools so that you can concentrate your valuable time on blogging, rather than moderating comments. So here is our pick of the best spam comment blocking WordPress plugins. You might have seen them live on our site at some time over the last year and all have undergone extensive live testing over several months.

1. Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin

We have blogged about GASP before and it is a very powerful plugin. It basically forces users and bots to click a client-side generated checkbox – to confirm the comment. Many bots fail to visualize the checkbox generated by client-side javascript, and this block comments from automated comment bots easily.

gasp comments checkbox

While we used it for several months, one day the bots learned how to bypass this! The plugin then allows you to change the Checkbox name and secret key, which will take care of such bots. It also allows you to choose the maximum number of comments from a user.

gasp options

It’s a good choice, but we needed to keep changing the keys often once the bots started to target the site. Get the GASP Ant-Spambot plugin.

2. SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam

 This plugin adds a CAPTCHA text to your WordPress comments and only those users typing the correct code will be allowed to post a comment.
comments captcha
The settings will allow you to change the style, text, and will also allow you to add the Captcha code to login /register forms, lost password pages to further control blog spam.
captcha options

It is noted that many users find this effort to type the code cumbersome, and may not post a comment, but it does take care of a lot of spam. It is a step above the checkbox of the earlier plugin, and very effective to blog spam. Get SI-CAPTCHA anti-spam plugin.

3. Cookies for Comments

This plugin loads a stylesheet or image and drops a cookie. When the users try to post a comment and it does not match the cookie, the spam comment is not posted. Most spambots will have a nonexistent cookie and will get blocked.

cookie comments

The advantage is that it seamlessly works in the background, with no checkbox to click or CAPTCHA to type, and there is no user interaction needed. We are using this for several months now, and there is hardly any spam in my moderation queue. All spam comments are accurately identified and end up in the spam queue.

They even allow htaccess code changes, which can block spam before it reaches your blog! Get Cookie for Comments plugin.

4. Akismet

Of course, you need to keep Akismet (which comes preloaded with every WordPress) activated as it is by far the best antispam plugin. Its best to add one of these plugins above in addition to Akismet for the best results. See which plugin works best for your site, but do not activate more that one of the 3 above with Aksimet as they might conflict with each other with unexpected results.

Now I can spend more time blogging, rather than worry about moderating spam comments. You might also open comments in a new window, or open comments in new page, or remove comment links to reduce the priority with which spambots might want to target your blog. And of course, there is nothing better than how to moderate comments quickly.

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About the Author: P Chandra is editor of QOT, one of India's earliest tech bloggers since 2004. A tech enthusiast with expertise in coding, WordPress, web tools, SEO and DIY hacks.