Stop Spam Comments in WordPress with Antispam Bee

Stefan Kremer Last updated on 20.10.2020
5 Min.
Antispam Bee
Last updated on 20.10.2020

Spam comments and trackbacks are more than annoying. The WordPress Plugin Antispam Bee blocks them. In contrast to similar solutions, this works Plugin completely without captchas or sending personal data to third parties. Thus, Antispam Bee is 100% compliant with the basic data protection regulation (GDPR ).

How's Antispam Bee?

Spam comments that appear with general praise for your contributions along with questionable backlinks can slow down your website. They disrupt legitimate comments from real readers, while being suboptimal for your search engine optimization (SEO). In addition, any dynamic input brought in by commentators is theoretically a potential gateway for external attacks.

There are a number of WordPress Plugins for handling spam comments. But those of Matt Mullenweg do 2014 acknowledged solution is Antispam Bee - a Plugin supervised by Plugin collectiveI'll have more on this in a moment. The first step after every installation is: Out with Akismet (and Hello Dolly - the only two pre-installedPlugins) and in with Antispam Bee. Akismet mainly for data protection reasons, more about that in a moment. If you allow comments, you should prevent spammers from blocking the comment function on your WordPress website.

Why you need a spam blocker in WordPress

Spam takes many forms, but all types of spam have some things in common. Spam is the nickname for unsolicited commercial email sent in large volumes from questionable websites. Or just unsolicited comments. The spammers' motivation:

  • you want to place backlinks
  • they try to be recognized by search engines
  • or they engage in phishing for the personal data of users

Comment spam appears in the comments of many WordPress sites, especially new ones. These comments often contain a message announcing how interesting the site is. And this without any actual reference to the content. They usually advertise some kind of product or service, and they usually contain a link to another website.

deeplink spam
Deep links are often a feature of spam comments

If left unprocessed, spam can accumulate in the hundreds per day. This can slow down the performance of your website and even cause "red flags" on hosts and search engines. In addition, the attention given to identifying and deleting these comments takes up valuable time.

Spam-blocking Plugins identifies these types of email comments and filters them out so that only legitimate comments remain for the website operators. However, not all websites require spam blockers. Some websites choose to disable the commenting feature completely. This is already possible via the basic settings of WordPress (in the dashboard under Settings -> Discussion) is possible. A little further on, for example, the free Plugin Disable comments from the WordPress -Plugindirectory. The comment function can be suppressed for individual post types, existing comments can be deleted completely.

If comments are disabled, no spam comments can be sent. However, enabling comments allows website operators to contact visitors. This allows them to build a community and promote brands. Legitimate comments - and how they respond to them - are also a valuable tool to increase your site reach. The Plugin Antispam Bee automatically filters comments so that (in most cases) only genuine comments from website visitors appear in the comments section of your website.

Antispam Bee blocks spam automatically

Antispam-Bee was and is actively developed by the plugin collective - a German speaking development team, which at that time took over a large part of the Plugins work of developer Sergej Müller. Antispam Bee works with algorithms that define spam emails based on identified spam. This algorithm can "learn" new spam addresses and spam patterns while it works. Thus, unwanted entries can be filtered with greater accuracy.

Once identified, these spam comments are redirected to a spam list where they can be deleted or, depending on the settings, disposed of automatically. Only legitimate comments should pass the filter for moderation and replies. If you are trying to reduce spam or junk email on your website, downloading Antispam Bee is an easy way.

Antispam Bee Options
Some of the options of Antispam Bee

Once Antispam Bee is activated, it runs in the background and blocks spam as soon as it appears. However, it is also possible to set certain parameters in the filter such as keywords, links or addresses for processing. Since Antispam Bee is based on an algorithm, it can make mistakes. Some real comments can be blocked, and in some cases a few spam emails can get through.

It is therefore advisable to check the spam list periodically. This way you can determine whether a non-spam comment (a so-called "false positive") has been overlooked. Users can also manually mark comments as spam and AntiSpam Bee will add this information to its algorithm for future filtering.

Setting up Antispam Bee

The installation of Antispam Bee is relatively simple. After the download from the official WordPress Plugin Directory all you have to do Plugin is activate it. This completes the basic setup. Antispam Bee does not require - unlike comparable Plugins products - connection to external servers via API keys or additional accounts for other services like WordPress .com.

This is one of the reasons why Antispam Bee in the basic configuration also GDPR-compliant is. No personal information is sent to any other people's servers. Another nice side effect of this is that if no external service has to be entrusted with the task of spam defense, there are no costs involved. So you can not only download Antispam Bee for free, but also run it for free.

Spam detection with Antispam Bee

Besides blocking spam comments, Antispam Bee also offers statistics on your WordPress dashboard. These statistics show you how many spam comments were intercepted by Antispam Bee and how many are in your spam folder. The statistics of Antispam Bee can also be displayed to the website visitors on sites and posts with the Antispam Bee widget. This can be placed in any widget area that you WordPress Theme provide.

Manage Antispam Bee on your website

Antispam is regularly updated by the plugin collective. Therefore it is important to install updates as soon as they are released. The Antispam Bee spam protection is an effective tool. But it may not be the only comment managementPlugintool your website needs during its development.

Others Plugins can be installed alongside Antispam Bee to perform various tasks related to moderation and comment management. Another module in the fight against spam can be the Blacklist Updater - also from the plugin collective - which adds detected spam terms to the comment blacklist.

On popular websites, spam levels can be as high as 85 percent. Even smaller websites can receive hundreds to thousands of spam comments daily. Accumulated spam affects both the functionality and authority of your WordPress site. But Antispam Bee's constantly evolving algorithms can automatically block most spam. So you can focus on the legitimate visitors of your site .

About the plugin collective

The Plugin collective is a group of WordPress people from Germany and all over Europe. We have come together to create some popular Plugins ones in WordPress .org-Plugindirectory. The plugin collective consists of real people. Most of them are connected to the WordPress ecosystem in one way or another.

Some are freelance developers, some focus on interfaces, some on accessibility, project management or translations. What unites the team are the common, deep roots in the WordPress community. Everyone in the plugin collective works voluntarily, in their spare time and unpaid. The collective does not earn money by working on the pluginPlugins, it is not an agency and does not take on customer orders.

Questions to Stefan or the plugin collective

Which questions about Antispam Bee or the work of the plugin collective do you have? Please use the comment function. You want to be WordPress informed about new posts? Then follow us on Twitteror Facebook , or subscribe to our newsletter.

Stefan is a WordPress contributor as a moderator at WordPress .tv and organizer of WordPress -meetups and WordCamps. As a freelance IT system consultant, he is mainly active in the web environment, where he is increasingly WordPress involved. He is an active member of the plugin collective.

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