What are the signs of WordPress spam?
Since the dawn of the internet, spam has been affecting websites all over the world. There are many different types of internet spam, but usually, it consists of irrelevant, dangerous and suspicious links and comments appearing on your website or through your site’s dedicated email address. Since the introduction of WordPress, spammers and bots have found new ways to target WordPress websites. Since WordPress is such a popular platform, chances are that spammers will continue to find new ways to flood your email and comment section. Common signs of spam on a WordPress website include:
- High levels of suspicious messages and links appearing in your blog’s comments.
- Misuse of your site’s “Contact Us” form to send high levels of spam emails to your inbox.
- Large amounts of spam user registrations, which clutter up your database and create inconvenience
- High levels of unnecessary user-submitted content (forum posts, etc).
How can spam affect your WordPress website?
- Bad user experience – If you want a site that converts users into repeat visitors or customers, it is important that your site follows the best user experience (UX) practices. Spam can take away from an enjoyable user experience by flooding blog comments with pointless or malicious links, generating unnecessary content, slowing down your website or making the site appear untrustworthy to potential customers.
- Lower search engine ranking – Google uses a variety of measurements and algorithms to determine which pages rank higher than others. When spam bots create comments and other submissions with malicious or dangerous links, Google will see the risks and problems this poses to your sites users. This will likely result in a drop in search engine rankings.
- Contact form spam – You may find that the “Contact Us” form on your website is being used to send annoying, fake or malicious emails to the form’s linked email address. Although using a captcha prevents bots from doing this, people can still manually misuse the form.
- Slower site speed – Large amounts of comments on your website’s posts can overload the database, resulting in larger page/post sized and slower load times.
How to reduce spam:
- Restrict comments – Although comments are a great way for users to contribute to a conversation on your post, they serve as a means for spammers to leave unwanted messages and links. By restricting the ability to comment, you are making it harder for spammers to do this. Many users will only allow registered users to comment, or add a captcha form to prevent bots from commenting.
- Verify users – There are many automated scripts that can quickly populate your website with unwanted users. These users will often post unwanted content to your website and slow it down. By requiring additional processes to verify an account upon signing up, you are significantly reducing the chance of unwanted users being created.
- Reduce the number of links allowed in a post – On the WordPress dashboard, navigate to Settings → Discussion. Here, you can find a section called Comment Moderation. This section lets you prevent comments with a chosen number of links from being posted automatically. These comments will then need approval before they can go live on your website. You can also blacklist comments that contain particual words and phrases.
What can we do to help prevent spam?
Is your website constantly being targeted by spam? Are you sick of having to blacklist and delete comments every day? If so, we have a solution for you. At OPMC, we can provide you with a reliable, secure web host. With our hosting, we can spend time keeping your site running and preventing problems such as spam occurring. This will allow you to focus more on what’s important.
If you are having issues with spam on your website, give us a call on 02 9955 2237 and see how we can help!
Alternatively, you can use the form below to send us a message.