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How to understand and deal with spam in WordPress [infographic]

I regularly come across many bloggers who say they are plagued with spam. Many of them are in despair as they are definitely overwhelmed by unwanted and irrelevant comments that clog up their inboxes (especially if notification is emailed to them).

Spam is a real issue and it is very important to put into place preventative measures to stop it taking over your blog. Unfortunately it is unlikely to go away, so the answer is to stop it from being contributed, or how to recognise it and activate a method to highlight it accordingly so others can be spared from its intrusion.

Here is an infographic created to show you how to understand and deal with spam in WordPress. Other blogging platforms will have similar systems in place, and the same principle can be applied to help rid your blog of this annoyance and inconvenience.

How to understand and deal with spam in WordPress

And of course I’ve provided you with some code you could paste into your own posts if you want to share this infographic with your readers. Remember to put it into the Text mode of your Edit Post page.

It’s important to deal with your spam on a regular basis. Certainly installing plugins like Akismet and Conditional CAPTCHA will help keep it down to a manageable level (without these I don’t know how I would cope, as you can see from the bottom image in my infographic how much spam has been prevented from getting to my blog).

But some will get through, and my infographic explains why it’s necessary to delete it. The Akismet plugin works with a specific kind of database that ‘learns’ which kinds of comments are spam. The information gleaned from these comments, which are marked as spam through moderation on blogs that have Akismet activated, is stored and compared against future contributions. This recognises specific content that is spam, kinds and quantities of links, even which IP address it has originated from, and if similar spam comments are found, Akismet will automatically block them from being placed on your blog. It is a small step towards inhibiting severe spam attacks and gives spammers a much harder time to do their mischief and havoc.

And Akismet relies on blog administrators recognising and tagging comments as spam, especially ones that have slipped through the net or have been submitted by humans rather than robots (which is what the Conditional CAPTCHA plugin does: only allows humans to contribute by requesting recognition of letters and numbers). It is the act of deleting these kinds of comments from the spam folder that passes their details onto the database, and prevents similar comments (since spam usually comes in batches) from bothering other bloggers.

So my call to actions are: 1) go check your spam folders and delete them properly, especially if you have Akismet activated, 2) share this infographic on your blogs so that more people follow this good practice, and 3) let me know if this has any impact on your blog’s spam problems in the comment box below.

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Alice Elliott writes the award winning Fairy Blog Mother blog for beginner and post-beginner bloggers to “explain things really simply” about blogging and WordPress. She provides simple, easy to understand, highly visual courses and tutorials using ordinary, everyday words. Visit her new Beginner Bloggers blog to find her latest learning resources.

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  • This is a wonderful post. I need to take some action around this today, so the timing is perfect. I love the way you have been specific about the actions required at the end of the post. Thank you very much, Alice. Where would we be without you?

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