WordPress anti-spam plugins are plentiful, but finding the right one to protect your WordPress site from spam comments can be an intimidating task. In this article, we will show you the best anti-spam plugins that may be used to help protect your WordPress site from an onslaught of spam.

Akismet

The Akismet plugin is certainly the most popular spam prevention plugin for WordPress. Due to it's wide use and connection to a centralized server that keeps track of spam for you, the large majority of spam is blocked automatically.

Due to the plugin being developed by Automattic, the team behind WordPress, it will always be sure to work with the latest version of WordPress and is constantly developed to ensure that minimal issues arise.

As the plugin connects directly to remote servers for its spam detection technology, the one downside is that if your server for some reason cannot connect to their servers, you will not be protected from spam. This can also result in additional server load as it will need to check for each comment.

Configuration is also quite limited. This can be great for users who want a simple method with minimal configuration, but power users won't have nearly as much control over what they block and allow compared to other anti-spam plugins.

Akismet is free for personal use, although for commercial use, a business license should be purchased for a small fee of $5-$50 per month.

WP-SpamShield Anti-Spam

WP-SpamShield is a quite robust anti-spam plugin that will let you further customize the blocking of spam, using very simple methods which can be extremely effective. As the majority of comment spam comes from bots that do not accept cookies or have JavaScript enabled, this plugin denies comments from any sources that do not have either of these. While an extremely small percentage or users may have JavaScript of cookies disabled (less that 1% of the internet) and can result in false-positives, the pros far outweigh the cons in using a method like this to block comment spam.

In addition to comment spam prevention, WP-SpamShield also includes the ability to build forms that can filter spam as well. This is a great advantage over many other anti-spam plugins as a single plugin can be used to block spam coming into multiple locations on your site.

WP-SpamShield also includes the ability to block trackbacks and pingbacks that may come in from spam sources.

The downside of WP-SpamShield is that it only blocks based on if the user has cookies and JavaScript enabled. In most cases, this is fine but some users may experience more advanced bots or users manually entering spam into the comment box which would not be blocked at all.

Anti-spam by CleanTalk

Anti-Spam by CleanTalk is quite effective in not only blocking comment spam, but also signup spam in WordPress, BuddyPress, and bbPress as well as several form plugins such as Contact Form 7 and the JetPack contact form.

Just like Akismet, it uses a remote database to check for potential spam, which is effective in keeping a wide database of potential spam threats across all sites that use the plugin, but it can also be affected by connection issues between your site and CleanTalk's servers.

This anti-spam plugin is free to download, but will require an access key which can be acquired directly from CleanTalk's servers. There is a free 30-day trial available, but users will need to pay for the service at the end of that period. Although it is paid, the services is as cheap as $8 for a single site with unlimited protection so it is certainly affordable if you decide to continue using it.

WangGuard

WangGuard is a free anti-spam plugin that blocks spam registrations on your WordPress site. Whether you are protecting normal WordPress, Multisite, BuddyPress, or bbPress registrations, WangGuard can protect your site from any spam users from registering new accounts. WangGuard, however, does not protect your site from comment spam as other plugins do and only works for registration pages.

The ability to add various extensions to WangGuard to further protect your registration pages from spam is a great advantage to this plugin. Extensions can be added to do things such as blacklist words, add a notice to further discourage spam registrations, or even disallow users that reference a particular domain from registration.

WangGuard does not require any API keys or external calls to their servers, but it does have the ability to obtain an API key to connect to their servers which will allow further spam to be blocked. The API key is free and can greatly affect the the amount of spam that is detected, as well as provide WangGuard with more information to better block spam registrations for other users.

This plugin is completely free and has a robust set of options to eliminate the majority of spam registrations on your WordPress site.

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