A WordPress website owner reached out to us recently for help with migrating her WordPress database from MySQL 4 to MySQL 5. We were excited to help and before too long had her up and running with a freshly migrated database and the latest version of WordPress.
But it almost didn’t happen – she had first tried contacting us in the comments on a post here, and that comment was buried alongside dozens and dozens of spam comments.
What’s a website owner to do? How can you stay on top of the deluge of spam and not miss the authentic comments?
That’s when we changed some of the settings on comments and discovered a great plugin – and as a result the amount of spam has dropped dramatically. Here’s what we did so you can do it too:
First, in your Dashboard >> Settings >> Discussion, check the box that says “Automatically close comments on posts older than XX days.” Set XX to something like 90 days (that’s what we use.
Next, download and install the “Comment Timeout” plugin by James McKay. It will allow the comment window to remain open longer on posts with active discussions (i.e. it starts the 90 day clock ticking again.) Here’s the settings we use (Dashboard >> Settings >> Comment Timeout):
And if that’s not enough (and that works for us), you can also subscribe to WordPress’ Askimet service – it gets good reviews for tackling the spam. But try the above options first and see what you think!
What techniques do you use to stay on top of spam comments?