If you use the blog of your site for a newsfeed, or even just as a blog, you will get spam comments. Here’s how to best deal with them.
Of course, you can eliminate spam comments by turning off the comments on your posts. To do this on your WordPress site, look on the left menu of the admin dashboard under Settings for Discussion. Under “Default Article Settings”, uncheck the box “Allow people to post comments on new articles”.
But leaving comments turned on can generate some conversation about your posts, which is a good thing. We advise leaving our default setting that before a comment appears on your site, that “Comment author must have a previously approved comment”. This means that the first time a commenter writes a comment, a notification will go to the post author (by default in WP this is set to the site administrators, but in ACWP, we notify post authors) to approve. After that, comments from that person (identified by their email address) will appear without needing approval.
You can lock down comments a little tighter by requiring that all comments must be “moderated” or manually approved before they appear on the site.
All our ACWP sites use Akismet, a spam filter for blog comments. It catches quite a large percentage of spam comments. But sometimes, you’ll get a notice asking for you to approve a comment that is clearly spam. Your post was about your church’s upcoming pancake breakfast, and the comment thanks you for all your pointers regarding buying used cars.
You might be tempted to just delete (“trash”) this comment, but it’s important to instead mark this comment as spam. Akismet is a dynamic filter, and can “learn” to better identify spam comments when you mark the comments that escaped its filter as spam.
We are discovering that on our church sites we occasionally get comments that seem “too personal” to be approved– not inappropriate, but things that should probably get handled through more private email channels, not out in public on the website. Like someone requesting a refund on an event ticket…
All in all, what we really see is that there aren’t really very many comments at all on the blog-as-a-newsfeed type posts.
What is your experience with blog comments?