Website Health

Tip of the Week: Clear Spam out of WordPress Comments

Learn how to go through your comments and sort out the spammers from your real fans.

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We get a lot of clients who ask about comment spam — it’s sort of the dark side of being found on the Internet. We’re all happy when readers and customers find us, but that usually means spammers find us, too, and nobody wants to approve a spam message and have it show up in their comments on their site. Here’s how to go through those comments and sort out the spammers from your real fans.

When you log onto the back-end of your WordPress site, you’ll see a cartoon bubble at the top of your screen. This will tell you how many comments you have awaiting approval. If that number is too big to display there, you’ll need to detail them.

When you click that button, you’ll see a list of all comments on your site. You can filter the comments by everything that’s pending by just clicking on the pending button at the top (see the screenshot below). Click the checkbox to the left of the Author and that will select all of the comments on that page. Then go up to bulk actions and choose the option to move to trash. When you’re ready, select Apply. You can follow the same instructions for the Spam and the Trash folders as well.

 The top menu for a page on WordPress editor

If you have pages and pages of comments, you can delete more at a time by viewing more on your page at a time — here’s a post about how to easily change your Screen Options in WordPress to see exactly what you want to see.

Like many chores, deleting spam from your page can actually be kind of satisfying, once you see the final product of a tidy Dashboard. Besides, it’s always nice to find the real comments that come through to your page among all the junk — that’s what we always like to see, and sorting through your spam helps to make sure the real comments get approved like they should.

About Andrew

Andrew is of two minds. Part designer, part code-junkie, Andrew brings a subtle eye for detail to every project. A dangerous business, admittedly, since it requires exploration of both the left and right brain and few people return from that perilous expedition. Speaking of exploring, after college Andrew worked for the Peace Corp teaching in the African nation of Benin. After Africa, Andrew moved to London where his wife finished a Master''s degree in History, before returning to Birmingham and Infomedia. Today they've embarked on another lifelong adventure—a beautiful daughter, Olivia. See more articles from Andrew Searles

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