How To Enable Approval For The Comments Posted To Prevent Spam On Your WordPress Site? (Includes Video)

Comments are a valuable part of any website, allowing readers to engage with the content and share their thoughts. However, comment spam can quickly become a nuisance, cluttering up your site and potentially harming it. Fortunately, there are several effective techniques you can employ to prevent spam comments on your WordPress site. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore a few methods and provide step-by-step instructions on how to enable approval for comments to ensure a spam-free commenting experience for both you and your visitors.

Understanding Spam Comments

Before we delve into the methods to prevent comment spam, it’s important to understand what it is and why it can be problematic. Comment spam refers to unsolicited and often irrelevant comments that are posted on websites with the intention of promoting links or driving traffic to unrelated sites. These comments are typically generated by automated bots and can include malicious links or content. Comment spam poses several issues for website owners and visitors alike. 

  • It can disrupt genuine conversations and make it challenging for legitimate commenters to engage with the content. 
  • A site filled with spam comments can give off an unprofessional impression and negatively impact the overall user experience. 
  • Comment spam often contains harmful links that can lead visitors to malicious websites, compromising their security.

The Importance of Preventing Spam Comments

Preventing comment spam is crucial for maintaining a high-quality commenting environment on your WordPress site. By implementing effective spam prevention measures, you can minimize the presence of spam comments and create a more engaging and trustworthy platform for your visitors. It also helps protect your site’s reputation and improves its overall security.

Now, let’s explore seven proven methods to enable approval for comments on your WordPress site and effectively prevent spams.

Method 1: Limit the number of links per comment

One common characteristic of comment spam is the inclusion of links. To combat this, you can restrict the number of links allowed per comment, making it more challenging for spammers to promote their content. While this method may also limit the number of links legitimate commenters can include, it is a small inconvenience compared to the benefits of reducing spam.

Limit the number of links per comment using Comment Moderation

To implement this method, follow these steps:

  • Go to WordPress dashboard > Settings > Discussion.
  • Locate the “Comment Moderation” section.
  • Adjust the Number of Links setting to your desired value. You can set it to zero for all comments to require moderation or choose a specific number that suits your needs.
  • Save the changes.

By setting a limit on the number of links allowed, you can significantly reduce the chances of spam comments appearing on your site while still allowing legitimate comments to be posted.

Method 2: Create a Blacklist of Words

Another effective way to prevent comment spam is by creating a blacklist of words commonly associated with spam. This allows your site to automatically flag and remove comments that contain the blacklisted words. While implementing a blacklist requires some initial setup, it can efficiently filter out most spam comments.

Create a Blacklist of Words using Comment Moderation

To create a blacklist of words, follow these steps:

  • Go to WordPress dashboard > Settings > Discussion.
  • Scroll down to the “Comment Moderation” section.
  • Enter the words, phrases, or IP addresses you want to blacklist. Don’t forget to separate each entry by entering them one below the other. 
  • This will send the comment to a moderation queue where the authorized user roles can approve or reject the comment.
  • If you wish to send the comment to the trash, enter the words, phrases, and IP addresses in the “Disallowed Comment Keys” section
  • Save your changes.
Create a Blacklist of Words using Disallowed Comment Keys

Make sure to choose your blacklist words carefully to avoid filtering legitimate comments. Regularly updating and refining your blacklist will improve its effectiveness over time.

Method 3: Implement Comment Moderation 

Enabling comment moderation can be an effective strategy to prevent spam while maintaining control over the comments posted on your site. With a comment moderation system in place, all comments will be held for review before appearing publicly, allowing you to manually approve or reject them.

Implement Comment Moderation using the Before a comment appears setting

To implement a comment moderation system, follow these steps:

  • Go to WordPress dashboard > Settings > Discussion.
  • Locate the “Before a comment appears” section.
  • Enable the option that says Comment must be manually approved.
  • Save the changes.

By enabling comment moderation, you gain the ability to review each comment and ensure only legitimate contributions are published. This manual review process adds an extra layer of protection against spam. Check out our YouTube Shorts video that explains the same in an easy and engaging way.

Method 4: Allow Only Registered Users to Post Comments

By limiting comment privileges to registered users, you can significantly reduce the risk of spam comments being posted on your WordPress site. Requiring visitors to register and log in provides an additional barrier for spammers and encourages genuine engagement from your audience.

Allow Only Registered Users to Post Comments using Other Comment Settings

To restrict comment privileges to registered users, follow these steps:

  • Go to WordPress dashboard > Settings > Discussion.
  • Scroll down to the “Other comment settings” section.
  • Enable the option that says Users must be registered and logged in to comment.
  • Save your changes.

This method is particularly useful for sites that have membership or simply want to keep track of customer details. It promotes a sense of exclusivity and encourages meaningful interactions within your registered user base.

Method 5: Consider Using an Anti-Spam Plugin 

Anti-spam plugins offer a comprehensive solution to combat comment spam on your WordPress site. These plugins utilize advanced algorithms and databases to identify and filter spam comments, saving you time and effort in managing them manually. One popular and highly regarded anti-spam plugin is Akismet Anti-Spam.

Akismet Anti-Spam plugin

To utilize an anti-spam plugin like Akismet, follow these steps:

  • Go to  WordPress dashboard > Plugins > Add New.
  • Search for the Akismet plugin, then install and activate it.
Install and activate the plugin
  • To access the plugin go to WordPress dashboard > Settings > Akismet Anti-Spam
Set up your Akismet account
  • Now go ahead and click Set up your Akismet account. This will redirect you to the pricing plan page where you can select the package that best suits your needs.
Choose a plan
  • Once you land on the “Account Overview” page, scroll down and copy the API key.
Copy the API key
  • Go back to the Akismet dashboard and click Manually enter an API key
Paste the API key
  • Now paste the API key in the field and click Connect with API key. This will open up the Akismet settings page.
Connect with the API key
  • Now you may finally go ahead and customize the plugin to your specifications. 
Enable the settings
  • If you wish to utilize additional features like Advanced stats, you will have to purchase a higher plan such as Akismet Pro or any subsequent ones.

Akismet Anti-Spam analyzes comments in real-time and compares them against a vast database of known spam to determine their legitimacy. It is a reliable and efficient tool for preventing comment spam on your WordPress site.

Method 6: Utilize the Power of CAPTCHA

Spam comments can be a nuisance and harm the reputation of your WordPress website. Luckily, you can harness the power of CAPTCHA to put an end to this problem. CAPTCHA, which stands for Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart, is a challenge that bots find difficult to solve but most humans can easily complete. By adding CAPTCHA to your website’s comment section, you can prevent unauthorized access and malicious code injection. 

Utilize the Power of CAPTCHA

Some of the top CAPTCHA tools for WordPress are:

The above provided CAPTCHA tools are a mix of free and premium. These tools offer various types of CAPTCHA and can protect multiple areas of your site.

Method 7: Consider Third-Party Comment Systems

If you’re open to alternative comment systems, integrating third-party options like Facebook Comments, Disqus, and IntenseDebate can help reduce spam comments. These platforms have built-in spam filters and moderation systems, making them effective in combating spam. By leveraging the features of these third-party comment systems, you can provide a seamless commenting experience while minimizing the risk of spam.

Implementing a third-party comment system can provide additional benefits beyond spam prevention, such as enhanced user engagement and increased social media integration.


Preventing comment spam is essential for maintaining a positive user experience and protecting your WordPress site’s reputation. By implementing the methods outlined in this guide, you can effectively prevent spam comments and create a spam-free commenting environment.

Remember, no method is foolproof, and it’s important to regularly monitor and adjust your spam prevention measures as necessary. By combining these strategies and staying alert, you can ensure a secure and engaging commenting experience for both you and your visitors.

We hope this post has helped you to stop spam comments on your WordPress site!

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