Spam has always been a big problem for WordPress. And thanks to its popularity, site owners are discovering something that mostly forum owners have had to cope up with till now: Spam Users.
If you have a site that is open for user registration, you will face this problem sooner or later. And if you have such a site already, you may already be having the problem.
How Spam Users Affect You
Spam Users can affect your site in three ways:
- Posting Unsolicited Content: They may post links to spam sites which can get you penalized by search engines.
- Slowing Your Website Down: Too many spam users can increase size of your database which will have impact on performance.
- Hacking: Spam accounts can be used to exploit vulnerabilities and hack your site.
So how do you avoid these problems?
In this post, I will tell how you can:
- Prevent registration of spam users.
- Delete spam users who have already registered for your site.
Preventing Registration of Spam Users
By preventing spammers from registering, you can ensure that your site stays clean. Most effective way to do this is using a captcha plugin. Here are some plugins that integrate well with registration/login form.
- Math Captcha: Match Captcha does not display a difficult iamge but an easy sum. You can add it to login/registration form and forget about spammers. Download.
- Image Based Captcha: This plugin is unique as it asks users to select right thing from multiple images. Humans can easily identify the objects and pass through. Additionally, you can make revenue from advertising in images. Download.
- Stop Spammers: This plugin uses more than 15 ways to block spammers. It checks against an online database to find if user is spammer and does not let them register/login. Download.
- Email-Validator: Email-Validator stops users from registering using a throwaway address. It matches against a list of 500 services that provide disposable addresses and refuses to accept them. This can stop spammers using these email IDs. Download.
Deleting Spam Users
If you did not take preventive measures and your database has loads of spam users now, following plugins can help you in deleting these accounts:
- WangGuard: Wang Guard is a freemium plugin that you can use for free if you make less than $200/month or get less than 500 daily registrations. It blocks and deletes any spam accounts automatically. Download.
- Inactive User Deleter: Spam users mostly post once and then don’t do much. You can use this plugin to delete old accounts that are most probably spam. Download.
- Clobber Spam Users: This plugin has a good approach towards blocking spam. If a bot tries to log in second time to your site, it will use same details/account. This plugin prevents spam users from logging in. Many bots will be stopped this way. Download.
These are some plugins that can help you with preventing and deleting spam users.
If you want help with spam on your site, we can help. Just contact us.