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          12 Best Anti-Spam Plugins for WordPress 2020

          Last updated on:
          12 Best Anti-Spam Plugins for WordPress 2019

          Combating WordPress comment spam is an ongoing process and can be done with (a) the help of plugins or (b) with a little bit of tweaking the discussion settings in WordPress. In this tutorial, we focus on both methods.?The 2 factors you should consider while deciding your next anti-spam plugin should be:

          1. Amount of traffic
          2. Number of comments

          If both the numbers are on the lower end (for example, when you’re starting off a blog), you can go for technique (b), i.e. tweaking WordPress settings to manually prevent spam. It’s quite interesting to see just how much WordPress has to offer.

          In part (a), i.e. preventing spam using WordPress antispam plugins, we first take a look at the important features an antispam plugin should have. Then we dive into the plugin list.

          Disclaimer: WPExplorer is an affiliate for one or more products listed below. If you click a link and complete a purchase we could make a commission.

          Essential Features of a WordPress Antispam Plugin

          There is lots you could look for in an antispam plugin, but there are a handful of key features that you really must?consider. Let’s take a look!

          Zero Client Side Actions

          Client side actions, other than writing the comment, should be kept as low as possible – ideally zero.?Your plugin should not ask your genuine commentator to check/uncheck a checkbox or type in an unintelligible captcha image.?Entering captcha for comments significantly hampers the user experience and should be avoided.

          Minimal WordPress Database Impact

          Nip it at the bud

          A good anti-spam plugin should not allow the spam comment to be entered into the WordPress database.?As a result, the number of SQL transactions decrease, which means lower server load, i.e. improved performance – even during peak traffic hours. This risk here though, is if?the antispam algorithm goes wrong, a genuine comment can be lost forever (oops).

          Block New User Registration Spam

          The WordPress registration page allows users to register on your website. The registration process is pretty straight forward and can be easily automated by bots.

          Why Do We Need To Stop It??Once registered, a user can post as many comments as he pleases, without being filtered.?This is the normal Discussion setting in a new installation of WordPress.?Therefore, you can either change the default settings, or use a plugin like WP-SpamShield?that blocks new user registration spam.

          Trackback Validation

          Trackback Validation consists of a filter that compares the client IP address of the incoming trackback against the IP address of the server. If both of them don’t match, then it is spam.


          Statistics help in tracking and analysis of data. The plugin should provide weekly or monthly statistics of detected spam.


          As with many plugins, some are free and some are paid. Some of the plugins, including?Antispam Bee & WP-SpamShield Anti-Spam, are free. Other solutions, such as?Akismet and CloudTalk, are paid options for commercial and business websites.

          List of the Best WordPress Antispam Plugins

          While there are plenty of ways to prevent spam, these free anit-spam plugins are a great place to start.

          1. Akismet


          The number one WordPress antispam plugin in the repository, developed by the Automattic team – Akismet brings enterprise level spam protection to your WordPress site.?With Akismet, the user?installs and activates plugin using an API key (signup required).?Plugin works by uploading all incoming comments to the Akismet server.?Comments then undergo hundreds* of antispam algorithms (* we really don’t know the exact number).?Correct comments are published, while the rest are thrashed to the spam queue.


          • Akismet is free for non-profit and personal use (up to 50,000 monthly spam checks)
          • Commercial licenses start at $5/month
          • Compatible with top WordPress plugins such as Jetpack and Contact Form 7
          • View every comment’s status history to see which were spammed by a moderator, or put in the spam folder automatically

          2. Stop WP Comment Spam by Fullworks

          Stop WP Comment Spam

          Clean up your comments section with the Stop WP Comment Spam plugin. It’s a quick, easy and free way to keep spam from taking over your posts. With the plugin installed, you can automatically prevent spam and hold flagged comments for review in the “spam” tab (where you can manually review and approve or delete comments). Or you can enable a setting to automatically delete all spam – either immediately, or after being held for a set number of days.


          • Automated spam filters
          • Option to delete or hold for reviews
          • Works well with other WordPress security plugins

          And you can upgrade to Stop Spam Pro for added features such as: human spam recognition and machine learning, form protection, fake WordPress & WooCommerce user registration prevention, spam statistics and more.

          3. Anti-Spam Bee


          The next best choice after Akismet would be Anti-Spam Bee. This free plugin is full of great features, and doesn’t require registration like Akismet does. Anti-Spam Bee is free for personal and commercial use, so no matter your website you can be spam free.


          • Block comments from specific IP addresses, countries or with different language
          • Logs spammers using Fail2Ban
          • Clear WordPress database of spam after a specified number of days (spam purging)
          • Displays monthly statistics on the dashboard with spam numbers


          Advanced anti-spam configuration measures of Anti-Spam Bee

          4. WP-SpamShield Anti-Spam


          WP-SpamShield Anti-Spam handles comment spam, registration spam, trackback spam and contact form spam. That’s a lot of spam!?The plugin does not allow spam to enter the WordPress database using a multitude of methods, one being an?advanced comment logging and blacklisting features which helps block persistent spammers. And with WP-SpamShield Anti-Spam you can also block comments for visitors using a proxy server

          2 Layers Of Protection:

          • The JavaScript/Cookies Anti-spam Layer which blocks all automated spam bots
          • The Algorithmic Anti-spam Layer contains 100+ algorithmic filters to block human and trackback spam

          Plugin Compatibility:

          • Comment form plugins like Contact Form 7, Gravity Forms, Ninja Forms, and JetPack
          • Social plugins like BuddyPress and bbPress
          • E-commerce plugins like WooCommerce
          • Membership plugins like s2Member and WP-Members

          5. WordPress Zero Spam

          wp zero spam

          Based on a concept by Mozilla developer David Walsh, the WordPress Zero Spam Plugin uses server and client side JavaScript key validation to prevent bots from spamming.?Essentially, users cannot comment without JavaScript enabled.


          • No external services/servers required for anti-spam checking
          • Does not guard against human spammers
          • Free for both personal and commercial use

          6. CleanTalk


          CleanTalk is a premium cloud-based antispam plugin for WordPress which blocks spam comments, spam bot signups and trackbacks.?With CleanTalk, comments are uploaded to CleanTalks’ cloud servers wherein it undergoes multiple validation checks.?These?checks include – comment submitted too quickly, JavaScript disabled, blacklisted HTTP links and many more.?Valid comments are then allowed, while the rest are sent?to the spam queue.


          Anti-spam settings for CleanTalk


          • CleanTalk offers a 14 day free trial, after which a commercial license costs $8/year for a single website
          • Advanced statistics displaying spam block/moderation
          • Spam comment log which shows the reason for blocking comments


          Spam blocking statistics

          Plugin Compatibility:

          • Comment form plugins like Formidable Forms, Contact Form 7, Fast Secure Contact, and JetPack
          • Social plugins like BuddyPress and bbPress
          • E-commerce plugins like WooCommerce
          • Membership plugins like s2Member and WP-Members
          • Cache plugins like W3 Total Cache and WP Super cache

          7. Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin


          Growmap Anit Spambot (GASP) is another free plugin option, which adds a client-side generated checkbox to the comment box asking users to confirm that they are not a spammer. You can set the maximum amount of comments a user can have to help limit spammers trying to post to your site. So GASP essentially stops spam bots by adding dynamically generated named fields to comment form.

          8. GoodBye Captcha


          GoodBy Captcha eliminates spam-bot signups, spam comments and brute force attacks by preventing?the spam comments from entering the WordPress database. The plugin applies?antispam measures in signup pages as well as login and password reset pages to stop spam before it starts.

          Plugin Compatibility:

          • Comment form plugins like PlanSo Forms, JetPack, Postmatic, Epoch and MailChimp for WordPress
          • Membership plugins like Ultimate Member
          • Login plugins like WP User Control and Login With Ajax

          9. WangGuard


          WangGuard is a WordPress MU, BuddyPress and bbPress compatible anitspam plugin. It follows Akismet and CleanTalk procedure by checking?comments for spam on external servers. The?API connection is even encrypted with SSL for added security.

          10. Spam Destroyer

          spam destroyer

          Spam Destroyer was designed to be as unobtrusive to your readers as possible. This lightweight plugin stop automated spam without putting off your commentors, and is something?you might consider for a small blog or low traffic website.

          11. Stop Spam Comments

          stop spam comments

          Stop Spam Comments is a simple?JavaScript-based spam comment blocker for WordPress.?Just activate this nearly invisible plugin to start stopping spam dead in its tracks. The nice part about this plugin is that it doesn’t add captchas, questions or other interactions for users to stumble over.

          12. Stop Spammers Spam Prevention

          Stop Spammers Spam Prevention

          Stop Spammers Spam Prevention helps to?prevent?comment spam, as well as limits?login attempts. The plugin utilizes over?20 different checks for spam and malicious events to detect spam.?When the plugin flags a comment or login attempt, users are allowed a second attempt via a denied request page. Here users?are presented with a captcha screen in order to prevent them?from being blocked. The?Captcha can range from OpenCaptcha, Google reCaptcha, or SolveMedia Captcha.

          How to Leverage WordPress Discussion Settings to Prevent Spam

          The settings for controlling comments in WordPress is available under Settings > Discussions. Please note that this is the manual method of preventing/combating spam and is usually the most effective when you have a few comments every day. However, if you have over 1000 daily comments, it is more feasible to use an antispam plugin.

          Let’s discuss certain ways to use these default WordPress settings to prevent spam. We will discuss one section at a time.

          1. Default Article Settings

          manual-anitspam-01-default article settings

          Screenshot of the recommended Default Article Settings

          Simply disable trackbacks and pingbacks to save yourself from half the spam traffic.?Only allow people to post comments on new articles.

          2. Other Comment Settings

          manual-anitspam-02-other comment settings

          Screenshot of the recommended Other Comment Settings

          It is almost always necessary for the comment author to enter his name/email before commenting. WordPress enables this by default.?If you require users to log in before leaving comments then this will cut down on a significant amount of spam This step might be a turn off for few legit readers who want to leave a comment but don’t want to sign in. Therefore you must carefully analyze before enabling this feature.

          You should disable comments on posts older than 90 days in a fairly active blog. However, if you keep updating articles, make sure to change the published date so that the 90 days boundary doesn’t overlap.?Keep Threaded comments to the default or increase it if required.

          3. E-mail Me Whenever

          manual-anitspam-03-email me whenever

          Screenshot of the recommended E-mail Me Whenever Settings

          You can use this feature if you don’t get thousands of comments on your posts.?You will get email notifications for every comment that pops up and you can mark it spam right away cutting down on a section of spam comments.

          4. Before a Comment Appears

          manual-anitspam-04-before a comment appears

          Screenshot of the recommended Before a Comment Appears Settings

          Allowing readers who have previously left a comment, to leave a comment again without requiring any approval, will help you cut down the legit comments in the moderation queue.?You’ll only have to focus on the remainder of users, mostly of which will be spam.

          5. Comment Moderation

          manual-anitspam-05-comment moderation

          Screenshot of the recommended Comment Moderation Settings

          I suggest you use a value of 2.?This ideally allows guest bloggers to leave at most one outgoing link (link bait) in their comment.?Building an effective comment moderation blacklist is a very time-consuming process, with equally beneficial payoffs.?However, you can leverage this setting as an effective profanity filter.?Simply add the profane words to the list and all such comments will be added to the moderation queue.

          7. Comment Blacklist

          manual-anitspam-06-comment blacklist

          Screenshot of the recommended Comment Blacklist Settings

          Comment Blacklist is stricter version of the Comment Moderation Blacklist, where if a comment contains a blacklisted word, it is sent to the spam queue, instead of the moderation queue.?The benefit – saves your time.


          We covered a lot in this post, and?hopefully?you’ll find some of it useful in your spam blocking efforts.?What’s your favourite way of combating spam? Do you know of an awesome antispam plugin we haven’t listed? Let us know in the comments section below!

          Article by Sourav WPExplorer.com author
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          1. pradeep

            i am using GASP from past few months and this is really useful plugins when it come to stop spammers spoil your blog.. but now i will surely try few more from your list..
            thanks, Saurav

          2. stk

            Great listiing, which is true for outside of Germany/Europe. Acc. to our laws Akismet has a privacy issue which leverages AntiSpamBee on No. 1! Anyone who is keen on privacy policy should have a closer look to AntiSpamBee as alternative to Akismet.

            • Kyla Avatar Kyla

              Good to know! Thanks for sharing ??

          3. Kaleb

            Thanks for this great list. It’s been 4 days since I installed GoodbyeCaptcha and it has stopped 100% of the 874 comment spam attempts on my web site. I am so impressed with this plugin. ZERO spam comments got past GoodbyeCaptcha.
            Thanks again for this post

            • Sourav Avatar Sourav

              Hi Kaleb, thanks for the feedback! Glad to hear that Goodbye Captcha is working so well for you.

          4. Abid Naimat

            Thanks for sharing!

          5. Vince

            I’ve used Akismet with all of my blogs and it really works wonders. I’ll certainly try out some of this anti-spam plugins when I get a new one. Thanks for this list.

          6. Kaos Distro

            i will try anti spam bee plugin to my site

          7. aleks

            I’m using CleanTalk more than 3 years and I didn’t have spam. It’s great when a have statistics about all my comments/registration

          8. dubestate

            I’m using CleanTalk in trail period its a nice spam plugin. but unfortunately when i want to upgrade my membership then they offer me 8$ but when i open payment form then they show me to pay 16 dollars. Its a fake company. and cheating with his clients.

            • Kyla Avatar Kyla

              Oh no! That’s a bummer!

            • Meppyman

              They are definitely not a fake company, as for cheating their clients? They definitely make the checkout painful/confusing on purpose… It really is US$8 for their basic option per year. But when you select it they automatically update the selection options to 3 years for 3 websites (at a discount though) so you have to manually change it to 1 year and 1 website to get the USD8 option (they also select your home currency, which was AUD for me and so that price is slightly different of course).

              Still extremely cheap, but they definitely pile on the marketing BS. They claimed to have stopped hundreds of spam in my trial and sent me a lot of emails before I opted out (ironic really as I was starting to feel spammed… but I had opted in so I wasn’t too upset), but the site I had it on doesn’t get that much traffic and only had a few opt ins total. I think they inflate that number with the blocking of IPs of known spambots.

              That all said I am going to pay for it and test it out to see how it performs compared to CRM specific opt in filtering that is available at a much higher price (usually around $10 a month not a year!).

              • Kyla Avatar Kyla

                Thank you for clearing that up! I wish they would make the checkout easier and more transparent, but good to know that you can in fact sign up for the $8 plan. If you want to keep us updated I’d love to know how CLeanTalk works out for your site.

            • ikomrad

              Thanks for the tip on Cleantalk, I’m trying it now.

          9. El Taller Del Bit

            Hello, i discovered WP Spamshield last year and since then i use it. I love the functionallitys of this plugin, but recently i discovered that the plugin uses a lot of memory and causes error 500 on my server. What other plugin would you use?
            I need an automatic plugin that doesn′t use human captcha and that applies to all forms (like register, login…), just like WP SPAMSHIELD does.

            I think Akismet is not a good solution because it proved to me that a lot of SPAM obtain access to be published (at least i tested it in a forum website with BBPRESS plugin and i had to clean manually all spam entries….more than 100.000 ..)

            What do you all think about WP SPAMSHIELD memory consumption?
            Alternatives please?

          10. Rudy

            thanks, i am very tired in one day i got 12 post spam in my website.
            this is give me idea, what the best for my website.

            i will try antispam bee

            thanks bro

          11. Biztech Store

            Thanks for sharing this great post. What do you think about that facebook comment will increase comment ratio?

            • AJ Clarke Avatar AJ Clarke

              That really depends on your visitors/niche. Some example if your target audience is people between the ages of 13-18 then Facebook comments may work better then if your target audience is between 50-60 years old. You can always try it out for a bit and see how it works and if it’s a good fit for your site.

          12. Munna Hossain

            This is an excellent list. All the plugins here are really good. You can use any of the plugins after your own choice. Akismet is the best and most popular anti-spam plugin. It is also my favorite anti-spam plugin and I am using this plugin on my WordPress blog. WordPress zero spam is also an active and perfect protection plugin.

            We must use an anti-spam plugin on our blogs/websites so that we will be safe from spamming. Thanks for your really interesting article.

          13. preethi

            Thanks for sharing! It helped me a lot!

          14. Sam

            Thanks a lot for great information. I will try Akismet plugin and I am sure it will work fine on my website. Thanks again for helping me.

          15. Nick

            Thank you for this great list

          16. Michael

            WP-SpamShield is not free anymore and is not listed in the WordPress Plugin repository.
            You can get only get it direct from CodeCanyon but its $28 and seems to be no free option even for personal users. That’s a bugger because it looked to be very useful.

            I’d like a free one that deals with contact form spam as well please? Suggestions?

            • AJ Clarke Avatar AJ Clarke

              Oh that’s a bummer! Unfortunately it happens a lot with plugins because there are so many people asking questions and wanting free help support a free plugin can be extremely costly and time consuming. In terms of a contact form I would recommend actually using a contact form with built-in SPAM protection such as re-captcha most of the best plugins either have SPAM protection built-in or a compatible add-on plugin.

          17. Lou

            Great post. I am experiencing some of these issues as well..

          18. joel

            thank you very much for this tutorial I am a beginner in blogging and I encounter serious problem with a mass of spam that I receive all day with I think I want to get out, good job thank you.

          19. Eric

            Check out Human Presence – They are the new guys on the block for WordPress but have been killing spam and bots in the Shopify space with their Shop Protector plugin for the past few years. I had numerous issues with form and comment spam, but installed their plugin and had zero issues afterward.

          20. Supplier Bibit

            For almost 10 years I’ve been using Akismet to ward off spam comments that are often run by bots. So if the bot will put down its spam comments, Akismet will hold it first and put it in the spam comment category (I can also moderate if the comment can be published or not).

          21. Sunny

            Thanks a lot for great information. I will try Akismet plugin and I am sure it will work fine on my website. Thanks again for helping me.

          22. John

            Not all those plugins are also blocking contact forms!
            WP Spamshield was probably the best of them but just found out it has recently been removed from Codecanyon and the company’s site is not live anymore!

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