Spam comments are a big pain in the ***. To prevent spam comments, bloggers end up taking strict measures such as requiring people to register or have everyone enter a captcha before submitting a comment. Spam prevention controls such as captchas, math quiz, and registration makes it difficult for regular visitors to comment. By implementing one of those methods, you are punishing the wrong crowd. A lot of spam comments are generated by bots, which are programs designed to comment on blogs and websites. There is a common saying that you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. It fits perfectly here as we are about to show you how you can block spam comment bots in WordPress with honeypot.
What is Honeypot?
Before we talk about honeypot, lets talk about how these spam bots work. WordPress is used by millions of websites. This means that millions of websites have similar HTML output for comment forms. This makes it easier for bots to find blogs and post spam comments.
Honeypot is a spam prevention technology. It tricks and traps spam bots into revealing themselves by giving them a challenge that human users can not see.
Unlike other spam prevention methods which uses techniques to find out of if a commenter is human, Honeypot checks to see if the commenter is a bot. Instead of giving a challenge to human visitors, it creates a fake challenge for the bots. When bots fill the challenge, they end up revealing themselves and are caught before they could post spam.
Blocking Spam bots in WordPress with Honeypot
First thing you need to do is install and activate BotBlocker WordPress plugin. After activating the plugin, go to Settings » BotBlocker Settings to configure the plugin.
The default options should work for most websites. However we advise you to review the configuration options before pressing the Save changes button.
How it Works
Botblocker will now replace the names of the form fields for your comment forms with random fields. For example it will replace name field with email. On the screen, your human visitors will see the email field and enter their email address. Instead of seeing the email field, the bots will see the name field and enter a name. WordPress will not process the comment until email is entered in the proper format.
It will also rename URL field, and textarea field names with random and commonly used form field names. Such as address, newsletter, zip code, etc. The spam bots will see these names and fill the form incorrectly which will reveal that the comment posted is actually a spam comment and will be marked as spam.
Botblocker does not give you protection against manually submitted spam. Manually submitted spam is submitted by human visitors. You will still have to use a plugin like Akismet to catch those.
For more comment spam preventing, checkout our tips and tools to prevent comment spam.