Managing Spam on a Site

Description Description

Learn why spam is a problem for all WordPress sites, why you should control it and learn tips to manage it.

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Prerequisite Skills Prerequisite Skills

  • Understanding of installing and activating plug-ins on a self-hosted WordPress website.

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Objectives Objectives

  • Objectives should be worded as actions that the student can do once they’ve finished. See Bloom’s Taxonomy of Action Verbs (PDF) as a reference. Avoid using words like “know,” “understand,” “be introduced to,” etc.

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Class Discussion Class Discussion

If you have an email address, I’m sure you have received email spam. Spam, otherwise known as an unsolicited commercial message, or something you never asked for, trying to sell you something you don’t need, happens in WordPress too.

Comment Spam happens when a spammer posts comments to your website.

Why would they do this? Most spam comments contain links to the spammer’s website, Their goal, is to increase the number of back-links to their website by publishing them anywhere and everywhere they can. The hope is that the higher number of backlinks, the higher their Google Page Rank will be. In reality, Google views these types of links as low-quality backlinks and they do not help spammers, and instead will sometimes hurt Page Rank.

Why does spam hurt your site? These spam posts can make your website look less credible, include information that you don’t want your readers to see and sometimes even cause problems with your website’s SEO.

Controlling Spam with a Plugin: All WordPress sites should utilize some type of anti-spam plugin. There are many different free and paid plug-ins that offer spam protection for your website.  Some of these plugins include Askimet, Spam Plugin Lesson 2 and Spam Plugin Lesson 3.

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Exercise Exercise

In addition to anti-spam plugins, WordPress has a number of built-in tools that can help control comment spam.

  1. In the WordPress Dashboard, go to Settings>Discussion.

[QUESTION: looking at comment spam tools as mentioned here: https://codex.wordpress.org/Combating_Comment_Spam. Some of this is touched on in the Settings Lesson Plan, but not all. Should detailed notes be included in this LP, or edited into the sessions LP.]

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Quiz Quiz

Why is spam bad for your site?

  1. It shows content that you may not want your readers to see
  2. It looks unprofessional
  3. It could hurt your SEO
  4. All of the above

Answer: 4. Correct answer

How can you control spam on your site (choose as many as applicable)?

  1. Install an anti-spam plugin
  2. Call your host and ask for the “no more spam” package
  3. Make adjustments to the Settings>Disscussions panel
  4. All of the above

Answer:  1 & 3 Correct answers