CleanTalk spam filter can help stop or reduce comment and contact form spam on your WordPress website. The basic WordPress options to hold comments for approval helps insure that spam doesn’t actually make it onto your web pages, but that still requires you having to manually go through the comments, approve those you wish, and trash the others. Having something help keep them out of your comment queue is helpful.
I have tested several spam filters, and while none of them is 100%, CleanTalk has worked the best out-of-the-box and at the best price. It costs $8.00 a year for a single site. They also have options for multiple sites, so I paid $24.00 for 5 sites.
You can get a 15 day free trial at CleanTalk.org.
How to Configure CleanTalk
You install and activate CleanTalk from the WordPress directory. This will add a link to your Dashboard asking you to enter a CleanTalk access key. Click on the link to go to the Access Key setting screen. (Note that you can also access this under the Settings menu from the Dashboard).
Click on the “Get Access Key Automatically” button to register for a new access key. The administrator email address of your website will be used for registration.
The above screen is the signup screen for your CleanTalk account. Click on the “Get Access Key” button and your access key and instructions will be sent to your email. Once you receive the email, you can copy the access key, and return to the settings screen.
Enter the Access Key. You can also enable a Spam Firewall. This helps stop known spam bots before they ever get to your site. Make sure you save your settings. Once these are saved, CleanTalk will start protecting your site from spam.
You will receive email reports about the spam that is blocked, and you can also check your analytics within the CleanTalk dashboard. Login at cleantalk.org and see how much spam is being blocked.
A log is also available that shows exactly what URLs and comments are being blocked. This allows you to make sure that good comments are not being blocked.
If you’re having trouble with spam comments and contact form inquiries, then I recommend giving this plugin a try for the 15 day trial and see how it works for you. In the future, we’ll look at other Spam Protection options like captchas.
If spam comments have piled up in your Pending queue, visit my post on a plugin to bulk remove them. https://whiteglovewebtraining.com/deleting-unapproved-comments/ Let me know how that plugin works for you, or if you have difficulties with it. A review of another one is coming soon.