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How to stop contact form spam

One of the most common questions I get asked is how do I cut down on spam to my website and emails.

Unfortunately spammers are everywhere and when ways are created to stop them spamming they find ways around it. It’s a money maker for them and there’s no real stopping them.

BUT what you can do is:

Blog Comments: If your blog is getting loads of spammy comments you can switch off comments altogether by using a plugin called Disable Comments and switching it on in it’s settings (please note that if you have Woocommerce reviews this will also stop people leaving reviews as it turns off all comments).

If you do want to leave comments on you can set them to approve and also in WordPress under Settings and discussion and there are a number of options, such as not allowing them to leave a certain number of links, that you can adjust.

There are also plugins such as Akismet that you can use (it does require a paid subscription) which may help you cut down on comment spam, but it still won’t totally eradicate it.

Contact Form Spam: When I first started creating websites email spam was a big thing and we were always recommended to use a contact form to cut down on spam and give people some direction on what things you wanted them to write and the information you needed from them. But over the years spammers have caught on to that and contact form spam has gone through the roof!

Yes plugins such as Akismet can also help but as I said before it can reduce not eradicate. The only way to eradicate contact form spam is to delete your contact form, which may be a bit drastic but it’s something I’ve done and now I just use my email address and hardly get any spam.

But sometimes you need a contact form, as you want people to contact you with certain information so things you can look at are if you have anti spam enabled on your form, most contact forms use honey pot anti spam or Google Recaptcha (you will need to sign up for an API key to be able to use this).

Also another thing I suggest is to change spam settings at your email host – for me this is done through Mailscanner in my hosting cPanel and I put all high scoring spam to delete.

TOP TIP: You can use a plugin called WP Content Copy Protector that disables the ability for people to right click and not only copy stuff from your website but past things into it (most spammers copy and paste).