April 18, 2022
Best anti-spam plugins for WordPress

From claims of how to make hundreds of dollars working from home to less savory offers, no one likes spam. But if you run a WordPress website, you probably deal with a lot of it.

We’ve assembled this list of the best WordPress anti-spam plugins to help you combat unwanted comments, emails, and form submissions.

Protecting your site from spam increases the site’s security and ensures it won’t get slowed down by spam.

Keep reading to learn what to look for in a WordPress spam plugin and our picks for the best WordPress anti-spam plugins, or jump ahead with the links below.

What are Anti-Spam Plugins?

Anti-spam plugins block spam submissions on your WordPress website. As your website traffic grows, you’re likely to see an increase in submissions from bots. WordPress user registration and comment forms are two of the most common targets for spammers, no matter what version of WordPress you use.

Key Features to Look for in WordPress Anti-Spam Plugins

  • User Friendliness. How does the plugin filter out spam? Does it make users solve a math equation or decipher a nearly illegible CAPTCHA? Look for a plugin that balances security and not annoying users.
  • Registration Blocking. The default settings in WordPress allow registered users to post comments freely. Spambots utilize this loophole by registering an account for your site. Look for a plugin that blocks site registrations from bots to decrease spam comments.
  • Trackback Validation. If you have trackbacks enabled, when someone links to your blog, their website is linked in the comments. Spammers use this technique to populate sites with links. Spam plugins with trackback validation use IP addresses to determine if the trackback is legitimate.
  • Reporting. Reviewing the spam statics from your anti-spam plugin will give you an idea of whether you should adjust your settings.

Benefits of an Anti-Spam Plugin

For small sites, managing and preventing spam is a mostly manual process. You can change the comment, registration, and trackback settings to reduce spam. But if your site has other contact forms or gets a lot of spam, manually adjusting settings and blocking spammers’ IP addresses might be too time-consuming. And it’s probably not the best experience if you’re newer to the WordPress platform.

You’ll end up playing a game of Whack-a-mole, where as soon as you shut down one spammer, three bots replace it. An anti-spam plugin automates the process, giving you the best protection and saving you time.

9 Best WordPress Anti-Spam Plugins

There are a lot of anti-spam plugin options. Below are the ones we recommend. Consider which one might work best for your site.

1. Akismet Spam Protection

Developed by the team behind WooCommerce, Jetpack, and WordPress.com, Akismet is one of the most popular anti-spam WordPress plugins. The plugin requires an API key to use. Keys are free for personal use, but business websites need to purchase a subscription. The plugin works by checking any comment or form submissions against a global spam database. Akismet flags suspicious submissions and prevents them from publishing to your site.

  • Active Installations: 5+ million
  • WordPress Repository Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • Developer: Automattic
  • Pricing: Free for personal use. Commercial plans range from $10 to $250 per month.

Download Akismet Spam Protection

2. Spam Protection, AntiSpam, FireWall by CleanTalk

CleanTalk’s anti-spam WordPress plugin blocks spam with minimal disruption to your user experience. Users won’t have to put in a CAPTCHA phrase, answer questions, or count photos of bridges. When someone registers, subscribes, or comments, the plugin analyzes the content and automatically quarantines comments most likely to be spam. The plugin is compatible with many of the most popular WordPress plugins, including WPForms, Elementor, Gravity Forms, and Contact Form 7. After a seven-day free trial, the plugin requires a CleanTalk subscription.

  • Active Installations: 100,000+
  • WordPress Repository Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • Developer: CleanTalk
  • Pricing: Start at $8 per month for one website

Download Spam Protection, AntiSpam, FireWall by CleanTalk

3. Antispam Bee

Antispam Bee is a great option for people looking for a free anti-spam plugin for WordPress. The plugin’s limited options work well for preventing spam in comments. But, it doesn’t work for site registrations and forms. If you’re looking for one plugin to block spam on forms and comments or need more advanced features, consider one of the other plugins on this list.

  • Active Installations: 700,000+
  • WordPress Repository Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
  • Developer: Pluginkollektiv
  • Pricing: Free

Download Antispam Bee

4. WordPress Zero Spam

WordPress Zero Spam is another great choice for people who want a free anti-spam plugin for WordPress. Unlike Antispam Bee, this plugin works on comments, user registrations, and login attempts. WordPress Zero Spam supports several popular form builder plugins, including Contact Form 7, WPForms, and Fluent Forms. Your users will love this plugin because it doesn't rely on CAPTCHA. Instead, the plugin uses a combination of artificial intelligence, advanced spam detection techniques, and databases of malicious IP addresses to block spam submissions or login attempts.

  • Active Installations: 30,000+
  • WordPress Repository Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • Developer: Highfivery LLC
  • Pricing: Free

Download WordPress Zero Spam

5. Titan Anti-Spam & Security

This all-in-one plugin offers spam protection, malware scanning, site accessibility checking, and security and threat audits. You can use the basic features for free but need to upgrade to unlock all the plugin’s advanced spam and security features.

  • Active Installations: 100,000+
  • WordPress Repository Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • Developer: CreativeMotion
  • Pricing: Limited functionality available for free. Paid plans start at $55 per year for one site.

Download Titan Anti-spam & Security

6. Captcha by BestWebSoft

This plugin adds CAPTCHA to prevent spam on comment forms, login, password recovery, and registration. CAPTCHA options include an invisible CAPTCHA, character recognition, and simple math. The free version of the plugin works with most native WordPress forms. You can buy a premium license from CodeCanyon for a one-time fee if you need compatibility with additional form builders like Contact Form 7, Ninja Forms, or Gravity Forms.

  • Active Installations: 8,000+
  • WordPress Repository Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • Developer: BestWebSoft
  • Pricing: Limited functionality available for free. Upgraded version available for a one-time fee of $19.

Download Captcha by BestWebSoft

7. WP Armour

Instead of an annoying CAPTCHA field, this plugin uses the honeypot approach. The plugin adds a hidden field to forms. Users can’t see the field, so they leave it blank. But spambots can’t tell it’s hidden, so they fill it out. If the honeypot field contains data, the plugin knows it must be spam and doesn’t submit it. The free version works with many popular forms and page builders. For additional spam settings or additional plugin compatibility, the developer offers a paid version for a one-time fee.

  • Active Installations: 20,000+
  • WordPress Repository Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
  • Developer: Dnesscarkey
  • Pricing: Limited functionality available for free. Upgraded version available for a one-time fee of $19.99 for one site.

Download WP Armour

8. Stop Spammers Security

Stop Spammers Security offers more than 50 configuration options to protect your WordPress website from spam. The plugin has options for using CAPTCHA fields or the honeypot method. The free version protects the standard WordPress comments, login, and registration forms. To use the plugin with other plugins like Contact Form 7, you need to purchase the Premium version.

  • Active Installations: 60,000+
  • WordPress Repository Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • Developer: Trumani
  • Pricing: Limited functionality available for free. Upgraded version available for a one-time fee of $29.00 for one site.

Download Stop Spammers Security

9. WP Cerber Security

Another all-in-one security solution, this plugin protects against spam, hackers, malware, and brute-force attacks. The plugin’s unique anti-spam engine works for registration, comment, contact, and other forms. WP Cerber Security works with Contact Form 7, Ninja Forms, Formidable Forms, Fast Secure Contact Form, Gravity Forms, Caldera Forms, HappyForms, and Contact Form by WPForms. The free version of the plugin includes many spam and security features. Upgrade to a premium version for additional spam protection and automated malware scans and integrity checks.

  • Active Installations: 200,000+
  • WordPress Repository Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
  • Developer: Cerber Tech Inc.
  • Pricing: Limited functionality available for free. Upgraded version available for $99 per year.

Download WP Cerber Security

What is the Best Anti-Spam Plugin for WordPress?

If you’re just trying to prevent spam, Akismet is a great option. Millions of WordPress sites trust the app making it the best spam comments WordPress plugin. If you’re looking for additional security features, WP Cerber Security is a great choice because it offers the most features and integrations with other plugins.

Protect Your Website With Quality Hosting

As we discussed in our guide to WordPress, one of the most important things you can do to protect and secure your website is to pick the right hosting provider.

At Nexcess, our managed WordPress hosting plans offer fast, reliable, and secure hosting. When paired with your anti-spam plugin, you can trust your site will run smoothly. Pick your plan and start building or migrating your site today.

Lindsey Miller
Lindsey Miller

Lindsey Miller is a WordPress and WooCommerce expert and Chief Executive Officer of Content Journey, a content marketing agency that focuses on increasing organic website traffic for their clients through SEO and blogging. She knows WordPress inside and out and has been working with WordPress since 2010 when she started her first WordPress blog. Since then she has attended WordCamps all over the world and had the honor of speaking at many WordCamps and other WordPress events such as WooSesh and WordFest. Lindsey has a bachelor's degree in history and a master's degree in human relations, clinical mental health from the University of Oklahoma.

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