What is: Spam

The term spam is used for unwanted user content. In WordPress, it is used for unwanted content submitted by comments, user registration, posts, contact forms, or any other way. A spam message, comment, or content usually contains excessive links, links to unethical or illegal websites. These websites may contain malware that could affect computers of users visiting these web pages. WordPress comment system is frequently targeted by spammers. However, there are several tools and plugins available for WordPress which can help moderate and control spam.

Spam can be detrimental to a website’s reputation if left unchecked. Users and visitors often associate websites with a lot of spam to be in similar categories as malware, spyware and other websites with bad reputations. Search engines may also interpret sites with excessive links as a “link farm” and penalize the website for allowing such type of behavior and content.

WordPress also comes with a bundled plugin called Akismet which helps website combat comment spam. An administrator can activate Akismet from Plugins screen inside WordPress admin area. An Akismet account is required in order to use it and users can sign-up when they go to enable the Akismet plug-in in their WordPress admin panel. Akismet has both free and paid options depending on the type of website and user. Generally, small personal websites can use the Akismet service for free and bigger or commercial purpose websites must pay to use the service. There are also other plug-ins available to fight the various other forms of spam mentioned above.

This post was originally published in the wpbeginner glossary.

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