I’ve been plagued with spammy comments for years. I delete them, they come back and leave more. I get alerts in my inbox so usually I just go through and mark them as spam from the link in the email like a sucker.
And then Melissa at MomComm turned me on to a great plugin called WP-Ban. The plugin allows you to ban specific IP addresses as well a range of IP addresses (since many spammers use the a range of the same IP). It’s a breeze to install and set up.
But first, let me explain what an IP address is. It’s a unique string of numbers that identifies the computer you’re using to access the internet. You usually won’t even see these, but it’s pretty easy to find them — just Google “find my IP address” and you’ll see what yours is. It looks similar to this: 188.8.131.520
Once you’ve installed the WP-Ban plugin you’ll need to find the IP addresses you want to ban. I suggest opening two tabs with your WordPress Dashboard open. In one tab, open your spam comments (Dashboard > Comments > Spam). In the other tab, open the WP-Ban plugin (Dashboard > Settings > Ban).
In your spam comments you’ll see something like this:
You can see the IP address in the left column. (Notice this particular offender used two separate identities to leave comments from the same IP address.) Copy that IP address and go to your tab with Ban open. Paste the IP address in the top box. Repeat as necessary, making sure each IP address is on a separate line. Make sure you save when you’re done.
You’ll probably have to keep updating this list consistently. I’m finding that while my spam has lessened, some still comes in and I just add the IP to the list. Pretty good trade off for less spam.