This article is brief, but I want to clear up confusion about whether Wordfence stops spam comments. You may find articles and forums that mention a Wordfence comment spam filter. But don’t waste your time looking for it within the tool’s settings.
Does Wordfence Have A Comment Spam Filter?
Early versions of Wordfence had a comment spam filter under the tools section. The current version no longer offers this feature. The company documentation indicates that they do not intend to offer comment spam filtering in the future.
There are old comments on the WordPress forum that mention the filter. They even link to a WordFence support page that no longer exists. You’ll get a 404 if you follow the links. It would have been more helpful if the company had simply put up an explanatory message on the page, instead of removing all traces of the feature.
Wordfence Vs Akismet
Wordfence provides a wide variety of security features. Filtering comment spam is no longer part of that suite. One solution is to disable comments completely on your website. But what if you want interaction with your visitors?
There are other WordPress plugins that deal with spam comments. Some of them have security features that overlap with Wordfence.
But there’s little point in adding a second “heavy” plugin when you already have Wordfence. Your best option is to go for a more lightweight option that does one thing and does it well. And you needn’t look much further than Akismet.
The Akismet plugin comes preinstalled with your WordPress installation. Although if you want to use it, you need to activate it.
Does Akismet work with Wordfence?
Some plugins do not co-exist well with each other. However, there are no conflicts between the Akismet and Wordfence plugins.
I have several websites with both Akismet and Wordfence installed and active. They are a great complement to each other.
What Does Wordfence Do?
If Wordfence doesn’t block spam comments, what does it actually do? You’ll find several helpful articles on this website that explains the different benefits of Wordfence, and how to use each part of the toolset.
For example, Wordfence has a variety of features that protect your website against harmful bot traffic. The plugin looks for known patterns of bot attacks and blocks IP addresses that are behaving suspiciously.
When you install a new WordPress site and don’t activate a comment filter, the need is immediately obvious. Your site will be inundated by spam comments with links to casinos and other less savory places. But there’s another common attack that targets fresh sites: repeated attempts to crack your passwords and take over your WordPress installation.
Wordfence has a tool that lets you monitor live traffic and see exactly what’s going on at the network level. It can be quite a shock the first time you see a barrage of visitors on the login page, pretending to be “admin”.
Right out of the box, Wordfence protects you from repeated login attempts. Visitors who hit up your website with twenty failed logins get blocked. Do you think twenty is a little too forgiving of bad actors? You can choose parameters that are more suitable for your own website. Our article provides specific advice for different types of websites.
You can also use Wordfence to block IP addresses that you’ve identified as harmful. This can be a single address or a range across an entire network.
The features I’ve already mentioned are part of the free plugin.
The premium version lets you block entire countries. Defiant, the company behind Wordfence, also maintains a dynamic blacklist of the IP addresses of the worst bots out there attacking WordPress sites. This is also a premium feature.