the experience

How to blacklist words from your blog comments in WordPress and the words I block from my clients websites

You’ve just written the most wonderful, wholesome blog post about your recent client showcase. You get an email notifiying you someone has a left a message on your post. OMG YES! You’re so excited to hear what they think. Only to find out it’s from our friend ‘Tina’ asking if you want to see her new naughty selfies? Say what?! Did she not even read the post?

Whilst having comments enabled can be a great way to foster discussion and interaction with your community, they can also be a breeding ground for spam, offensive language, and inappropriate content.

You’re not alone, over 487 billion spam comments are left on WordPress sites monthly. Yes, monthly.

Let me walk you through how to blacklist words and the words you should consider blacklisting. This is one of those admin jobs which I recommend is accompanied by coffee and at least three milk choc digestives.

Psst… If you’re a client of mine, I’ve done this automatically for you!

Step 1: Log in to your WordPress dashboard

To get started, log in to your WordPress dashboard. Nice and easy :-)

Step 2: Navigate to the Discussion Settings

Once you’re logged in, go to:

> Settings section in the left-hand menu

> Click on Discussion.

This will take you to the discussion settings page, where you can configure how comments are handled on your site.

> Scroll down to the Comment Moderation section.

Here, you can set rules for WordPress to automatically moderate or hold comments for approval based on specific criteria.

Step 3: Blacklist Words or Phrases

In the Comment Moderation section, you will see an option labeled Disallowed Comment Keys

This is where you can input the naughty, rude or just weird words or phrases you want to blacklist. Any comment containing these words will be automatically held for moderation or marked as spam.

Step 4: Add Words to the Blacklist

Enter the words or phrases you want to blacklist in the text box provided. Each word or phrase should be separated by a line break. Be cautious when choosing which words to blacklist, as overly aggressive word filtering may inadvertently catch innocent comments.

Remember to tailor your blacklist to your website’s specific needs and audience. You can always update and refine the list as you see fit.

Want a list of the go-to spammy words? There’s a list below but do check through it, particularly if you’re in the health or skincare industry as some standard spam words might not be classed as spam for your industry.

Step 5: Save Changes

Once you’ve added the words or phrases you want to blacklist, scroll down and click the “Save Changes” button to apply your new comment moderation settings.

Maintaining a blacklist requires ongoing monitoring and adjustment. As language evolves, new offensive words and phrases may emerge, so be prepared to update your blacklist regularly to ensure that your comment section remains respectful and free from unwanted content.

Becky x
Welcome to the BLD Blog

Hello! I’m Becky. A brand identity & website designer for passionate & ambitious small businesses. This little corner of my website is dedicated to sharing the 15 years of experience I have with brands, websites and of course running a small business.

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