Ignore Cleaning Up Spam At Your Peril

There is a small maintenance task that most WordPress site owners ignore at their own peril!

That is the task of cleaning up spam comments.

The Problem

As we all know there are spammers out there trying to leave comments on our WordPress sites in the hope of getting a link back to their hapless sites and improve search engine ratings.

At the time of writing I have had 242,034 spam comments blocked by my anti spam plugin.  I’m pretty mean I disable comment on my posts after 14 days so there are very few posts to leave spam comments on.  So my spam issue whilst huge is pretty small compared to some people.

The problem is those spam comments all take up valuable resources on your site and if they are not cleaned down it can crash your site.

Spam Bots

Spam is automated via scripts and if a spam bits finds a chink in your armour, you can be sure they will blast your site with repeated spam attempts.

This automation can lead to problems with massive database tables, I’ve seen sites with millions of rows in their comments tables because spam comments have been left in the system.

Impacts Site Performance

Massive databases are very often the root cause of many slow loading WordPress sites.

If we go back to the Spam bots above, as they continue to smash your site with spam, they hit an already slow loading database and the problem becomes  a vicious cycle.

Case Study – The Site that Crashed

One of our maintenance clients came to us with stability issues, they could not quiet put their finger on why, but their site kept behaving erratically.  They had 60K+ spam comments in their queue.

This in turn had created a database table that was 130MB in size and had  become corrupt.  As comment crons tasks were running, it was causing his site to crash.

I fixed the table with phpmyadmin, removed the spam comments and optimized the database, weird unstable issues vanished.

What To Do

Enough with the waffle already how do I fix it?

Empty you spam and purge all spam comments. See screen shot

Click for full size image
Click for full size image

If you have a huge number of spam comments, this might time out and you will have to click empty spam a number of times.

The optimize your database to remove references I like a tool called wp-optimize to do this, check out this post for details on optimising.

Wrap Up

Why not take a 30 day free trial of our maintenance service, we will clear up your comment spam and harden your security just as a thank you for signing up.



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