Spam comments are a huge problem for many blogs. The biggest reason for spam comments is the desire to get backlinks by using the website url field in the WordPress comment form.
Since majority of the spam is generated by automated bots, you can easily combat comment spam by using free tools and plugins.
The trickier part is to discourage spam comments submitted manually by humans. These unwanted comments are submitted by actual users and are often off-topic, irrelevant, and add no value to the discussion.
In this article, we’ll show you how to remove the website URL field from the WordPress comment form. We’ll also explain why removing the URL field from the comment form will help you discourage spam.
Why Do People Submit SPAM Comments?
The short answer to that question is SEO or Search Engine Optimization. Let’s take a look at that in details.
Have you ever received comments from users like “Best WordPress Themes”, “Make Money Online”, or “MyBlogName” on your website? Why do they use such keywords instead of their real name?
By default, the WordPress comment form has four fields: name, email, website URL, and the comment box.
When displaying the comments, WordPress automatically hyperlinks the name of the commenter with the website URL they provided.
This backlink provides an incentive for blackhat SEO marketers and newbie bloggers.
They believe this tactic can help them get better rankings for specific keywords in search engines.
This technique does not work for SEO in most cases, but that hasn’t stopped spam comments.
This is why we have removed the URL field altogether from our WordPress comment form. By doing this, we have greatly reduced the number of spam comments on our site.
Real users will leave a comment on your articles whether they get a backlink or not. If someone doesn’t want to comment on your website because they are not getting a backlink, then you really have to question their intention in the first place.
That being said, let’s take a look at how to easily remove the website field from WordPress comment form. We will cover two different methods, and you can choose the one that works best for you.
Remove Website Field from WordPress Comment Form (Plugin)
This method is easier and recommended for all users.
First, you need to install and activate the Comment Link Remove and Comment Tools plugin. For detailed instructions, please follow our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.
Upon activation, you will see a new menu item called “QC CLR Settings” in the left sidebar of your WordPress admin panel. Clicking on it will take you to plugin’s settings page.
From here, you need to check the box next to “Remove WEBSITE Field from Comment Form” option.
Once done, you need to scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the Save Changes button to store your settings.
Since you are already logged in, you will not see the full comment form when visiting an article on your website.
You need to either log out from the WordPress admin area or open a new incognito browser window. After that, you can visit any post on your WordPress site to see the comment form without the website URL field.
Removing the website field will discourage users who only want to comment on your website to get a backlink.
However, the comments that are already approved will still have their author names linked to their website URL.
To remove them, you need to go back to the settings page of this plugin and check the box next to the “Remove hyperlink from comment AUTHOR Bio” option.
Once you save the changes, the links from the existing comments will be removed as well.
Manually Removing the Website URL Field From WordPress Comment Form
Some users always want to learn how to do things manually instead of using a plugin. The good news is that you can certainly remove the website field from the comment form with the help of a code snippet.
To get started, you need to take a full backup of your WordPress site. This will help you to restore your website files in case you break anything while editing the theme files.
Next, you need to copy and paste the following code to your theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific plugin:
This code simply removes the website field from your WordPress comment form. You can visit a blog post on your website in a new incognito tab to see it in action.
We hope this article helped you to learn how to remove the website URL field from the WordPress comment form.
You may also want to check out our guide on how to add reCAPTCHA to WordPress comments to prevent spam comments. For more tips, also see our 12 vital tips to combat comment spam in WordPress.