Managing WordPress Spam Comments

Yesterday, I finally decided to do something to stop the emails I was getting for a WordPress site I hadn’t touched for almost 2 years!

Imagine my surprise when I found 9,860 pending comments – despite having Akismet and WP-reCAPTCHA activated.
I quickly found that WordPress would only let me bulk move comments to trash a page at a time.
And my server flagged a ‘string too long’ if I set pages to more than 150 pending comments – so this would take a very long time – particularly as it was taking 30-40 seconds to move 150 comments to trash where I could delete them

So then I decided to give the ‘Check for Spam’ button a try.
This started to work – but was obviously going to take a long time – so I left it running while I got on doing some real work.

About an hour later, I checked to find and error message displayed – but all of the pending comments had been moved to trash.
And the delete trash button worked fine.

This morning I was surprised to find email still arriving – but for a slightly different version of the blog at

And when I logged into wordpress for this blog found almost 30,000 pending comments!
This blog didn’t have Akistmet or WP-reCAPTCHA activated – so although not perfect they clearly do something to help.
Anyway I decided I needed to find a better way of deleting these pending comments – and found agreat little plugin – Delete pending WordPress comments

This little plugin worked a treat deleting all 30,000 comments in seconds.
And it obviously did it’s job properly because the size of exported backup file shrunk from 43Mb to less than 1Mb

The only irritation with this plugin was that you have to type in “I am sure I want to delete all pending comments and realize this can’t be undone” to get it to work – quite a mouthful.
The pluging delevoper, Nicolas Kuttler, explains this on his site but unfortunately has locked out copying this text.
And copy and pasting the text from the plugin just wouldn’t work.
It only worked when I typed all of the text by had – a bit tediuos.

Anyway this time wasting lesson reminded me why I have drastically reduced the number of website I manage from over 600 to about 50 – and even that is too many.

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