So today I got an e-mail from a company I host some sites with, telling me that “Your account has been abusing CPU resources for an extended period of time. As a result all of your sites have been cached in order to ensure continued performance stability of the server.”
The company in question hosts some of my REALLY low traffic sites (sites that maybe get 100 visitors a month if I’m lucky), as I just needed a place to host these sites without cluttering up my high-dollar servers. So I wasn’t sure what could be going on. Thankfully, they sent over some logs to show the unusual CPU usage, and I saw that a WordPress portfolio site I host for a family friend was the culprit, and most of the traffic was to a particular page.
So naturally, I went to the page to see what was going on. And when I got there, I saw that the page had 8000+ comments. WTF?!
Luckily, I was able to dig up the admin credentials, and logged into the dashboard to take a look. What I saw really blew my mind: 850+ comments in moderation and 25,000+ approved comments! Turns out, when they had setup this site, they never installed any sort of spam comment plugin, let alone Akismet!!
I went ahead and installed my spam plugin of choice, along with Akismet. After that, I had to get rid of all this spam. While I could have gone in through phpMyAdmin and emptied out the comments table (since 100% of the comments were spam), I instead tried out a plugin that was recommended in the WordPress support forums, WPCommentCleaner.
The plugin lets you wipe out with a single click of a button, and you’re able to choose between unapproved comments, spam comments, and approved comments. This is helpful if you have 5000 spam comments that you want to get rid of, but you have 500 legitimate approved comments that you don’t want to mess with. Again, if you know how to manipulate SQL, you can do this through phpMyAdmin, but it’s so much easier using a plugin for it.
That’s what I decided to do, and it couldn’t be easier. Since I hadn’t used it before, I used WP-DB-Backup to backup the database first (which took FOREVER given the amount of comments in the system), but better safe than sorry. And after that, with three simple clicks, I had gotten rid of all the spam.
So if you’re stuck in spam hell, download this plugin and make your life a little easier.