Support » Fixing WordPress » Unusual influx of users registering recently

  • michaelvsprague


    I have googled this, and found nothing helpful. I have searched here, and seen nothing terribly relevant. I hope someone has something to say here.

    I have been using wordpress on my domain for a few years. It’s hard to say exactly how many, but let’s go with 3 to 7ish.

    Since putting the site up, I had managed to gather, up to a month or so ago, maybe 150 to 200 users who took the time to register. (To what end I have yet to figure out.) In an average week I would see one new user as often as zero, then late last year that picked up a bit, and I was kind of excited to see 2 to 3 a week, from time to time.

    Then a few weeks ago this started changing, and I have seen a relatively enormous influx of users, about 500 new in that period at last count.

    I suppose I should be pleased by this, but I can’t help feel a bit anxious about the uptick.

    There tend to be 3 primary domains that the emails they use are from,, and So, if you are familiar with web history, I presume you begin to see the outlines of the source of my nervousness here.

    Hotmail has been a source for huge quantities of spam and other abusive behaviours, dating way back. I am not clear on whether this is still the case, or I’d have probably banished all these users already. seems likely to be related to hotmail, since they are both Microsoft Corp. iirc.

    I am preparing to basically reformat my site, replacing everything that exists on the remote server with a fresh copy of basically the same content, albeit with – (possibly, depending on my free time and energy levels between now and when the new semester starts, or I get a freaking job) – a new look and possibly a bit of new content, and an entirely rebuilt file structure.

    Should I de-register all of these new users? Anyone with an email from one of these domains? Suck it up and hope for the best? Blog about it on the site and make some sort of attempt at weeding out the bots, a la “If you post a coherent or readable comment, I won’t delete you”? or something similar?

    Thanks. I am flummoxed. Looking forward to ideas, when/if anyone has time/inclination to respond.

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • Scott M


    Contributor Day Volunteer

    Hi Michael,

    I would recommend turing off registrations for comments on your site. Settings -> Discussion -> uncheck Users must be registered and logged in to comment

    Users do not need to register to comment on your site. It would also bee good to ensure you have Akismet installed as well as recaptcha plugin like

    I would also delete the users as well.


    Thanks, Scott.

    I am not having a problem with too many comments, and I do not require registration to comment, anyway. I do not believe I have ever had the Users must be registered and logged in box checked. It certainly isn’t atm.

    I have had Akismet on my site since day one, but I will look into a mechanism like re-captcha. Thanks for the recommend, and the link.

    As for deleting all the registered users, why exactly?

    Thanks again for your time and help.


    I have noticed the same things. I get a new user about once a day but they are all users that have an email from hotmail. Hmmmmm…. strange. I don’t have the box checked that says “Users must be registered and logged in to comment.” I’ll try using Akismet. I am curious what others have to say as well. Surely there are more people experiencing this!?

    Thanks for the response. I have had Akismet installed since day one, so I haven’t had a lot of spam messages to clean up.

    After I posted here, I installed a captcha utility, and the new registrations halted for a short while. They resumed, after some time, but are not coming as fast and furious as they had for a while.

    This seems like a good protection mechanism, though. Akismet to hold spam, captcha to reduce the number of bot registrations.

    It’s only a matter of time before there is captcha defeating tech out there, so keep your ears open and your eyes peeled. We can’t keep ahead of bad actors on the internet, but if we stay even we can make it time-consuming enough that they will, on occasion, lose interest in us.

    Success is sometimes all about modest expectations.

    So how do we know if a new user is in fact a real person or just a bot?

    Use a Contact Form to request real data from an individual who wants to register and have your staff add them to the list once confirmed. Allowing anyone to register for any site will lead to this issue which is lack of confirmation. There are other methods but are outside the scope of this troubleshooting forum.

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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