All WordPress installations come with 2 plugins already installed (though not activated). They are Akismet and Hello Dolly. I always delete the latter one. Hello Dolly is just a novelty for Your admin area. I am sure it is very small, but I don’t use it so I delete it. The other one is Akismet – I suggest you definitely use this. It’s main job is blocking spam comments and although it doesn’t catch them all, it does a great job.
Set up is simple:
Navigate to your plugin menu and activate Akismet. You will get a warning saying you need a WordPress API key to use it. This is also simple to get. You have to start an account at WordPress.Com (free). You don’t have to set up a free blog or anything, just an account. Since I was creating an account I made a quick free blog to drop some backlinks to my site, but that is a story for another article. Anyways, once you have a WordPress.com account, you can find the API key in your profile. You can also request a free API key from Akismet.com if you don’t want to start a WordPress account. Once you have the key you can use it on multiple sites.
After a fairly simple set up process Akismet will instantly go to work. Using a huge database, Akismet will check all incoming comments and automatically mark the comments that match the database as spam. This will save you a lot of time, because you will be receiving spam not long after your site is up and running. I have sites that haven’t even been completed before they were spammed.
Another great feature of Akismet is that it learns, if it is missing spam and you routinely mark those comments as spam it will learn to mark those comments as well. Conversely if it is marking comments as spam, that aren’t you can teach it by marking those comments approved. Although I trust Akismet on my blog, I do check the spam comment area to see if it caught anything it shouldn’t have. If you are wondering about it’s effectiveness – here are the actual numbers from my site since the end of January: 870 Spams caught at an accuracy rating of 99.686%. I am not saying everyone will see those kind of numbers, but that’s how well it is working for me. Quite impressive.
Spam comments are going to aggravate you eventually. If you don’t have this plugin it will happen sooner than you can imagine. WordPress packages this plugin for a reason – it works. Don’t waste your time pouring through spam comments in your email or on your site. Activate Akismet now and thank me later.