All about Akismet spam plugin

Whether you are an old player in the WordPress game, or you have just started to grasp the benefits of your own WordPress website, you must make the best of efforts to be familiar with all its plugins that can come in handy. WordPress has been around for quite a while now, constantly enabling its users to improve their experience using this platform. Surely, you have heard of or used some of the plugins that can be added to your website. There are, however, very few of them that can quite compare to the usefulness of the best spam-blocking plugin for WordPress (according to many) – Akismet. This is actually one of two pre-installed plugins, you ought to just activate when you decide to use it. So what is there to know about Akismet spam plugin before you start using it?

a computer screen showing akismet plugin
Very few plugins can quite compare to the usefulness of the best spam-blocking plugin for WordPress.

Akismet will help you win the ever-lasting war on spam

Regardless of the current popularity of your website, there is an ever-lasting problem with spam to face. If you own or manage a particularly well-known website, then the number of spam comments may easily reach to astounding 85%. We all understand how time- consuming a task comment moderation can be. So luckily, Akismet spam plugin can easily save endless hours of your precious time. This plugin actually catches spam comments before they even land as pending in your moderation queue. Needless to say, Akismet clearly enables you to focus on moderating real-user comments.

What’s the harm of your website being spam-ridden?

You’ve heard of the many names of spam – e-junk, unsolicited content, unwanted commercial advertising. But whatever you call it, spam has one purpose alone – to create business for the senders. Unfortunately, they also create a not so positive effect on their receivers – you, the WordPress website owner. And consider the costs of having and maintaining a WordPress website, you want it to function without any setbacks or hiccups. Unfortunately, there are many adverse consequences of your Website being a victim of spam:

  • The inefficient use of Network and CPU Bandwidth
  • There is a possibility of your inbox getting overloaded, which could cause you to lose track of your important e-mails
  • Your efforts to filter and remove spam will make you lose a massive amount of time
  • Perhaps most importantly, there are cases of spam eventually hurting the SEO of a WordPress website
a guy in a wordpress logo t-shirt sitting in front of a computer
Sadly, there are many adverse consequences of your Website being a spam victim.

This plugin has been around for almost as long as WordPress itself

The very same people who created WordPress actually launched Akismet spam plugin back in 2005. As you can see, this useful tool has been a part of the WordPress experience virtually since the very beginning. Once you activate Akismet, it starts filtering spam from your site; and it does so based on the information it gathers from every single website that has the plugin activated. So should you decide to activate it, Akismet will filter spam from both your contact forms and your comment sections.

Nevertheless, you need to be aware that Akismet spam plugin is not an omnipotent spam-removing tool. There is a possibility it will miss dealing with a spam comment here and there. Also, there have been cases of Akismet marking genuine comments as spam, as well. But even though it’s not what you would call perfect, it definitely is among the best plugins for anti-spam filtering. And it is certainly one of the most popular ones.

How to install and activate Akismet spam plugin?

Akismet is actually quite simple – to both setup and use. It is free to download and use – naturally, you have a premium plan option if you are willing to pay for it.

In case you don’t have it pre-installed or it has been accidentally deleted, there’s a simple way to install Akismet yourself. So, once you go to Plugins > Add New, Akismet will most likely be one of the first recommended plugins. All you need to do is to simply click on ‘Install Now’ and after that the ‘Activate’ button. Once Akismet is active you should set up your Akismet account. After logging into Akismet website with your account, you’ll be able to select whether you wish to have a free or premium Akismet plan. Next, you’ll want to get an Akismet API key, which you are supposed to paste to Plugins » Akismet Configuration in order to complete linking your Akismet account to your WordPress website.

The benefits of using Akismet

Naturally, there are other ways of blocking spam comments off your website besides using Akismet spam plugin? Actually, not really. Although there are excellent options, Akismet is probably the best you can have. And there are two quite solid reasons to help us clarify this statement. One, as we’ve already mentioned, this particular plugin was developed by the same guy who stands behind WordPress itself. And if we take WordPress power and credibility into account, one can assume that Akismet spam plugin is to be trusted much more than any of the other plugins dealing with spam.

Astounding as it may sound, Akismet actually has more than 5 million active downloads to date. It holds off over 7 million spams per hour. Akismet spam plugin is among the most popular and the most frequently used plugins over the entire web. This means that it possibly holds more spamming tactics data than any other spam protection tool out there. Meanwhile, professional WordPress experts highly appreciate Akismet’s access to an enormous amount of data.

hands of a person holding a computer mouse and a keyboard
Yes, you do need Akismet for your WordPress website.

Akismet and Contact Form 7

If you’ve been working with WordPress, then you might have heard about the plugin called Contact Form 7. And you might be happy to find out that CF7 and Akismet work well together. After you have activated both of these plugins, you can enter Akismet-related options into your-name, your-email and your-URL Contact Form 7 inputs (akismet:author, akismet:author_email and akismet:author_URL respectively). CF7 then sends all of this data for Akismet to check and decide whether the e-mail is spam or not. Extra tip: Flamingo (a message storage plugin for Contact Form 7) can also be used for marking the spam e-mails. This will enable Akismet to understand what you consider to be spam.

In conclusion – yes, you most likely need this useful tool for your website

You understand that there is such a thing as too many WordPress plugins. But rest assured – Akismet spam plugin is one piece of spam-fighting weapon you just don’t want to go without. If you fail to use an anti-spam plugin, your WordPress website may become a victim of malicious attacks. This would, of course, cause plummeting of your site ranking; perhaps even cause it to become totally undetectable. There’s virtually no reason for you to put your precious website through this kind of torment – Akismet will tackle every spam-related challenge out there.

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