What Is Akismet and How to Use It on WordPress

We at WP Full Care often receive questions about what is Akismet. Even though this plugin is pre-installed in each and every WordPress installation, it’s not active by default and that’s why many WordPress users don’t know about it. If you are one of them, you’ve come to the right place because, in this article, you’ll find out what is Akismet, why you should use it on your WordPress website, and how. Now let’s get to work!

Akismet – why should you use it on your WordPress website and how?

Akismet is a plugin for WordPress that helps prevent spam from being submitted through your contact form as well as your comment form. Because it is so effective and widely used, Akismet is able to filter away hundreds of millions of spam comments that are posted on WordPress sites each and every day.

Photo of a WordPress app on a tablet
Akismet plugin comes pre-installed with every WordPress installation but in order to use it, you need to activate it first.

Automattic, the same company that is responsible for creating WordPress, launched Akismet for the first time in October of 2005. The phrase “Automatic kismet” is what the plugin’s name actually refers to. Since its inception, Akismet has successfully eliminated over 100 billion instances of spam and pings. It is safe to say that Akismet dislikes spam in the same way that you and the WP Full Care team do.

Why should you use Akismet on your WordPress website?

Interacting with your audience is a great method to build a successful website. In order to connect with your website visitors, you should allow them to leave comments on your website. However, according to recent statistics, around 85% of all blog comments are spam. It takes a lot of effort to filter through all of your comments before you can get to the valid ones. The time you spend on that is time you aren’t spending responding to comments thoughtfully. Isn’t this why you allowed comments on your website?

That’s where Akismet comes into play! It’s one of the best anti-spam plugins for WordPress. Spam comments are automatically caught by this WordPress plugin before they are added to your moderation queue and marked as pending. Now you may devote all your time and effort to dealing with the comments left by actual users instead of automating them. Awaiting Moderation will not appear if a remark has been flagged as spam by Akismet, unlike regular comments. As a result, they will be automatically relegated to the trash.

A blonde woman lying in the bed and looking at her MacBook in the dark
Akismet plugin will help you save tens of hours that you would spend manually deleting spam comments.

Here’s why it’s important to get rid of spam and use Akismet on your WordPress website:

  • Allowing spam comments on your website will send the wrong picture to your site visitors. This might make it seem like you’re neglecting your website and consequently, make your visitors leave.
  • You don’t want to risk your visitors clicking on any compromised link from spam comments. The last thing you want is a security risk to your users.
  • Lastly, Google might penalize you for allowing spam comments on your website. There’s no easier way to lose traffic than to be punished by Google.

How to activate the Akismet plugin?

As we mentioned, the Akismet plugin is already installed with your WordPress. However, in order to use it, you need to activate it first. It’s a pretty straightforward process so even if you are a WordPress beginner, you’ll quickly get a hang of it.

To successfully activate Akismet, follow these steps:

  • Log into your admin account on your WordPress website.
  • Click the Plugins tab in the navigation panel on the left.
  • Find Akismet and click the “Activate” button under it.
  • After activating your Akismet account, you can then generate a new Akismet key by clicking the “Activate your Akismet account” button. To generate a key, simply follow the steps provided.
  • You will now receive a confirmation email from Akismet with your API key.
  • Go back to the Plugins tab and under Akismet, click “Settings”.
  • Please click the “I already have a key” button.
  • Copy the API key from the confirmation email you received, and then paste it into the text box labeled “Akismet API Key“.
  • Select the Save Changes option and you can proceed to set the spam filter.

How to use Akismet on your WordPress website?

Once you install and activate this plugin it will automatically start removing spam from your website. However, you can also customize and reconfigure the plugin settings according to your needs. For example, the plugin provides users the ability to display the number of approved comments alongside each comment author, manually evaluate spam comments or have them automatically deleted, and display a privacy notice underneath comment forms. Simply mark which options you want to enable on your WordPress website and click on “Save Changes”. It’s as simple as that.

Man sitting at a desk, smiling and looking at his MacBook in a bright room with a red painting on the wall
Getting rid of spam on your website will help you boost user experience and lower bounce rates.

The next thing you can do is to examine the comments that were marked as spam. To do this, go to the Comments section of your WordPress dashboard, and then click the “Spam” tab.┬áIf you believe that a genuine comment has been incorrectly identified as spam, all you need to do is click the “Not Spam” button that is located directly below the comment in question.You also have the option to delete comments forever or to empty the spam folder by clicking the button labeled “Empty Spam”. Akismet truly makes it extremely easy to make your website spam-free.

Final thoughts

Akismet’s unique and team approach to getting rid of spam is what made it so successful. Because the team behind it constantly makes efforts to improve it, it is threatening to remain the number one anti-spam plugin for a long time. We hope we were able to convince you to use Akismet on your WordPress website. All you need to do now is to reach out to your WordPress maintenance team and ask them to activate this plugin on your website. Easy-peasy!

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