Once you have installed WordPress, you will see there is one default post, one default comment, but surprisingly a plugin that comes pre-installed. This famous WordPress plugin is known as Akismet. It is not activated by default, and even to activate it, you have to take extra steps. In this article we will provide everything you need to know about Akismet from how to installing it to why you need it.
What is Akismet?
Akismet also known as Automattic Kismet, is a spam filtering service created by Automattic, the vary corporation that is behind WordPress. This plugin was released in released on October 25, 2005. Akismet attempts to filter link spam from blog comments and spam TrackBack pings using its own algorithm. The algorithm combines the information about spam captured on all participating blog and then block the future spam using the spam rules developed from the collected data. As of August 21, 2009, Akismet has blocked over 12.29 Billion Spam Comments.
Why You Should Get Akismet?
Akismet claims that 83% of all comments made are SPAM. Which is a ratio that is very reasonable. As your blog will grow, you will see your spam comment count grow. You might get 100 legit comments per day and 1000+ Spam comments. If you don’t active Akismet in your WordPress, then all those spam comments will be waiting for your approval in the Pending section. This can make editor’s job a tedious work. This is when Akismet comes handy. It automatically detects SPAM using its algorithm, and from experience it is the most accurate plugin we have seen so far for WordPress Comment Spam protection. In the sites we have manged, the ratio of accuracy has been over 90%.
Criticism By Users
While it is filtering many spam comments, sometimes a legit comment might also be caught in the filter. The reasoning for that is if a commentator has been flagged as a spammer in one of the blogs using Akismet then it becomes harder for them to participate in other blogs as a legit user. Their comments are sent to the spam section where it often goes unnoticed before it gets deleted by the blog editors along with other spam.
How to Know If Your Comment Was Detected As Spam
If your comment was detected by Akismet, you will not see your comment on the page saying Awaiting Moderation like normally it would. If you hit comment, and do not see your comment there saying awaiting moderation, you should immediately contact the adminstrator of that site and asking them to make sure that your comment gets approved.
You can let your users know about this in your first post, in your about page, or in your contact page. This way their comment is not ignored. This will solve the problem raised with Akismet.
How to Get API?
While Akismet comes pre-installed in all WordPress blogs, there is still an API required for this plugin to be activated. You can get a free API key by registering for a WordPress.com user account. The API key will be emailed to you after you register. Their TOS allows you to use the API for only personal blogs. If your blog is making more than $500 / month then you are required to get a Commercial API Key.
We had a user ask us a question on how to achieve Akismet API therefore we will highlight a step by step process of getting an API for Akismet.
Once you have registered, you should get the API in your Email with Confirmation along with your API, but if you have deleted that email by accident, or cannot find that email then you would need to move onto the next step.
2. Retrieve Your API
Login to your WordPress account, then click on Global Dashboard. Then you need to click on your profile in the left hand tab, and you should see the API on that page. Remember you must never share your API with anyone.
Cool Akismet Back / Front-end Features
When you login to your dashboard, you see a little text notification that tells you how many comments have been blocked by Akismet that you should check.
There is also a page for Akismet stats on your Admin Panel.
There is a snippet that you can use to display the count of Spam Comments blocked by Akismet. Paste the following code if you want to use it:
<?php akismet_counter(); ?>
There is also a widget for Akismet that you can use if you don’t want to use the code above. The widget is available for you in your admin panel as long as you have Akismet activated.
Akismet is one of the must have plugins for WordPress. You should activate it in all of your blogs as soon as you install them. It is created by Automattic, a company behind WordPress. This plugin has saved many blogs from getting spammed. Even though you can use it without any cost on your personal blog, if you like it please donate to support the effort of Automattic.