Beginner's Guide for WordPress / Start your WordPress Blog in minutes

What is Akismet and Why You Should Start Using it Right Away

Every WordPress installation comes with Akismet plugin pre-installed, but it’s not activated by default.

Often users ask us what is Akismet and whether you really need to activate this plugin on your WordPress.

In this article, we will explain what is Akismet and why you should start using it right away.

What is Akismet and why you should use it right away

What is Akismet?

Akismet is a comment spam filtering service for WordPress. Automattic is the company behind Akismet and it was founded by the WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg.

Akismet goes through the blog comments and filters out spam using its algorithms. The algorithm learns from its mistakes and the actions taken by other websites.

For example, when several websites start reporting similar-looking content as spam, then Akismet will learn to identify that kind of content as spam in the future.

As of today, Akismet has caught more than 523 billion spam comments, and the number is still growing.

Why You Should Use Akismet?

On popular WordPress websites, the number of spam comments could get as high as 85%. This means that out of every 100 comments, only 15 are legitimate.

Besides that, comment moderation is a time-consuming task. You would have to spend countless hours filtering spam comments manually.

This is where Akismet can save you hours. The WordPress plugin will automatically catch spam comments before it lands in your moderation queue as pending. This allows you to focus your energy on moderating comments by real users.

When a comment is marked as spam by Akismet, it will not show the Awaiting Moderation notice like you normally see with other comments. Instead, it will automatically move them to the spam folder.

Now, let’s look at how you can configure Akismet on your website.

How to Set up Akismet in WordPress

The first thing you’ll need to do is install and activate the Akismet Spam Protection plugin for WordPress. For more details, please see our guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you can navigate to Settings » Akismet Anti-Spam from your WordPress dashboard. Next, go ahead and click the ‘Set up your Akismet account’ button.

Set up your Akismet account

Now, a new tab or window will open in your browser, and you’ll see the Akismet pricing page. Akismet offers free and premium pricing plans.

If your site is not for commercial purposes, like it doesn’t run ads, then you can choose the Personal plan. Otherwise, you’ll need to select one of the commercial plans.

For the sake of this tutorial, we’ll be using the Personal plan.

Choose a pricing plan

On the next screen, you’ll need to enter your email address, name, and website URL to create an account, along with choosing a price you want to pay for your account.

By default, the price will be set to $36 per year. However, you can move the pricing slider under ‘What is Akismet worth to you’ to any price from 0 to $120 per year.

Aside from that, Akismet will also ask you to check the boxes if you’re not running ads, selling products and services, or promoting a business on your site.

Once that’s done, simply click the ‘Continue with Personal Subscription’ button.

Create an account on Akismet

Next, you’ll need to enter the confirmation code that you received in the email address provided upon signup. After entering the code, click the ‘Continue’ button.

Enter the confirmation code

Akismet will verify the code and then show you a page with additional instructions to complete the signup process.

To complete the configuration, you can head back to your site’s WordPress dashboard and navigate to the Settings » Akismet Anti-Spam page.

Now go ahead and click the ‘Manually enter an API key’ button.

Manually enter an API key

When you click the button, a new field will appear where you’ll need to enter the API key. You can find the API Key in your email inbox.

After entering the key, simply click the ‘Connect with API key’ button.

Connect your API key

Once the API key is connected, Akismet will start protecting your website from spam comments.

You can also tweak the settings in Akismet. For instance, the plugin lets you display the number of approved comments beside each comment author, review spam comments or automatically discard them, and show a privacy notice under comment forms.

When you’ve made the changes, go ahead and click the ‘Save Changes’ button.

Edit Akismet settings

Next, you can review spam comments by navigating to Comments from your WordPress dashboard and then selecting the ‘Spam’ tab.

If you feel that a legitimate comment has been marked as spam, then you can simply click the ‘Not Spam’ button under the comment.

You can also permanently delete comments or click the ‘Empty Spam’ button to clear the spam folder.

Spam comments in WordPress

We hope this article helped you learn what is Akismet and why you should start using it right away. You can also check our guide on how to create a free business email address and the best live chat software for small businesses.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. See how WPBeginner is funded, why it matters, and how you can support us.

The Ultimate WordPress Toolkit

Get FREE access to our toolkit – a collection of WordPress related products and resources that every professional should have!

Reader Interactions

50 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. I just want to say thank you for this information. Initially one would be happy seeing 50000 comments in the comment box, but Askimet surely helps you to identify real comments. Nice write-up.

  2. I have created my first WordPress blog. as of your step by step guide. i’ve activated Akismet plugin. but I can’t see Akimest Stats in my WordPress dashboard menu. there are only two options Home and Updates.

    • They may have modified the plugin’s interface since this article was created, we’ll certainly take a look

      Admin

  3. I have it and I was just looking at the date as of today it hasn’t been updated in two months…that to me is a very long time for a plugin not to update.

    This is why I was searching for something better.

    • If you feel that that is too long between updates you can certainly look for a plugin you would prefer. As a word of warning, not all plugins need constant updates so the updated date is not always the best indicator of quality

      Admin

  4. Hi

    This may be a silly question but now that I beleive I have this downloaded on my wordpress.com site will this mean that inappropriate language is stopped from being posted in the comments section of my blog(that is once I actually write a blog) Or do I need a seperate thing to stop profanity and if so can you suggest somthing for WordPress.com as all I seemed to find was things for wordpress.org.

    thanks

    • Hi Scott,

      Akismet will block spam comments containing links to bad websites, comment bots, and many more. It may not consider profanity as spam. The best way to filter that out is by turning on comment moderation for all comments on your website.

      Admin

  5. Thanks to you, now i am using Akismet anti-spam. I got spam comments during the initial days of my blogging few months ago and I didnt know about that.

    Dhiraj

  6. I am trying to activate Akismet. I have an kismet key, but I don’t know what to do with it.

  7. I just activated this on my blog but there’s no Stats. Anywhere. The plugin is activated and it has just two options and that’s all. Is that ok…? Or what? :)

  8. I got 5K+ comment everyday with 90% above spam and automated pingback system into my blog. At first I was glad thinking that my blog is having higher amount of traffic but later I found that they are spam while tracing with Akistmet Plugin recommend by you. Thank you so much. Anyway, which captcha plugin are best, please give me some hints.

  9. Do I need to install the Akismet plugin if I haver blocked all comments on my site?
    In other words, I do not allow comments on my site.
    Hoping for a reply
    Thank you

  10. What does Akismet look like to the user? Can they sign in using multiple options (Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+) like you do here?

  11. Akismet is an awesome plugin. I do agree with some of the other posters here that it’s worth pointing out that it is not free. The Editors point out that it’s free for personal, non-business blogs, but I don’t believe the majority of your readers are interested in personal, non-business websites.

    I was saddened when Akismet went the paid route, but I understand. It’s a great plugin if you have the budget for it…

  12. What does the ‘Filter’ button do between ‘Show all comments’ dropdown box and ‘Empty Spam’ button?

  13. This Akismet is marking almost every reply I write as spam.

    It is getting rather frustrating. I see that they like to keep a running count as to how
    much spam it is blocking, however, if 8 out of 10 of my replies are being marked as spam,
    this is a highly inflated number of comments that are not spam.

    I tried using my wordpress account to log in and make my comments, this did not work,
    so I tried logging in via my Twitter account, this also did not work.

    The Admins inform me that they are not able to retrieve my comments.

    Can you help me???
    any suggestions as to what I should do????

    any suggestions as to how the Admins of that blog can release my comments????

    • Contact Akismet support. Your comment is not marked spam for no reason. For example, if you comment on example.com and a moderator thinks that your comment is spammy and marks it as spam. Then your future comments on example.com will automatically go to spam. Until an admin or moderator on example.com looks into spam and unmarks your comment.

      Admin

  14. I made a query at the Akismet site but didn’t get an answer so maybe you can answer my question? I’m looking at the Pro plan for my site but I want to know if commenters will be required to answer some kind of security question. Is this standard on Akismet? A feature we can turn on or off? Or does this plug in work completely in the background of the site? Thank you!

  15. Does it bother anyone else that WordPress.com and WordPress.org are used interchangeably? I’m trying to figure out if Akismet works with WordPress.com but all I can find is that it’s a plugin available for .org. Meanwhile, you need to register in .com to get an API account. I have a blog through wordpress.com but since they don’t allow plugins, I can’t figure out how or if Akismet runs on WordPress.com. Does anyone have the answer to this? Am I missing something?

    I know there is a widget that I can put on wordpress.com for Akismet but all it does is allow you to show it on your sidebar but it doesn’t actually do anything. Very frustrating!

    • WordPress.com automatically runs Akismet. But if you want to register an API, there are more than one ways available now. You can go to the official Akismet site to apply for an API. Furthermore, you can also register a WordPress.com account without a blog, and get an API as well.

      WordPress.org although, the plugin must be enabled for it to run. It does not run by default like WordPress.com site does.

      Admin

  16. 83% spam seems low to me. I would have guessed mid to upper 90s for the percentage of spam comments. But that would just be a guess and Akismet has the data to back it up.

    I’m always amazed how many people don’t know about Akismet when they setup a blog. Almost seems like it should be on by defaults and signing up for an API key should be part of the process setting up a new blog.

      • The thing that is currently confusing me is that I switched from wordpress.com to wordpress.org and I downloaded the plugin – but when I go to the Askimet site it asks for my wordpress.com login…which I still have, but I am not using that blog anymore since I am now selfhosted…Will that key still work with my selfhosted blog?

  17. Fighting spam is a must. My previous company has a forum. Guess PHPBB is too popular, we need to spend several hours per day to clean up the spam posts.

Leave A Reply

Thanks for choosing to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that all comments are moderated according to our comment policy, and your email address will NOT be published. Please Do NOT use keywords in the name field. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation.