Why and How to Use Akismet for WordPress Security?

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When it comes to WordPress comment plugins or tools, most WordPress users may think of Akismet which is a spam filtering service that filters spam from comments, trackbacks, and contact form messages. It can figure out what kind of contents of your comments are spam and use those spam rules to block future spam. In this post, we will explain in detail why and how to use Akismet for WordPress Security.

Why Akisment?

choose Akismet for WordPress securityOn most popular WordPress websites, there are a great number of spam comments. Comment moderation can be time-consuming and annoying for most webmasters. Luckily, Akismet can save your time in the tedious process of moderation. It is said to have captured billions of spam comments and pings on the web so far.

Akismet allows you to prevent the comment spam effectively and focus your time and effort on viewing comments by real users. It has the following benefits:

  • It automatically scans your comments and catches spam comments before they land in your moderation queue as pending.
  • Its discard feature that blocking suspicious spamming comments automatically makes it possible to free up your disk space.
  • It records each comment on your WordPress website, so that you can closely keep track of the process of the moderation.

Note that, it is likely that some legitimate comments are marked as the spam by Akismet. A common reason for that case is that the comment from that user has been marked as spam by a some other blogs before, and Akismet will consider all comments by that user as spam. To get you rid of that situation, you need to put these marked comments out of your spam box manually.

How to Use Akismet for WordPress Comment Security

First, you need to go to “Plugins” and activate Akismet in your WordPress admin. To use this tool, it is necessary for you to obtain an API key. You can visit http://akismet.com/ or go to your dashboard and find “Settings” > “Akismet”. Then, click “Get Your API Key”.
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In Akismet, there are four plans for you to select – Basic, Plus, Backup and Enterprise. You should choose one according to your own needs before getting an API key. The Basic plan is free of charge. If you want to use it, you need to set the price amount to $0/mo in the checkout process. Then, you will see an exclusive key in the next page given by Akismet.
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Then, it will automatically lead you to the Akismet settings page, which informs you that your Akismet account has been successfully set up and activated. You can tick the “Comments” if you want to show the number of approved comments beside each comment author. As for the “Strictness”, there are two choices. You can choose either of it based on your own needs.
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After logging into your WordPress website, you can go to your Dashboard and click the “Akismet Stats”. Here, you can get an overview of the comments caught by Akismet as spam, and a detailed statistics of spam on your website are reported in a chart.
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If you want to have the number of spam comments filtered by Akismet displayed on your website, you can take advantage of the Akismet Widget and place it on a proper location of your sidebar.

To do this, you just need to go to the “Appearance” > “Widgets”. Then drag and place Akismet Widget on a proper widget area. By default, the widget title is “Spam Blocked”, but you can change it as you like.
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