Once settling down a website, almost all webmasters are lost in thought how to protect their websites from malicious attacks. In fact, there are multiple security tips available to achieve that goal, such as strengthening admin password, backing up website regularly, changing file permissions, and so on. However, compared with those manual manipulations, the use of plugin seems to be a much more convenient method.
Since more and more webmasters are disturbed by comment spam and regard it as a big threat to their sites, we work out a solution to deal with this situation by using Akismet plugin, which is one of the most popular WordPress security plugins in this field. From this post, you can get a comprehensive understanding about this plugin and learn a step-by-step guide on how to make full use of it.
Why Use Akismet?
Akismet is a spam filtering service powerful for spam monitoring, detection, and deletion, which detects and filters spam from your post comments and trackback pings. As we all know, excessive spam comments threaten your website security and take a negative effect on search engine ranking. If you are suffering a great deal from comment spam, this plugin is of great significance.
After combating with spammers for a long period of time since the establishment of 25 October, 2005, Akismet knows clearly about the spambots, malicious commenting tricks, and buffer site factories.
- There is a spam status history available, with which you can figure out which are caught or cleared, and which are listed by the moderator.
- You can be warned automated or human when a spammer tries to input a spam on your site.
- There is no need for you to figure out and delete spam comments and links from your website.
Akismet has its own testing system for all the comments, trackbacks, and pingbacks in your website. Once there is something new added into your site, Akismet will run a lot of tests to analyze whether it is a spam or not.
- It checks your comments and filters out spamming ones before landing in your WordPress moderation queue for pending.
- It has a discard feature that automatically blocks some spamming-suspicious comments to free up your disk space.
- It gives each comment a history record, so that you can keep track of the moderation process closely.
Akismet has a special Web Service to caught and figure out the spamming comments and pingbacks. Generally, if a similar-looking comment has been reported as spam by dozens of websites, it will be identified as a “true spam” by Akismet and be held in the spam database. In this case, if you encounter the same spam, it will be filtered automatically. At present, Akismet has gathered billions of spam comments on the web.
Special Note – As Akismet enlarges its spam database by analyzing the spam reporting of participant websites, it may mark some legitimate comments as the spam ones. In this case, you have to manually pull them out of your spam box.
You can install Akismet via FTP or WordPress dashboard. The former method is much more complicated, so we recommend you to go with the second way. And now, log into your WordPress dashboard and go to Plugins > Add New. Enter Akismet in the Search Plugins field to seek out this plugin and then click Install Now. Turn to Plugins > Installed Plugins to activate this plugin.
Set up Akismet
And then, click the “Activate your Akismet account” button or Akismet Settings to enter the configuration screen as below. Perhaps, you can achieve the same goal via Dashboard > Settings > Akismet. If you have already known your API key, then you are required to enter it manually. If not, you should click “Get your API key” button to acquire an API key.
You are now turned to the Akismet for WordPress page. Click Get an Akismet API key button to access to the next page and then click approve to go to the plans & pricing page. There are three plans available for individuals, businesses and enterprises. We would like to choose the Personal plan and click Sign Up.
- Personal is suited for person site and blogs.
- Business is suited for commercial, business, and professional sites.
- Enterprise is suited for large business portals, agencies, and organizations.
You are required to enter contact information, payment details and address details in each blank. And then click Continue. Here, we choose the totally free plan, so we just need to enter the information about first name and last name.
Congratulations! You have been the owner of an Akismet API key. Note that, you have to keep secret of your API key and note it down in case you forget it. Click “Save your Akismet API key” and go back to WordPress dashboard.
And now, you are in the face of Akismet setting page. You can view the API key here and customize the following settings as you want. The Comments option allows you to determine whether to display the number of approved comments on your website. Besides, the Strictness decides whether delete the spam comments silently or hold them in the spam folder. Note that, the spam kept in the spam folder will be cleaned up automatically if it is older than 15 days. Once settling down all options, you need to click Save Changes.
From now on, you can check the spam comment regularly via Dashboard > Comments. The number of spam comments is shown beside Spam option. And also, you can click the Check for Spam button to detect if there is any comment spam.
Likewise, you can view the Akismet status via Dashboard. We show you an example as below. The prompt in the following screenshot indicates that everything goes well without being affected by spam.
In addition, if you wish to display the number of spam comments on your WordPress website, you are required to go to Dashboard > Appearance > Widgets and drag and drop Akismet Widget to the Main Widget Area. And then, click the Save button.
Since now, you are able to get the instant information about spam comments from your WordPress frontend, like what we’ve shown you as below.
Certainly, if you wish to get more possibilities, we suggest you to go with a paid plan. And also, for some readers who take control of budgets seriously, there are some alternatives for Akismet to choose, such as WangGuard, WP-SpamShield, Spam Destroyer, and many other WordPress anti spam plugins.
To be honest, the use of anti spam plugin plays an important role in website security improvement. However, we suggest you to refer more tips on how to prevent spam comments and have your site been under a perfect protection all the time.
Besides, a reliable and secure hosting environment is also a key to your success, therefore, a trust-worthy WordPress hosting provider should be taken into consideration. Finally, we hope this guide can help you enhance the security level of your website so as to develop it successfully.