If you have a WordPress site you’d better believe that spam is going to target your site like a hungry shark in a sea of fish. After installing WordPress, you will notice that there are certain plugins which are automatically added to your list of installations. The Akismet WordPress plugin is one which is on the list and that’s what we are going to explore in this article:
Akismet is a comment spam filtering service. Now, don’t think for a second that because it comes pre-installed its going to start working right away. It is not activated on its own. It is important to understand what the Akismet WordPress plugin is all about and how it will work in your favour. It is a crucial part of the spam prevention process and you will have nothing to worry about when it’s activated on your site.
Benefits of Akismet WordPress Plugin
The name Akismet comes from Automattic and Kismet. Auttomatic is the company behind Akismet, and it was founded by the WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg. Akismet picks up blog comments and pingback spam using their well structured algorithms. The algorithm learns from its mistakes and from the actions taken by participating websites. For example, when a number of websites report the same type of spam or even the same content that resemble spam Akismet WordPress plugin literally acquires the knowledge. This information is then stored so that the plugin will have it in memory, and therefore learns to identify the spam in the future. Monitoring comments for spam can take up so much time.
Akismet benefits you in terms of saving you the time required to go through all the comments on your website. It will 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. There are some websites which have more than 60% spam. Some even have a much higher percentage. Now, imagine having to go through over 500 comments and realizing that only approximately 80 make sense. Wouldn’t you agree that the time wasted could be directed to a more productive activity? It is fortunate that the Askimet WordPress plugin is a great tool which allows you to capture the spam before it gets posted.
Akismet is a free plugin which so this awesome tool won’t actually cost you anything. After weighing the possible issues surrounding WordPress spam, it is evident that a plugin of this caliber is the best deal you can get for your website.
How to Activate Akismet WordPress Plugin
Upon activation, Akismet adds a new menu item at Plugins then Akismet Configuration. To activate the plugin, go to Plugins and click Activate Akismet. Clicking on Akismet Configuration will take you to the Akismet Configuration screen. On this page, you will be asked to enter your Akismet API Key. Leave this page open and open a new tab in your browser. We will come back to this page after creating an API key for Akismet.
You’ll need to get the API key to activate the plugin. You can find the API key at the Akismet site. Just go ahead and click ‘Activate Akismet’ and it will take you directly to the site after which you can simply click ‘Generate Akismet API Key’. You will be asked to create an account. You will see several options, including enterprise, business and free for personal use. To get it for free, switch the ‘donation’ slider to zero, then click continue. The key will be generated and you will see a string of numbers and letters.
Now that you have the key, copy and paste this into the box in your Akismet settings on WordPress. Once you have used the API key, you will see the Akismet settings page where you will have the option to display the number of approved comments, and choose whether to send these comments to a spam folder or trash. Comments in the folder are erased after 15 days. This is basically the simple procedure to save time and protect your website from spam.