Akismet setup and works

Beginner’s guide on What Akismet Is and How to Start Using it on your website

Do you want to know how to use Akismet Plugins on your WordPress site.

As a beginner on WordPress, you might not know some pre-installed plugins on your websites, and one of the pre-installed plugins is Akismet Plugins.

Akismet comes pre-installed though it is not activated by default and so you will have to take some extra steps to activate it.

What is Akismet

Akismet is a comment spam filtering service. The name Akismet comes from Automatic and Kismet. Automatic is the company behind Akismet, and it was founded by the WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg.

Akismet catches blog comment and pingback spam using their algorithms. This algorithm learns from its mistakes and from the actions taken by participating websites. For example, when a number of 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 September 10, 2021, Akismet has caught more than 105 Billion spam comments accross the world. So, Askimet becomes the most use tools on WordPress.

What Akismet does on your Website

Askimet as it name implies, it stops spamming bots on your website. Sometimes amount of spam comment on your website can be extravagant than the normal comments.

On popular websites, the amount of spam comments could get as high as 85%. This means out of every 200 comments only 35 are legitimate. Comment moderation is a time consuming task, and Akismet is a spam filtering service that filters spam from comments, trackbacks, and contact form messages.

The filter works by combining information about spam captured on all participating sites, and then using those spam rules to block future spam. Akismet is offered by Automatic, the company behind WordPress.com. Met can save you hours.

Akismet 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.

In the past users have criticized Akismet for giving false positives. False positives are legitimate comments that gets marked as spam by Akismet. This can happen for variety of reasons. One of the most common reason is if a user’s comment is marked as spam by a number of blogs, then Akismet would learn to mark all comments by that user as spam. Like any other automated platform.

It works for both WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

How to Know if your Comment was Detected as Spam

If your comment was marked as spam by Akismet, then you will not see the Awaiting Moderation notice like you normally would.

If you submit a comment on a site, and you do not see your comment text along with a notice saying awaiting moderation, then you should immediately contact the site administrator. They can help pull your comment out of the spam box, and overtime Akismet will learn from its mistakes.

How to Set up Akismet in WordPress Dashboard

Akismet on WordPress.org

Install Akismet Plugins

First thing you need to do is go to Plugins and activate Akismet, if you have issues on installing plugins, you can read our guide on how to install plugins on WordPress.

Activate Akismet on installed WordPress plugins

After activation, Akismet adds a new menu item at Plugins » Akismet Configuration. Clicking on Akismet Configuration will take you to Akismet Configuration screen. On this page, you will be asked to enter your Akismet API Key. Leave this page open and open a new browser window. We will come back to this page after creating an API key for Akismet.

Getting API Key for Akismet

In order to set up Akismet on your website, you need an API Key. Go to Akismet website and click on Get a WordPress Key Buttons.

Akismet Key for your WordPress website

This will take you to Akismet plans and pricing page. Akismet is free for non-business and personal sites. For business websites, there are different plans and packages available. Choose an option that best suits you.

The pricing is setup on honor system, so theoretically you can get away by using a personal plan on a low traffic site. No matter which plan you choose the remaining steps will be similar. Click on the Sign up button to proceed.

Choose an Akismet Subscription plan for your website

Clicking on the sign up will bring you to the next screen where you will be asked to sign up with WordPress.com. WordPress.com is a blog hosting service by Automattic, the same company that brings you Akismet. However, WordPress.com is not the same as your WordPress.org self hosted website.

For more information, check out which one you should go for between Self Hosted WordPress.org vs. Free WordPress.com and How are WordPress.com and WordPress.org Related. You can create a WordPress.com account without creating a blog.

Click on Sign up with WordPress.com button to continue. This will open a pop up window with a simple sign up form.

Akismet sign up with WordPress.com Account

Log on to your WordPress.com account, then you can click on the link I already have a WordPress.com account. If you don’t have a WordPress.com account, then register to get an account

Once the authentication with WordPress.com is complete, you will be taken back to the Akismet website. There you will be asked to provide some user details along with the payment information. If you picked the free plan, then simply drag the price amount to $0.

Click the continue button and you’ll be taken to the screen that shows your API key. You will also receive an email from Akismet containing your API Key.

Remember, an API key is like a password. Do not share it with anyone. In case you lose or forget your API key, you can always visit Akismet.com and click on the sign in button to access your account page. After signing in you will see your Akismet API key hidden. Click on Reveal link to display your API key.

How to get Akismet API Key in WordPress

Copy your Akismet API key and go back to your WordPress website’s admin area. Go to Plugins » Akismet Configuration and paste the API key. Rest of the options on this screen are optional. Once you click on Update Options button, Akismet will now verify your key and show you a success message

How to show Akismet Stat on WordPress

After logging in to your WordPress website, you will see an overview of Akismet Stats. It will show you the number of Spam comments caught by Akismet, and how many of them are in your spam queue right now. It is highly recommended that you take a look at your spam queue every once in a while so that you don’t miss a legitimate comment getting deleted by mistake

Akismat stats overview on WordPress admin dashboard

There is a detailed view of Akismat stats available under Dashboard » Akismat Stats menu item. Clicking on it will show you detailed statistics of spam and ham comments on your website. You can also see the number of spam comments caught by Akismet since you activated it.

Akismet widget to display the number of spam comments caught by the plugin

We hope this article helped you set up Akismet on your website, get an Akismet API Key and learn why Akismet is important.

Spam comments is a big issue faced by many WordPress sites. As a beginner, their are other plugins you can use on your website AUTHOR INFO BOX as your site grow, you will find that you need other options to work along side with Akismet to reduce the amount of spam.

Since most spammers want to leave spam links on your website, you can remove website URL field from WordPress comment form like we do.

If you have any issue on this, you can use our comment session or join our delegate on facebook to solve any issues related to WordPress and subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials.

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