As your blog starts getting more traffic, there will be more readers commenting on your blog posts. You’ll need to reply to their questions or doubts in the comments. But the thing is how easy and quick it is to post answers to comments. Let’s see how to use Akismet WordPress plugin to block spam comments.
What is Akismet and Why should one use it?
There arise the couple of problems when you concentrate on your blog comments. There are notorious bots out there that post spammy comments on your blog posts. The purpose of the spammy comments is to urge readers follow the links mentioned in the comment. Obviously, the links mentioned in the spammy comments are not at all beneficial but for a purpose of their own.
Let’s say you get 100 comments each day and out of those comments, there are 20 spam comments. Although there is no fixed percentage of spam comments, it’s just an example.
So think even if there are 20 spammy comments that are not filtered out, it’ll take too much time to manually read and delete them from your blog. And here is one more thing, once you’ve some spammy comments on your blog posts, there will be even more spammy comments on that specific post. So it is very important to block spammy comments.
Akismet is a WordPress plugin that comes pre-installed with WordPress. It is one of the most popular Spam comments filtering tool. It blocks comments that it smells is a spam posted by a bot.
How Akismet Works?
Akismet with a fixed set of rules, it also learns every day from other blogs. It already has rules to recognise spammy comments. So as it smells a comment that has nothing to do with the actual blog posts or has bullshit links, it blocks it.
Nowadays the bots have got smarter and post comments that may look like relevant to the Akismet rules. So then Akismet algorithm works. Akismet learns from other bloggers and websites. It sees if certain types of comments are being blocked by other bloggers, then it also considers those comments as spam. Though the Akismet rules passed those comments but it learnt and saved your time and blog.
How To Setup Akismet On WordPress?
Akismet comes pre-installed with WordPress. But you will need to activate it and get an API key so that it can apply your chosen plan to your site.
How To Get Akismet API?
First of all, go to Plugins >> Akismet and click ‘Activate’ to activate it. Now you’ll see a green notification saying to activate your Akismet account. Click ‘Activate your Akismet account’.
You’ll now be asked to enter an API key. An API key is the key generated by Akismet for every user when they subscribe to any Akismet plan. Even if the free one. If you have just started blogging and don’t get so many comments, I suggest the free one is enough for you. You can later upgrade to any other paid plan.
Now click ‘Get an API key’. You’ll now be brought to the WordPress website. WordPress.com account is required in order to get an API key. Simply click ‘Get an Akismet API key’ to proceed. If you already has a WordPress.com account, click ‘Already have an API key’.
Now enter your email, username and password. Keep these credentials safe.
Now Subscribe to any Akismet plan. The first one is a free one and is enough for a startup blogger.
You get many additional features with Plus and Premium plans. For example, their Plus Plan supports commercial websites, Advanced stats and Priority support. With Premium plan, in addition to all Plus plan, you have malware scanning, daily backups, 30-day backup archive and unlimited storage etc.
After you hit the plan button, you’ll be taken to the payment page where you can pay for your specific plan.
If you have chosen first one which is free, simply slide the price to $0.
Now click ‘Continue’. The next is the final step. Now the final popup will ask you to confirm the website you’re wanting to add. Click ‘Activate this site’ to activate. And that’s all.
You’ll now be redirected to your WordPress blog. Here you can see the automatically filled in API key and the account subscription.
Do Not Share Your Akismet API Key!
Never share this API key with anyone. It is only for you so keep it secret.
Till now you would have understood the importance of Akismet for your blog. Especially when you get large number of comments every day. As I started this post asking how easy and quick it is to post replies to the comments. So it is easy and quick if you have only relevant comments. If you have spam comments then it will more time. You’ll have to pick the spam comments out and post replies to the original ones. In case you did you delete the spam comment, there will more spam comments below that spam comment. So it’s very annoying once you miss any spam comment. But Akismet solves this problem so try it out now if you haven’t already.
So it’s all for this time now, let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. Let me also know if you are using any other comments filtering tool. Thank you!