How to Stop Comment Spam without Lifting a Finger

7 Essential WordPress Hacks — #6 Akismet Spam Blocking

With subject matter including ringtones, viagra, and everything in between, spammy comments can ruin the credibility of your blog in a hurry. On top of that, managing all that spam so that it doesn’t go public can take all the fun out of running your site.

What you need, then, is an automated solution to block, manage, and control spam.

Enter Akismet. Goodbye, spam!

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Helpful links from this episode:

  • Akismet works best with WordPress. The easiest way to get WordPress is through the 1-click WordPress installation from Colorteck… only $6.95/month!.
  • Check out our other Essential WordPress Hacks.

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  1. Mike,

    You can only use an API once, so if you have 20 blogs, you need 20 APIs. To make matters worse, you can only generate one account per email address.

    So, in order to generate 20 APIs, you’d need 20 different accounts and thus 20 unique email addresses.

    Bloat, anyone?


    Clever, but I got there first 😛

  2. Ummmm….. I think I’ll pass on that.

    SK2’s doing fine for us.

    No hackin’ way I want to suffer thru that.

    Kinda gives ’em a hackeye, doesn’t it.

    Ok. I’ll stop.

  3. Hackin’ A right it does.

    You know, I never thought to look at this issue from a different perspective. Maybe I’m the one who needs to switch to Spam Karma 2 to avoid the annoyance factor.

  4. If you mean for this Tubetorial, you may be right .. but that’s up to you.

    As for Akismet, my comments end up in ‘spam moderation hell’ on one particular b5 blog all the time. Along with LOTS of other peoples comments.

    You’d think after I was approved once or twice or ten times, it wouldn’t happen anymore … but it does.

    Maybe it needs some hackin’ ?

  5. Sometimes people leave comments that are either:

    • Unintentionally spammy-looking
    • Erroneously marked as spam

    In such cases, Akismet renders false positives, and “good” comments get mixed in with the porn, pills, and poker.

    I’ve noticed that one particular commenter at Pearsonified is always in the spam box, yet his comments are totally legit. Can he un-sandbox himself? Do comments that are de-marked as spam train Akismet in the other direction?

    According to the argument you pose above, it doesn’t look like it does. Or, if that functionality is supposedly built in, I have to agree with ya — it needs some hackin’.

  6. I just noticed that this thread was really starting to look like I didn’t think my Akismet recommendation through very well, so I’d like to clear that up.

    Despite the minor annoyances that have been discussed here, I am very happy with Akismet and would absolutely recommend it to anyone who runs a WordPress blog.

    Of course, that’s why I chose to recommended it to you here. I have the utmost confidence in the product, and it’s a really big deal to me because I deal with over 400 pieces of spam a day between all of my sites.

    Basically, I’m saying that 99.9% of Akismet is great. Mike and I just like to rough up that pesky tenth of a percent 🙂

  7. Shouldn’t the blog’s owner ALWAYS have the option to render a commenter as legit, legal and loved ?

    Shouldn’t that be a quick-n-easy, one-time, let’s get this over with and move on to more productive things type of maneuver ?

    Shouldn’t General Hospital bring back Luke and Laura ?

    Whoops, wrong blog.

    If Akismet, or any other spam assasin, overrules the blogs owner … Houston, we have a problem.

    If I have to go searchin’ thru spam logs for people who comment on a regular basis, I’m toast and they won’t stick around for that crap too long.

    It’s the reason I don’t comment on blogs that do that to me more than once.

  8. Since you and I are friends, even though you skipped the Louisville Geek dinner last night, I figured we could hack this out in public. Hopefully no one will take offense as we discuss this like adults and I play dummy’s advocate.

    I can’t speak from any experience of having used Akismet, just as a commenter on blogs that employ it.

    We have around 20 blogs and get thousands of spam comments every day.

    It’s a serious problem and deserves serious attention.

    Maybe the problems I’ve encountered were blog owner driven and in no way reflect Akismet’s power ?

  9. Maybe we should just talk about my review of Casino Royale that I did a few hours ago ?

    Maybe we need James Bond to go after S.P.A.M. !

  10. Oh I totally agree with you, and I think that your problems are probably magnified intensely by the fact that you run so many sites.

    It is a pain in the ass, and it’s certainly not fair to the users who get thrown into the “B pile.”

    I hate when my comments go into moderation, and if I had to put a wager on it, I’d say that I rarely go back to sites where that happens.

    So from your perspective (where keeping users happy equates to more dollars), yes, this is a huge freaking deal.

    I totally understand.

  11. Thanks. I’ll quit hoggin’ your post now.

    Except that I want to say I like that “Tubetorial Editor” thang in your comments !

    Why do the beautiful people always get the good toys ?

  12. Oh, that’s an easy one —

    I spend too much time on my toys, and not enough time on my videos.

    If I’m not careful, I’ll have to produce everything from a cardboard box underneath the Kennedy bridge.

    Think they got Wi-Fi down there?

  13. Last thang –

    I noticed you said that Akismet was 99.9 % great.

    Good point. Nothing’s perfect.

    If it was, we wouldn’t have anythang to blog about … now would we ?

  14. Sorry to ruin the party, but one API key works on multiple blogs… Tube and CB are running off the same one.

    Amateurs. 🙂

  15. I have Akismet on my site by default, and it does a great job! The only problem with Akismet is – for me, amateur – that when I set up a wordpress blog on an entirely different domain, and registered for an API key, got it, tried to enter it into the plugin – all it said was: your API key does not seem to be valid… well, no. 1: is it or is it not valid – how can it “seem” to be invalid??? no.2. it wasn’t invalid… and yes, I followed all the steps I was told to take… and yes, I have already tried with another domain, with another API, which I got using a completely different email and user name… same results. Maybe Akismet hates me… but I still love it… 🙂

  16. Nick,

    Akismet works like a champ with TypePad. From the little I know about TypePad, plugins aren’t always so simple, but I also believe that there’s enough documentation out there to help you get the job done.

    This day in age, it’s almost impossible to speak about “one size fits all” solutions, so I’m forced to speak about the things that I know best.

    Having used MovableType, TypePad, and WordPress in different capacities over the last couple of years, I’ve come to the conclusion that WordPress is the most powerful and scalable platform of the three.

    That said, I have chosen to make it the core of a lot of my recommendations simply because I believe it’s just easier to get things done with WordPress.

  17. I’ve been using Akismet since I set up my first WordPress (in my name,) it’s caught about 2.5K spam comments so far, it rarely catches a legitimate comment.

    I want to reply to what someone said above, Chris, I’ve used the same API key for Akismet on about 5 different WordPress setups, so what you said above seems a bit misleading. I think you should check it out (again) and see who’s right here, then edit your post to say so, which I think would be useful to some 😉

    Eli Burford

  18. Coincidentally, I just installed Akismet on my (non-Wordpress) site a couple of days ago. My own homegrown comment software was stopping more than 5000 spam comments per day, so I was relatively happy, but some was still getting through, and it was taking a bit of effort to keep it up to date.

    I installed Akismet, and it seems to be very much on-par with my own software, so now I’m using both. A comment that trips both my filters and Akismet’s gets nuked without recourse, while tripping only one or the other gets a comment into moderation.

    I definitely have seen a number of false positives from Akismet, but overall, it’s very nice.

  19. Akismet has a plugin for MovableType, I just added it yesterday and I am very happy with it. It blocks spam I couldn’t stop by any other means.

  20. I have also used the same API Key for Akismet on two different blogs. They are both on the same (gs) account, if that matters. But they are different installs of WP on different domains, and it worked fine.

  21. I have Bad Behavior, Spam Karma 2 and Akisimet installed plus I use Doug Karr’s modified contact form plugin to thwart contact form spam. They all work great but I still get annoyed that I have to check through the several hundred spam comments daily to make sure that no legitimate comments are accidentally there. That is time consuming and very annoying since I absolutely HATE spam.

    And I only wish that I could just completely delete all the spam comments so that they aren’t still saved in the mySQL database, taking up space for junk.

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  23. I stopped all my comment spam for my WordPress blog by using “Comment Bot Nuker”. All the other plugins I tried for WordPress only holds the comment spam from moderation. I tried them all even the “add math” and Askimet. Most all the comment spam you will get is actually from the bots that scour the Internet looking for security breaches. Using Comment Bot Nuker it nukes the comments before it is even held for moeration and lets the good comments through. So there is nothing to moderate. I don’t have to go through hundreds of comments held for moderation anymore. I foudn it here: