WordPress, Akismet and You

in WordPress Tutorials

There is nothing worse than spam on the internet; well…unless you take into account viruses, trojans, and keyloggers but I digress.

Setting up WordPress can be a tad overwhelming, especially if its your first time installing the WordPress application to an external website. Most users would overlook setting up and activating the Akismet plugin which comes included with WordPress.

But the Akismet plugin is important, very important actually. Akismet works to fight spam and block unwarranted comments from anonymous users and advertising schemes. If you don’t use such a plugin you will get hundreds upon thousands of fake comments posted on your blog that are merely meant to advertise alternate sites and companies.

In this tutorial we will learn how to set up and activate Akismet for use with any WordPress enabled blog or site. It will ensure those pesky commenters don’t litter anyone’s site with rubbish because of course there’s nothing worse on the internet than spam.

Installing Akismet

If you already have Akismet installed you may skip to the next step.

Akismet comes natively integrated into a WordPress install, which means the plugin is already bundled with WordPress when you download the “zipped” setup. But if for some reason you uninstalled the plugin or just simply no longer have it included in your WordPress install you can download it here.

Installation is quite simple and just involves copying the Akismet plugin folder (downloaded above) into your “wp-content/plugins” directory under the root of your WordPress install.

Activating The Akismet API Key

Akismet Key ValidatedIf successfully installed you should now see a very blatant message stating that Akismet needs to be activated by validating your WordPress API key.

In order to get an API key you must sign up for an account on WordPress.com and register your WordPress enabled blog or site.

While it is required that you have a WordPress username and account to collect an API key it is not required that you create a blog hosted on the actual WordPress site, so make sure to select the “username only” option when registering. After registering, and activating your account, you will receive a WordPress API key in your e-mail address inbox (the e-mail you registered on WordPress.com).

You simply need to copy this API key and enter it into the field for activating Akismet; which can be accessed by navigating to the “Plugins” tab in the admin dashboard and selecting the “Activate” option under Akismet in the installed plugin list.

If all goes well you will see a green banner that says Akismet has been activated!

Yay! No more spam!

Monitoring Akismet

For the most part Akismet is automatic and will not require any further steps. The plugin developers update the spam listings and database so Akismet will block spam and excess comments on its own. However there are times when it can flag legitimate comments as spam and vice versa; so make sure to do a quick check before moderating comments.

You don’t want to accidentally delete an important visitor’s comment, or let a spamming jerk get through your defenses.

Now if only we could get rid of that other SPAM…

Comments (4)

  • Comment by Briley Kenney
    Briley Kenney

    Ian, on a personal site Akismet can be activated with an API key for free.

    In order to get your API key you need to register on the actual WordPress site for a free account. After registering make sure to choose the “username only” option (namely because you already have an external blog setup).

    WordPress will then guide you through an easy registration process. After the registration is finished you should receive an e-mail from the main WordPress site that verifies the registration process. In THAT email will be your WordPress API key, and that is the key you need to use with Akismet.

  • Comment by dk70

    Yes it can http://digwp.com/2009/11/dont-need-plugins-to-stop-comment-spam/ :)

    I think the trick is you need to prepare site for a spam bombing which can take place when ever. How to do it is another matter. They say it is a myth WordPress almost requires Akismet because they know alternatives, like simple settings! Many do not, many will mess up etc. Akismet being a myth or not does not change that it is close to foolproof and EASY to use.

  • Comment by Laxman Kasula
    Laxman Kasula

    Akismet can not be avoided in wordpress site.

  • Comment by Ian Campbell
    Ian Campbell

    I was looking at the Askimet plugin last night and when I went to get an API key it looked like it was charging a subscription for the key. Am I doing something wrong here?