Keeping Spam Comments At Bay With Akismet
If you are not actively using the Akismet plugin in your WordPress installations, one should ask you “why the hell not”? Afterall, this is one of the easiest plugins to use and it can actually have a direct benefit to your website.
According to the author:
“Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet Web service to see if they look like spam or not and lets you review the spam it catches under your blog’s “Comments” admin screen.”
The truth about this plugin is that it simply makes managing your blogs easier. It does for you one of the most tedious tasks you could even think about, the task of dealing with spam comments.
If you have a blog of any decent traffic, or even just one that spammers target, then you have already seen a ton of comments that you know have absolutely nothing to do with your content. Tons of marketers, some legitimately and many not so much, attempt to get backlinks en mass from any blog that will automatically approve comments. This one plugin does an enormous amount of work to prevent that and should be considered a staple of any WordPress installation.
The plugin has undergone several updates over the last year so please take a moment to make sure it is updated to the most recent version seen below:
- Version: 3.0.3
- Author: Automattic
- Last Updated: 2 weeks ago
- Requires WordPress Version:3.1 or higher
- Compatible up to: 4.0
Release Date – 3rd November, 2014
- Fix for sending the wrong data to delete_comment action that could have prevented old spam comments from being deleted.
- Added a filter to disable logging of Akismet debugging information.
- Added a filter for the maximum comment age when deleting old spam comments.
- Added a filter for the number per batch when deleting old spam comments.
- Removed the “Check for Spam” button from the Spam folder.
Release Date – 18th August, 2014
- Performance improvements.
- Fixed a bug that could truncate the comment data being sent to Akismet for checking.
Release Date – 9th July, 2014
- Removed dependency on PHP’s fsockopen function
- Fix spam/ham reports to work when reported outside of the WP dashboard, e.g., from Notifications or the WP app
- Remove unnecessary data from some Akismet comment meta
- Suspended keys will now result in all comments being put in moderation, not spam.
Release Date – 15th April, 2014
- Move Akismet to Settings menu
- Drop Akismet Stats menu
- Add stats snapshot to Akismet settings
- Add Akismet subscription details and status to Akismet settings
- Add contextual help for each page
- Improve Akismet setup to use Jetpack to automate plugin setup
- Fix “Check for Spam” to use AJAX to avoid page timing out
- Fix Akismet settings page to be responsive
- Drop legacy code
- Replace the old discard setting with a new “discard pervasive spam” feature.
Release Date – 18th March, 2014
- Add ajax paging to the check for spam button to handle large volumes of comments
- Fix bug in link to spam comments from right now dashboard widget
- Fix bug with deleting old comments to avoid timeouts dealing with large volumes of comments
- Include X-Pingback-Forwarded-For header in outbound WordPress pingback verifications
- Add pre-check for pingbacks, to stop spam before an outbound verification request is made
Personally Akismet eliminates dozens of spam comments daily on our sites. This means that admins have an easier time dealing with this overall process. Many of these comments are posted by scripts which means an actual user never even came to the site. This is a hassle to have to deal with manually.
We appreciate comments from all users, but please post comments that require some time, thought and consideration. We might even give you a link back to your website, after all we are marketers too and can appreciate the time it takes to market a website. Just bear in mind that a comment saying “thanks, here’s my link”, is not the type of user interaction we are looking for.