What is Akismet?

If you have a WordPress based blog or web-site I’m sure you’ve seen that it comes with a plugin called Akismet.  You might not know what it can do for you.  This handy little plugin helps defend your website against spam comments.

One of the factors in web-site rankings is links from other sites.  Comment spammers go to any site that they can find that accepts comments and adds comments that link back to their site.  This is an acceptable practice for people who are adding real comments and participating in the discussion on your site.  Unfortunately the comment spammers are just putting in generic comments that may have little or nothing to do with the page in hopes that there comment will not be noticed and the link to their site will stay up.

This can be a pain in the behind to manage on your site.  Akismet will test each comment against a wide range of criteria and is pretty good at telling spam from real comments.  Any spam that they detect is routed to a spam folder which you can review to see if they snagged something that you would accept as a comment.  Any comments held in the spam folder are deleted after 15 days.

To activate Akismet you need an API key.  You can get the key at Akismet.com.  The key is free for personal blogs.  They ask that if you are making “mad paper” (over $500 a month) with your blog that you pay for a commercial license.  These licenses range from $5 per month up to $1000 per month depending on the amount of traffic and the number of websites that you are using the key for.

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