Comment spam is a serous issue on wordpress blogs. Spammers are always trying to leave spammy URL links in the comments below a blog post. This might not be an issue initially but once your blog gets popular, you might get as many as 90 percent spam comments which means only 10 percent of the total comments posted will be genuine comments. If you try to manage these comments manually, you will wasting hours and hours of your precious time in a useless activity.
What is Akismet
This is where Akismet comes to help. It is a wordpress plugin that comes preinstalled when you install a fresh WordPress blog. It is created by the developers of the WordPress itself and is one of the most popular WordPress plugins with more than 1 million active installs. However, it is not activated by default and you need to activate it for it to work. But even after activation, you will require an Akismet key for making it to work.
For that you need to visit Akismet website and click on Plans & Pricing link and from there click on the Sign up Button for the Basic Plan. If you already have a WordPress.com account, click on ‘I already have a WordPress.com’ and enter your details. Otherwise, fill in the short form and create a new WordPress.com user account. Please note that WordPress.com is different from WordPress.org and for Akismet you need to have an account on WordPress.com. Select zero dollar payment option when presented with the payment screen. Complete the sign up process and the Akismet key will be displayed to you. It will also be emailed to you.
Now enter that Akismet API key after going to the settings of the Akismet plugin. Akismet WordPress Plugin will be activated and it will start protecting your blog from comment and pingback spam.
Akismet learns from the network of websites where it is installed and when many websites report a comment as spam, it adds this to the spam list. Moreover, it has its own algorithm for identifying spam which works quite well. There are some false positives too but that is quite understandable in case of automated software. You can also see the number of spam comments blocked by Akismet in a graphical form. Most of the time Akismet works quite well and does its job to perfection.