I’ve been using Akismet for quite a long time now. Akismet is the spam control plugin that comes installed by default in WordPress – but it’s not free.
Well – let me clarify. It is free for personal or hobby sites, but that’s probably not what you’re doing if you’re reading this, is it?
Akismet is $5.00 per month, and in my opinion it’s a bargain. On my development blog that’s been up for about 3 years, Akismet has so far caught 14,593 spam posts. I get very, very little in the way of spam on that blog.
How does it work?
In WordPress (standalone WordPress) under Plugins, Akismet is there. Activate it, the go to Plugins > Akismet Configuration. On that page you’ll see a link to www.akismet.com, you’ll need to go there and get an account in order to get a key. Once there, click the big blue button (you can’t miss it!) and sign up. $5/mo is a tiny price to pay for such a high degree of protection.
Get your key, then paste it in the API Key box on your Akismet Configuration page. Click Update Options and you’re all set.
What about a free alternative?
You can find a few in the plugins list at wordpress.org, but the only free option I’ve personally used is a combination of Bad Behavior and a captcha/confirmation plugin. Bad Behavior “prevents known spammers from ever delivering their junk, and in many cases, from ever reading your site in the first place. This keeps your site’s load down, makes your site logs cleaner, and can help prevent denial of service conditions caused by spammers.”
It works really well and is definitely a viable alternative to Akismet. But Akismet is just so convenient…