Spam affects everyone.

From brand new sites, to sites that are well-established, we all have to deal with spam. Are you actively monitoring your sites for spam comments? Are you doing anything to prevent them?

Spam comments can hurt your site in three different ways:

  1. Hurt Your Sites Reputation - If I, as a reader, come across a blog that has been overrun with comments linking to online casinos, illegitimate pharmacies, or dating ads, you can bet I won't stick around for long. I'll assume that the owner doesn't care about the content on his or her site, that the site has been abandoned, or that the owner may be trying to push these kinds of products as well.
  2. Add Non-Relevant Content - Spam comments often overload a site
  3. May Even Hurt SEO - A lot of non-related outbound links (especially to known spam sites) may even hurt your site's search engine rankings.

Take a look at some of the comments left on your site. Do they make vague references to the site's design while ignoring the content entirely? After the comments stuffed with links to shady websites? Do they add nothing to the conversation? If so, you might be a victim of spam. But fear not, because Akismet is here to help.

Akismet filters out your comment and track-back spam for you, so you can focus on more important things.

It is used by millions of blogs worldwide and has saved blog owners from billions of spam comments. It's fast, efficient, and effective. Best of all, you can use it absolutely free.

Installing Akismet

Akismet usually comes pre-installed with WordPress. To see if you already have it installed, login to your site's dashboard, click on the Plugins tab, and look through your installed plugins. If it's installed already, great! Click on 'Activate' to turn it on and skip to the next section. If not, here are the steps to get it installed on your site.

  1. Login to your dashboard, click the plug-ins tab, then click on 'Add New' and search for 'Akismet'

  2. Locate 'Akismet' in the search results, click the 'Install Now' link, and confirm that you want to install it.

  3. Click on the 'Activate Plugin' link on the final page

Congratulations! You have successfully installed and activated Akismet! But wait. What's this?

Getting your API Key

You need an API Key to actually use Akismet. Luckily, they're easy (and free!) to get.

  1. Click on the link in the yellow box that says 'enter your Akismet API key' and then click on the 'Get Your Key' link on the following page. Alternatively, you can simply click here to open the same page.

  2. Click on the blue 'Get an Akismet API key' button and select the PERSONAL option on the next page.

  3. Now you'll want to slide the slider all the way to the left and set it to $0/year. (Yes, this makes the smiley face a little unhappy, but the keys are free. You can choose to donate if you like.) Finish filling out the form and submit it.

  4. After you receive confirmation that your signup went through, go to your email to retrieve your Akismet key.

  5. Go back to your blogs dashboard, click on the 'Plugins' tab, then 'Akismet Configuration' and then paste your API Key into the box and click on the 'Update Options' button. If everything went well, your tab should look something like this:

  6. Akismet is now installed, activated, and protecting your site!

Two very important facts about your API key

  1. It is uniquely yours. Do not share it.

  2. It can be used on every one of your sites. You do not have to apply for a new API key for every site you own. Simply install Akismet, enter in the API key you already have, and you'll be good to go!

Wrapping Up

I love Akismet. It's the first plugin I install when I start a new site. At I've Tried That, I've had Akismet installed since the site started 5 years ago. Here are my stats today:

Akismet has protected your site from 122,926 spam comments already.
There are 24 comments in your spam queue right now.

122,926 spam comments! In five years! That works out to a little over 66 spam comments each day. Imagine how much time I would have wasted having to manually sort through each of those comments. Imagine if every one of those comments had made it through!

Install Akismet. Fight spam. Protect your site.

Any questions? Leave a comment below!


Join the Discussion
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Recent messages
It really pays to read the whole WA site. I also would have overlooked this important bit of information. Thank you very much.
Kyle Premium Plus
All domains and free SiteRubix websites are also installed with a CAPTCHA. This will add another solid layer of protection from spammers.
winddancer88 Premium
Thank you so very much. I was going to bypass this plug-in because I could not figure it out....major kudos.
SquidooSlfMstr Premium
No questions (yet - hee hee) Steve. Thanks for this post/tutorial!
Kyle Premium Plus
Akismet is a huge time saver and should be used on all your Wordpress...if nothing else, it will save you from weeding through the "comment spam" to find the real comments.
SimonLucas Premium
Sorry to be a bit thick, do we use Captcha as well as Akismet on our sites or one or the other as in your video Lvl 1 you said to use Captcha for now and keep Akismet disabled until the next part of the lesson and it never came up?

Thanks in advance
warriorprincess Premium
Thanks Steve! Now, I'm done. \m/