Akismet to the Rescue

Any web site that’s been online for more than a few seconds seems to attract spammers, especially if it supports comment posting or other user generated content. The magnitude of the problem seems to be higher when the site is using a well known software package such as WordPress. My blog is no exception and the problem has become steadily worse as the amount of content on my site has increased.

I learned very quickly that I could not allow comments to be passed through to the site unchecked. The obvious solution was to moderate comments. While this is 100% effective at keeping spam off the site, it very quickly becomes unworkable when the volume of spam comments exceeds a handful every day. While it is not particularly burdensome to reject a couple dozen comments a week, when that number suddenly rockets into the high hundreds every week, moderation alone is not sufficient.

There is also another issue with moderation. It means that legitimate posts on the site do not appear immediately. Rather, they must wait until they are approved. While this is not a particularly large issue given the volume of legitimate comments my blog attracts, I do want the comments to appear as quickly as possible.

Enter Akismet. I discovered it when I noticed that WordPress wanted to update its Akismet plugin. Noticing that, I did some quick research and realized that Akismet might be exactly what I needed to solve my spamĀ  problem. After jumping through the minor hoop of getting an API key and enabling the plugin, I was on my way.

Within seconds of enabling Akismet, it blocked two spam comments. Since enabling it, no false positives or false negatives have occurred. Given my experience over the handful of days since I enabled it, I have to say that it is a wonderful product. Indeed, if I was making any money with my blog, I would not hesitate to pony up the astoundingly reasonable fee they charge for non-hobby blogs.

So if anyone reading this is having a spam problem with their WordPress blog, give Akismet a try.

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