Spam is a big problem for web blogs. In the WordPress world, one of the most popular plugins, Akismet seems to have addressed this problem to an extent.
Although it’s easy to take Akismet for granted, that might not always be the case. Over the past week, I have been struggling to deal with the increased spam comments on this blog and this has made me question the effectiveness of Akismet.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Akismet and use it for all of my WordPress powered blogs and websites. Akismet is in fact, one of the first plugins that I make sure is installed and activated for each new installation of WordPress.
But as Akismet couldn’t help me filter spam for this blog, I was bound to look for effective alternative solutions for dealing with WordPress comment spam.
First a bit of background on what went wrong with Akismet..
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A post that I published last week about .blog domains from WordPress.com invited so much spam that I had to delete almost 100 comments every hour.
I had never experienced anything like this with Akismet activated on a website. I quickly deleted and re-installed Akismet to make sure it was working properly on the website.
As you can see in the image below, almost 118 spam comments have made it past Akismet in past few hours.
Akismet, however, hadn’t completely stopped working. As you can see in the spam chart below, it has filtered a high number of spam for this month – most of which were added only in past few days.
The interesting thing is that all these spam comments were for the same blog post – if that helps you dig any further in this issue.
Alternative Anti-Spam Solution – Antispam Bee
As I started to look for alternatives for Akismet, I found that Antispam Bee was frequently recommended around forums and blog posts around the community.
The plugin is also popular on the WordPress plugin repository and has been actively installed on 200,000+ websites.
The best thing about the plugin is the quality of reviews that it has received from its users. The plugin also has more than 100 five star reviews.
Taking all this goodwill of the plugin in consideration, I decided to give Antispam Bee a try.
And the results were phenomenal!
Installing and Activating Antispam Bee
I was utterly surprised by the configuration efforts it takes to get Antispam Bee working for the blog. Just activate it and you are done.
No registration, no licence codes required.
Here’re the detailed instructions for installing and activating Antispam Bee.
- Head over to Plugins > Add New from your WordPress admin dashboard.
- Search for plugin “Antispam Bee”
- Click on “Install Now” to install the plugin and activate it.
- Once activated, it should start working immediately.
- If you want to see more options, go to Settings > Antispam Bee.
You can choose from several settings including:
- Trust approved commenters.
- Trust commenters with a Gravatar.
- Consider the comment time.
- Treat BBCode as spam.
- Validate the IP address of commenters.
- Use regular expressions.
- Search local spam database for commenters previously marked as spammers.
- Match against a public anti-spam database.
- Notify admins by e-mail about incoming spam.
- Delete existing spam after n days.
- Limit approval to comments/pings (will delete other comment types).
- Select spam indicators to send comments to deletion directly.
- Optionally exclude trackbacks and pingbacks from spam detection.
- Optionally spam-check comment forms on archive pages.
- Display spam statistics on the dashboard
Final Thoughts on Antispam Bee
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that if you don’t look, you don’t find!
As Akismet comes bundled with WordPress, users hardly search for other spam preventing solutions. And if it works, that’s a good thing but don’t be afraid to explore alternative solutions even for the popular plugins that you take for granted.
Akismet worked perfectly until now, so, there was hardly any need to look for other spam solutions.
But I hope you know where to look for if Akismet fails to do its job!
P.S. I am so impressed with Antispam Bee that I thought of spreading the word by writing this post.
Do you use Antispam Bee? I would love to hear if you have any similar experiences related to Akismet or Antispam Bee.