Block Spam Comments in WordPress Using Akismet Anti-spam Plugin

Block Spam Comments in WordPress Using Akismet Anti-spam PluginAllowing comments on your WordPress blog increases user engagement. However, if you do not moderate the comments coming in, you stand a chance of losing credibility due to automated spam comments. And this is where the Akismet anti spam plugin can help you.

Of course, you can manually review each comment before publishing it on your site. This works for small sites with less traffic. As your site begins to grow, this method becomes less effective and more time-consuming.

Fortunately, there are WordPress plugins such as the Akismet Anti Spam plugin that automatically scans every incoming comment and flags the ones that appear to be spam.

In this guide, we will show you how to easily set up Akismet plugin on a WordPress site. Before that, let’s see how the plugin works and why you need an antispam plugin for your website.


How Akismet Anti-Spam Plugin Works

Akismet is a plugin developed by the team behind WordPress, Automattic. The plugin checks and flags spam comments on WordPress websites.

When visitors submit comments on your website, Akismet will run each comment through its database. If any of them appears similar to spam comments on its database, it will automatically move the comment to the spam section on your WordPress dashboard.

The plugin uses an anti-spam algorithm to check websites. The algorithm also learns from how users’ comments are tagged as spam by site moderators.

This means if an admin flags a comment as spam, Akismet’s algorithm will pick it up. In the future, when a similar comment is placed, it will be detected as a spam comment. Below are some of the features of the plugin.

  • The plugin automatically checks all comments and filters out the ones that appear to be spam.
  • It has an advanced stats monitoring dashboard, so you can see the comments that were blocked as spam by the plugin, and those that were allowed. You can also see the comments that were spammed or unspammed by the site admin/moderator.
  • It shows URLs in the comment body to reveal suspicious or misleading links.
  • Moderators can see the number of approved comments for each user.
  • It comes with a discard feature that lets you block the worst spam, speed up your site, and save resources on your WordPress hosting server.

Additionally, the plugin easily integrates with contact form plugins such as Gravity Forms and Contact Form 7 plugin. This means the contact form on your website will be covered by the Akismet anti-spam plugin, thereby reducing the number of spam messages you receive.

Why you Need an Anti-Spam Plugin

According to stats from Akismet’s website, it has blocked over 500 billion comments on WordPress sites since it was launched.

Akismet anti-spam all time stats

The stats show that on average the number of spam comments websites receive daily is 3X the number of genuine comments.

Manually moderating comments can be very tedious and time-consuming. For instance, if your site receives an average of 300 comments daily, a great percentage of them will be irrelevant spam comments.

With WordPress antispam plugins such as Akismet, you can automate comment moderation. Once activated, it handles comment moderation and groups them into ham or spam comments.

Meanwhile, you might allow comments without moderation, because it would relieve you of the stress of moderating. But here are 2 reasons why you shouldn’t do that.

Firstly, most of these comments come with irrelevant links, which the sender intends to use to get a free backlink. The link can harm your sites’ SEO because search engines would begin to discredit your website, leading to loss of rank.

Secondly, attackers may use the comment section on websites to send malicious codes that may break your website leading to a white screen of death.

To prevent any of them from happening, you need to moderate comments on your website using an anti-spam plugin.

How to Install and Activate Akismet Anti-Spam Plugin

The plugin comes pre-installed with the default WordPress installation. You simply need to activate and configure it to start working for your website.

To activate the plugin, go to Plugins >> Installed Plugins. Click on Activate below the Akismet Anti-Spam WordPress plugin.

Activate akismet anti-spam plugin

Activating the plugin will take you to the configuration page. Alternatively, you can click on Settings to open the setup page.

settings for akismet anti-spam plugin

Side Note: If you don’t have the plugin on your site, you can install and activate the Akismet Spam Protection plugin from your WordPress dashboard. Not sure how to do it, check this detailed guide to learn how to install WordPress plugins.

Akismet spam protection plugin

After activating the plugin, follow the steps below to configure it.

There are two ways available to set up this plugin. If you have Jetpack and a account, you can simply connect Akismet to your jetpack plugin.

Otherwise, you will have to register an account and generate an API key for the plugin to work properly. Below we will show you how to configure the plugin using both methods.

Integrating with Jetpack

If you are using the Jetpack plugin on your site, you can easily connect this plugin with your account with the click of a button.

To start, go to Jetpack >> Akismet Anti-Spam to open the plugins settings page.

configure akismet anti-spam using jetpack

Next, click the Connect with Jetpack button.

Jetpack connection - akismet anti spam

That’s it. With just the click of the button, Akismet will start monitoring incoming comments on your site.

Akismet anti-spam statistics dashboard

The advantage of using Jetpack to activate Akismet is that you can monitor the spam statistics directly from your WordPress dashboard as seen in the image above.

Using an API Key to Configure Akismet Anti-Spam Plugin

If you are not using Jetpack on your site, you need to create an account with Akismet and generate an Akismet API Key before the plugin can work on your site.

On the plugins’ settings page, click on Set up your Akismet account.

Akismet plugin is a premium plugin, but it has a freemium version that works for most sites. On their website, select a package then you can register your account.

The Personal plan is free to use. You also have the option to purchase a commercial license. For big sites, paid subscriptions would be a good option. The Plus plan comes with more API calls per month.

Also, if you have multiple sites, the Enterprise plan lets you use one account for all your websites.

akismet anti-spam pricing

To get started with the free plan, click on the Get Personal button.

Next, drag the price to $0/year. After that, enter your details and site address.

akismet antispam website

Tick all the checkboxes and then hit the Continue with Personal Subscription button.

You will receive an email with a verification code. Copy the code and then paste it into the box as seen below.

After this, you will receive another email containing the API Key for your website. Copy the code and then head back to your WordPress admin dashboard.

Now, paste the code in the box and then click Connect with API Key.

You will be taken to the settings page. Here you can customize how the plugin should work on your site. The default settings work just fine. Click on Save Changes once done.

Now Akismet will handle incoming comments on your website.

Accessing Spam Comments

The plugin will move any comment it detects as spam to the “Spam” section on your WordPress dashboard. To access these spam comments, select Comments on your admin dashboard.

Next, click on the Spam tab.

Any spam comment will be available here. You can use the bulk action feature to remove them from your site.


Side note: The Akismet Anti-spam plugin sometimes detects comments from genuine users as spam, and these are called false positives. This occurs if other site owners tag comments from that user as spam comments. So you may decide to review the spam comments before trashing them.

Monitoring Spam Statistics on Akismet Anti-Spam Website

Earlier we showed you how to view statistics of the plugin’s actions on your site. However, that example only applies if you connected Akismet to your Jetpack account.

If you generated an API Key for the plugin, statistics will not be shown on your WordPress dashboard. To access the stats, login to your Akismet account.

Then scroll down to the “RECENT ACTIVE SITES” section and then click here as seen in the image above.

This will take you to the Akismet stats page. Here you can keep track of the number of comments the plugin detects as spam on your website. You will also see the genuine numbers (ham) as well as false positives.


As a website owner, you cannot control the number of spam comments your website receives. When left unchecked, these spam comments can harm your site’s SEO, credibility, or security.

With spam filtering tools such as the Akismet anti-spam plugin, you can limit the number of WordPress comments you moderate, which will enable you to focus on legitimate comments.

In this guide, we showed you two ways to configure the Akismet plugin on WordPress sites, i.e, integrating with Jetpack or generating an API Key. We also showed you how to keep track of the comments blocked by the plugin.

Blocking spam comments can help your site’s SEO, however, there are other SEO practices you can implement to improve your websites’ ranking. Check our tutorial on WordPress SEO.

 This post was written by Sam Mulaim

Hello! I’m Sam - the founder and CEO of FixRunner WordPress support. When I started FixRunner one of my goals was to help people run a successful website and overcome WordPress issues. I don’t have much time these days to write new posts but when I do I enjoy it very much.

Last edited by: FixRunner Team