Last updated on August 1st, 2018 at 06:25 pm
Blog spam sucks and nothing is worse than waking up to a bunch of comments only to find out all of them are spam. In this tutorial we will be setting up a WordPress spam plugin. I’m going to show you how to use an awesome plugin that has now blocked over 200 spam comments on my blog.
Back in the day, blog comments were much bigger than they are today. In fact, many people sold services that blasted out tons of comments in hopes of building backlinks to their sites (I am not joking, they were popular Blackhat services). With all the Google updates and penalties, I don’t know these services exist anymore?
While there is nothing we can do to stop comment spam completely, we can take some steps to help us block it from our blog.
Setting Up A WordPress Spam Plugin
There are several spam comment plugins on the market today. For this tutorial I will be installing and setting up the Akismet plugin.
I use this plugin on my WordPress blog and I am extremely happy with it. Even if you are just starting your blog, it’s NEVER too early to stop the spam.
I am assuming you know how to install a WordPress plugin. I’ve written a complete guide to using WordPress plugins in case you need it.
Login to your WordPress blog and let’s get started.
Video Tutorial of Setting Up The Plugin
I’ve created a step-by-step video tutorial, just in case you’d rather watch over my shoulder. If not then feel free to follow me with my screenshot tutorial below.
How to Set Up The Akismet Plugin
Step 1: Install the Akismet Plugin
The plugin may already be installed on your fresh install of WordPress. It is one of the default plugins that comes pre-installed. However if you deleted the plugin somehow, re-install it.
Once the plugin is installed on your site, it’s time to set up the configurations of the plugin.
Step 2: Sign Up For A Plan
As soon as you activate the plugin, it’s going to give you 3 options.
- Sign up for a plan
- Get an API key
- Go to your Akismet Configuration Page
Click on Sign up for a plan. Don’t worry, if you are using your blog for personal reasons, then Akismet is free. I am using the free version on this blog and it is doing a fantastic job combating the spam.
Step 3: Already Have A WordPress.com Account
If you already have a WordPress.com account, you can login with your WordPress.com account. How do you know if you have a WordPress.com account?
If you read my tutorial and followed along on how to create a Gravatar for your blog, then you have a WordPress.com account already.
Enter those credentials in here. Hopefully, you are using a password manager like Roboform to keep track of all your passwords safe. I can’t imagine running my blog without a password manager.
If you watched me install WordPress, then you know that I love using ridiculously crazy WordPress admin usernames. It would be impossible for me it without Roboform.
Input your WordPress.com info and you will be taken to this page.
We are going to be using the free basic plan. If you are unsure if you should pay for a plan, you may want to read the terms on their site.
When you click on Basic Plan you are taken to this page.
Now you might think that you have to pay something to start using it. If you can afford to, then I do recommend giving something to help the developers keep updating it. However, don’t feel guilty if you can’t.
When we first start our blog we are always looking for ways to do it for free or with the least amount of money possible.
I’m going to show you a little secret that prevents you from paying for Akismet.
Slide the little black box over until it says $0/year
As you can see the little happy smiley face is no longer smiling when it says $0/year. Don’t worry, once your blog starts making money, you can start donating some money.
Now just enter your contact info and click on continue
Step 4: Grab Your API Key
Once you enter, you will be taken to your Account Overview page.
At the very top you will see your Akismet Key. Click on the eyeball at the top, this will show you the API key you will need to copy and paste into your WordPress blog.
Grab the key and go back to your WordPress blog.
Step 5: Adding Your API Key
Click on settings on the Akismet plugin and the settings configuration page will show up.
This is how I set mine up, feel free to use the same settings.
API Key: Paste you Akismet key in this box.
Comments: You have the option to show the number of approved comments, I leave mine as default.
Strictness: I choose to put all the comments in the spam folder. This allows me to go back and browse through the comments to make sure that they are indeed spam.
Final Take Away
We’ve completed setting up a WordPress spam plugin. Now you can focus on filling up your WordPress calendar and focus on growing your blog.
If you’re managing and growing your own blog, then it’s important to automate as many tasks as possible. It makes your life easier and makes you more productive. There never seems to be enough time in the day to accomplish everything I want.
Are you using the Akismet plugin to help you combat spam? If not, which plugin are you using?
Recommended Blogging Resources:
- Free 12 Day Blogging Bootcamp
- Article about using Yoast SEO for optimizing your blog posts and how to do it.
- SEMRush Free Trial to Gather Low Competitive Keywords
- Quiz: Which theme is best for your blog?
- If you want to build an email list and send newsletters, I recommend ConvertKit (starts at $29)