Life After Akismet: 3 Alternative Plugins that Combat Automated Comment Spam

Comment author: Easier Weight Loss
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How many times have you received a comment similar to this one on your blog?

Everybody hates it when someone tries to spam a comment thread with an automated bot. The blogger, the legitimate commentators, the people viewing the comment thread – everybody.

But spammers still do it.

Bloggers can’t change that fact, unfortunately, but we can at least take preventive steps to ensure that we don’t have to waste our time marking Mr. Easier Weight Loss’s comments as spam. That’s where these 4 WordPress plugins come in.

1. Akismet


Let’s get the main contender out of the way first. Akismet is’s most downloaded plugin with over 19 million downloads to its name. Created by the Automattic team themselves, the world’s favorite comment spam protection plugin is packaged with a default WordPress install.

It’s a handy plugin too – it catches nearly every fake comment. What’s even cooler is that your commentators don’t even have to enter a captcha, because Akismet automatically determines whether or not a comment is spam through their API, running hundreds of tests on each comment.

Setting up Akismet will take a few minutes out of your day, however, as you need to create a free (advanced paid options available) account and API key first.

There is, however, one major problem: tests have been run that show that, at one point, nearly 10% of all legitimate comments were getting filtered out as spam! A 10% decrease in comments can really add up and negatively impact your blog’s user engagement.

Not only so, but if you run a popular blog that receives hundreds of comments daily, then restoring that 10% as legitimate is going to drain a huge amount of your time. That’s why we’re looking at three alternatives.

2. Math Comment Spam Protection

Why math?

Because everybody loves math, and because robots are notoriously bad at it.

You know the drill. 3 + 8 = ☐

MCSP is a popular choice with many blogs. It’s not as complicated as a captcha, but it still works to stop those nonliving commentators. As you could probably guess though, it doesn’t provide any protection against human spammers who submit comments manually. Additionally, it won’t blog pingbacks/trackbacks either.

3. Stop Spammers


Stop Spammers is a great all-around solution to protect your WordPress website from spam. Not only does Stop Spammers use advanced methods to check comment spammers and bots, it also prevents fake registrations and user logins.

Marketed as an “aggressive spam plugin”, Stop Spammers certainly has guts – it uses a combination of the Akismet and its own unique API to prevent spam. The plugin uses “honeypots” that deceives spammers into submitting their spam comment, but automatically rejects the fake message.

Once an IP address has been identified as belonging to a spammer, Stop Spammers locks it into a temporary cache that prohibits the IP address from submitting another comment, completing another registration, or logging into a user account.

Stop Spammers neatly accounts all of its data, allowing you to view the comments/contact messages that have gone through and the ones that have been filtered out.

4. Anti-Spam


Anti-spam is a great plugin to combat the comment bots, filtering out pretty much all spam comments

It does this without a captcha by displaying two fields in addition to your comment form (not viewable by a human user).

The first asks for the current year, which should be automatically filled in by the user’s JavaScript (bots are not JavaScript-enabled). The second field should remain empty. A bot, however, would be programmed to automatically fill the field in. Thus, if the bot either does not enter the current year or fills in the second box, the comment is marked as spam.

The developer claims that the plugin stops 99.9% of all fake comments – with an impressive 4.7 rating and 183,000 downloads, his claims may well be valid.

Anti-Spam is also updated very regularly.

Wrapping Up

As long as website comments exist, so will comment spam. There will always be that select group of unwholesome people doing everything and anything they can to get backlinks.

Akismet, the most popular WordPress plugin, arguably falls short, marking a whopping 10% of legitimate comments as spam. If you’re having problems with it, you now have three alternatives to work with.

What’s your favorite spam-fighting solution?


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