May 6, 2024 by Paul G. | Plugins, WordPress Solutions

6 Top Akismet Alternatives for WordPress Spam Prevention

Shield Security PRO Akismet Alternatives Featured Image

Keeping on top of spam comments can feel like a necessary chore when it comes to running a website. But comment spam is almost completely preventable with the right tools at hand.

Many WordPress users chose the Akismet plugin as their go-to spam prevention aid, but this is because it’s automatically pre-installed on new WordPress sites. It’s certainly one of the most popular, though the platform falls short in terms of meeting wider security needs.

In this article we’ll take a detailed look at why effective spam prevention is so important. We’ll also look at the pros and cons of Akismet, and offer powerful alternatives to better secure your site’s discussion areas.

Understanding the need for spam prevention in WordPress 

Sorting genuine comments from spam is a time-consuming exercise. It’s also true that huge amounts of spam comments can degrade your website’s performance by slowing down page load speeds. This can potentially impact both the user experience and SEO.

Furthermore, cybercriminals will use spam to drop harmful backlinks onto your site, increasing the chances of malware and risk to visitors who follow these links. Should a user ever click a harmful link on your website, it can never be good for your business reputation.

Typically, spam comes in two forms – human and bot-based. The former is less popular, given the manual effort needed to dispatch large volumes of comments. However, human spam is often harder to identify and more difficult to stop. By contrast, bot-based comment spam is easier to block but a far more common problem, with much higher volumes.

Considering these potential threats to your website and users, a reliable spam prevention tool is critical for any business.

Akismet anti-spam software

Akismet is a popular and reliable spam prevention tool, with a significant presence in the industry. We’ll take a look at its main advantages, along with its limitations to consider when shopping for your own solution.

Advantages of Akismet 

Easy-to-use: Akismet has a simple set-up and intuitive user interface. Non-techies will have no problems managing the tool ‘straight out of the box’.

Akismet’s easy-to-use analytics platform

Efficient performance: Akismet does its job extremely well, analysing all comments sent to your site and filtering out the majority of spam.

Excellent WordPress integration: Users have reported few problems when it comes to WordPress integration, enabling business-as-normal with minimal disruption.

Limitations of Akismet

Privacy: All spam comments are sent offsite to an external service to be scanned. While the result is less spam on your website, organisations concerned with data privacy may take issue with this.

Pricing: Akismet’s free version has limited scope. Larger businesses will need to buy expensive plans to get the benefits they need.

False positives: On occasion, some legitimate comments will be categorised by Akismet as spam. This may result in genuine customers being ignored; this can damage business reputation and sales opportunities.

100% spam focus: Akismet has been designed with spam prevention in mind, and it does a good job. But other software can deal with spam, alongside managing wider web security, giving more bang for your buck.

Exploring the Top 6 Akismet alternatives

Spam-prevention tools are a personal choice, and what works best for one website won’t necessarily work for another. From Shield Security PRO to Disable Comments, there’s a plugin for all business sizes. We’ve tested six leading spam-prevention tools so you can find the best solution for your needs. 

1. Shield Security PRO

Shield Security PRO web security software

Shield Security PRO stops comment spam as just one of its many, many site security features. 

Highlights include a premium firewall, automated bad bot detection/prevention, and comprehensive malware scanning. Shield Security PRO also includes premium login protection, including easy-to-use two-factor authentication for all users. Such powerful features help ensure overall website safety by preventing a variety of hacking attempts. 

When it comes to spam, Shield Security PRO uses different strategies to identify human and bot comments. The human kind is discovered through a content keyword scanner, which removes any comments containing words or phrases typically found in spam. 

Bot-based spam is blocked through Shield’s bad-bot detection engine, which recognises non-authentic behaviour and then blocks the related IP address. Spam is never sent offsite for processing, satisfying the most data-privacy focused business.

Set your spam settings in Shield Security PRO.

With over 11 million downloads and a host of five-star testimonials, Shield Security PRO is a premium choice for WordPress sites of all sizes, from personal blogs to eCommerce stores and digital agencies.

Starter plans begin at $129/year, with a free-trial period of 14 days.

2. Anti-Spam: Spam Protections 

Stop Spammers anti-spam software

Anti-Spam: Spam Protections is a customizable WordPress plugin designed to help combat spam comments, emails, registrations, and bots. It offers over 50 configuration options and includes features such as behaviour tracking, third-party integration, and manual blocking to help protect your website

Whilst the platform does the job it was designed for, it’s lacking when it comes to wider security. More expansive plugins include features such as site-wide malware scanning, a highly important trait given the potential risks. One report showed that over 70% of system intrusions are malware-based.

3. Titan Anti-Spam and Security

Titan web security software

Titan Anti-Spam and Security includes a firewall, accessibility checker, and malware scanner. With Titan, your site is far better protected than having a spam prevention tool alone. And its own anti-spam abilities are highly capable.

Titan is able to handle both human and bot spam, differentiating the two by analysing patterns and behaviour. Users have both manual and automatic filtering options, with full control over which comments are stopped at the gate.

With pricing plans starting at $55/year, Titan provides reliable security, but more affordable plans can be found in the likes of Shield Security PRO.

4. Antispam Bee

Antispam Bee anti-spam software

Antispam Bee is known for its focus on privacy and keeping user data secure. The tool integrates perfectly with WordPress, works on your management platform, and is wholly compliant with GDPR regulations

A valuable Akismet alternative, the plugin offers excellent spam management capabilities. It checks the likes of comment time, IP address validation, and filters different languages. 

There are some limitations in its lack of additional security features, given the tool is a spam prevention tool alone. It’s free to use, but works best with default WordPress comments, rather than integrating with other contact form plugins. Infrequent updates also mean the tool may be lacking when keeping up with the latest threats.

5. Cleantalk Spam Protection

CleanTalk anti-spam software

Sifting through spam on arrival, CleanTalk Spam Protection removes the need for multiple CAPTCHAs, improving the user experience. The platform comes with a superb range of features, verifying both email and IP addresses and blacklisting those with warning signs. 

By identifying spam found through surveys, orders, widgets, and WooCommerce, CleanTalk provides subscribers with a solid line of defence. Furthermore, frequent updates and alignment with the latest version of WordPress keep the tool running in the background. Online users won’t be bombarded with security requests in order to begin browsing.

CleanTalk also comes with competitive pricing, starting at $12/year. Discounts are applied for those managing multiple sites.

6. Disable Comments

Alt text: Disable Comments WordPress software

Disable Comments is a unique Akismet alternative, as it simply removes the comment feature on your WordPress site altogether. This may sound a little extreme, but there are actually many instances where such comment boxes are not needed. 

Lots of corporate firms have little cause to engage in discussions, and the same applies to sites geared toward providing information. Small businesses may simply not have the resources to deal with customer comments. 

On the flipside, user engagement is a big part of building a loyal customer base. You may lose out on vital user feedback and insights you can learn from. SEO may be affected in the long term, as you’ll be reducing your online presence. Some users may divert their discussion elsewhere, turning a simple comment into a social media post that requires more attention.

Web owners should weigh all potential gains and losses before deciding whether Disable Comments is right for them.

Frequently asked questions about Akismet

Akismet is a well-known brand in the spam-prevention market. For many businesses, cost is a major consideration when it comes to choosing which solution to go for. Here are some answers to some commonly asked questions.

Is there a free version of Akismet?

A free version of Akismet exists, but its use is strictly reserved for non-profit organisations. To check if your business qualifies under the brand’s set criteria, check Akismet’s eligibility guidelines

How much do you pay for Akismet?

Akismet has a ‘pay what you can’ pricing option for personal sites and blogs. A default price is set at $36 per year, but you can adjust this depending on your financial circumstances. 

For business use, Akismet offers the following pricing plans:

  • Pro: for professional or commercial sites and blogs – $9.95 per month.
  • Business: for large networks or multisite installations – $49.95.
  • Enterprise: custom solutions for large businesses – tailored.

Do I need Akismet? Is the plugin worth it?

Akismet performs its tasks well and will filter out most unwanted comments at the first point of contact. However, its method of rerouting comments to an external server for filtering may raise data privacy issues. Furthermore, its anti-spam features can be gained through other plugins, as part of a wider security platform. 

Conclusion: choosing the best spam prevention plugin for your needs

Choosing the right plugins for your website is an important consideration for site owners, and effective spam prevention should be near the top of your list. A reliable tool keeps your pages clean, improving your business reputation and the overall user experience. Removing spam also forms a vital part of website security.

Plugins like Akismet are typically dedicated to a singular task, whereas Shield Security PRO is a complete solution. With a firewall, anti-malware scanner, and the ability to halt brute force attacks, anti-spam is just one of its many features – all aimed at keeping your site safe. 

Shield Security PRO excels at separating bot and human comments, which makes its spam prevention as stringent as any other anti-spam plugin. Plus, its time-saving features make the platform a cost-effective solution that all website owners can benefit from.
The ‘best’ tool can differ depending on personal circumstances, so be sure to consult all available options. And while you’re here, why not take a closer look at Shield Security PRO – it might just be the deal you’re looking for!

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ShieldPRO Testimonials
@anshulsukhwal's Gravatar @anshulsukhwal

A wonderful plugin.

A great plugin with power-packed features for keeping your website secure and up-to-date (with automatic update option). Saves you a lot of time. Even a fraction less than a 5-star rating would be an insult. Thank you SSF developers for this wonderful plugin. 🙂

@quietthunderdesigns's Gravatar @quietthunderdesigns

Works beautifully!

Have been using this plugin for a couple of years and it’s kept my site safe and secure!

@blackwellbert's Gravatar @blackwellbert

Great plugin! Locks down my site, tight! Even locked me out!

Great plugin! Locks down my site, tight! Even locked me out!

@mrsjessicasimpson's Gravatar @mrsjessicasimpson

Being buried alive with constant hacker requests, to not being buried alive.

OK, from seeing at least 50 plus lockouts a day to none in 6 hours: is pretty damned good, and it’s all due to this Plugin. To originally combat the Hacker Bots that I was seeing in the “Limit Login Attempts Reloaded” logs, I ran a hapless plugin that changed…

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