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The Blog Tool that Has Saved Me Months of Work

The biggest single time saver in my blogging is a plugin that many of us take for granted – but which has literally saved me days and days of time.

What it’s done for me can be summed up in this little screen capture taken from the back end of ProBlogger:

Picture 2-10

Yes – last night the amount of spam comments that Akismet has filtered here at ProBlogger passed the ‘magical’ 2 million mark.

That’s a frightening statistic on numerous levels.

For starters it shows just how big the problem of comment spam is (I think I started using this about 18 months ago).

Also frightening is the thought of life without Akismet.

Lets do a little arithmetic and see what using it has done for my life:

Let’s assume that if I had to moderate spam comments manually here at ProBlogger that it would take around 2 seconds to do each one (I think it could be more than that as it can take a while to track them all down – I know this because when Akismet’s server has gone down for an hour or so it takes forever).

  • 2,000,000 comment spams X 2 seconds = 4,000,000 seconds needed for moderating comments.
  • 4,000,000 seconds = 66666.666667 minutes
  • 66666.666667 minutes = 1111.111111 hours
  • 1111.111111 hours = 46.2962 days

Akismet has saved me 46.29 days in the last 18 months. That’s 1.5 months (working non stop 24 hours a day).

Considering that I don’t work 24 hours a day – if I worked 8 hour days it would have taken me 138.88 days (4.6 months) to moderate all those comments manually – more if I took time off for weekends and holidays.

Do you think that I’m happy that I installed Akismet? You bet your life I am!

Update – as has been suggested in comments below – I would strongly encourage you to sign up as a commercial or ‘pro blogging’ users of Akismet if you’re making money from your blog. As part of b5media – ProBlogger uses a license that we pay for. This enables Akismet to keep improving.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Wow… 2 million… Askimet is great. I use it in conjunction with “comment timeout”. You can configure it to close comments after a certain amount of time. I set it for 30 days and then after that, any comment goes directly into moderation. Before installing it, I got to over 1,200 very quickly. I have only had approximately139 more since then (I have had “comment timeout” installed for 6 months now”. While my site is not even a fraction of the traffic of this one, I don’t like having to search for legit comments.

  2. Holy cow. I almost never want to be as popular as Problogger.net if thats what we have to look forward to. Akismet has caught at least 1,300 spam on my blog and occasionally, it misses a few but so far, it’s done a dandy of a job.

  3. Wow this plugin came free with the my WordPress install but I have not turned it on yet due to just starting up. I take it that I should turn it on now, or wait until I know what comments are valid ones? I love the ideas here and I am certainly open to using them. Thanks alot.

  4. Hehe, a magical figure indeed. With most bloggers still seeing an increase in the daily amount of spam received I wouldn’t be surprised if here the case as well, how long would it take before the magical 5 million would be reached ;).

    Akismet is definitely the best thing next to sliced bread :P.

  5. 2 million. An Impressive and horrifying amount of spam!

  6. 46.2962 days of work or 2-3 hours for a skillful coder to write custom captcha plugin that will do the trick just fine.

    Not that I don’t use Akismet myself (53K and counting), sure I do. I just don’t have the urge to write that captcha plugin…

  7. Wow …. that shows how spammers even see problogger as a haven for marketing … Interesting isn’t it …

    I am going to get it up asap.

    Thanks Darren

  8. Well, you could install the Bad Behavior plugin as well to combat spam. Bad Behavior denies automatedspambots before they have a chance to even access your page. While it’s a bit dated, it still works hand in hand to spammers. I find that with BB, The amount of spam Akismet has to deal with goes down. That alone makes it better to sift through any false positives.

    I’d recommend anyone try it really.

  9. It would be much less if you loaded up Bad Behavior.

    I’m not trying to be a jerk – I LOVE WordPress – but the same guys that built the mouse trap built the hole that the mice are running into 2,000,000 at a time. Is this really something to brag about?

  10. Good way to prevent spam

  11. Aksimet has been great for me too. But what to do with a blog that has over 300k spam comments already inside the system? Aksimet does not help with that. Anyone got a suggestion?

  12. I think some of the other anti-spam tools, such as ones that require humans to interpret an image and type out the word/number, does a long way too. At least automated spam bots would not work. For example, I use Peter’s Custom Anti-Spam (http://www.theblog.ca/?p=21) in combination with Askimet.

  13. I recently started my new WordPress blog the other day, and I’m yet to receive any spam at all. I’m dreading the day that it starts but I’m ready with Akismet already installed/activated.

    One of my other blogs has caught over 200 spam comments so far with a high success rate. No comments have been caught that are legitimate, and none that were spam have passed through.

    I have written a little article about the Akismet plugin if anyone is interested.

  14. I thought I got a heap of spam, but I would be really annoyed if I had to delete all that.

  15. @Kimmono, if you are talking about 300K spam awaiting moderation when you enable Askimet, just click “Recheck Queue for Spam” in the upper right of the Moderation Queue page. Might take forever to process.

  16. Yep, I too use Akismet and its by far the best tool to use… since I don’t have to worry about spam comments to my blog. I use to spend a lot of time removing it one by one.


  17. Yikes – thats a big chunk of time to be doing something better with life. I did the same sums with my own blog and have been saved 19.47 hours. Not bad for the $5 a month subscription i pay.

    I use Akismet with the Bad Behavior plugin, the later which stops a lot of the spammers even getting as far as being caught by Akismet

  18. wew…. thats a big number of spam. I allready use akismet too

  19. Well, Indeed, if your have (presumably) 20 spams in same time you just take 2 second to demis them.
    Btw, Akismet is great tool and I love it.

  20. Wow 2 million spam comments?! imagine the bandwidth/storage they could have eaten

  21. bill weaver: Aksimet just times out on large chunks of spam, but
    I sorted out the spam waiting to be moderated. The problem is all that spam that is already inside the system. 300k of spam already in posts. Got any idea on how to fix that?

  22. Sorry. Too many false positives for me. We took Akismet out of our installs.

  23. Like Zit Seng, I also use akismet in conjunction with Peter’s Custom Anti Spam. Between the two, I don’t have to deal with it, and can even leave comment moderation off. I work 12 hour days at my regular job, and don’t want to leave comments (when I get some) sitting around awaiting moderation for that long. The captcha stops the bots before they even get to akismet, and yet with that, akismet still manages to catch several each day. That and blocking certain IPs that keep on trying does the job.

  24. Rightfully said and like you we just don’t have time for the nonsense. We all have way to much work to do but love the interactivity with our fans.

  25. I’m heading towards that 2 million mark fast, too, Darren, and I have to tell you, Akismet is a great time saver, but the newly updated Akismet Auntie Spam Firefox Greasemonkey Script makes processing Akismet spam a breeze. Engtech of Internet Duct Tape makes each new version better than the last with powerful features.

    The last version included separating the single comment spam posts, unique (so to speak) comments, from the “hammer comment spammers”, the ones who redundantly spam 5, 10, or 100s of the same comment spams. Instead of being tied to frequent checks for false/positives, I need only scroll the list of unique comment spams and ignore the multiple comment spam redundancies.

    Akismet with Auntie Akismet is truly brilliant as a time and work saver!

  26. I’m not sure if life without Akismet would be as bad as you think (speaking personally, I would just go back to using the nearly-as-effective Spam Karma 2), but it is certainly one of only a couple of WordPress plugins that can be described as ‘essential’ (the other being Bad Behaviour).

  27. holy crap. 2million? dang. although my commentage is almost zero, I have experience in receiving spam commentage on another site and boy is it annoyingly frustrating. Akismet is awesome.

    :: efrain

  28. Lucky number :)). Akismet for the win!

  29. 2 milion spam comments? lol

  30. I better install this before it’s too late :D

  31. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and I end up with more questions than I start with hehe. Interesting take…don’t think I would’ve come up with that one on my own.

  32. Thanks for sharing this. Great!

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