This is one of those plugins that you just install no matter what.
Although I can’t say that I’ve researched alternatives, but this is where a, ahem, monopoly in an industry can come in handy. Because Akismet is run by WordPress (or wordpress.com or Automattic), they have the database of bazoolions of spammy comments to help you distinguish what’s spam and what’s not .
[box type=”info”]Somewhat recently, they’ve been a little more strict on payment and if you qualify for the free service. How much does it help you? Is it worth a few bucks a month?[/box]
If your site gets any sort of traffic at all, you’ll start getting comment spam. I suppose you could turn off all comments on the entire site and that would do the trick as well, but if you do want comments from real folks, you’re opening yourself up for spam from robots as well. If you’re going to do that, you’re going to need some help. That’s what Akismet does, it searches through its database of spammers and helps label them so you don’t have to.
[box type=”tick”]If you turn off comments completely on your site, then no, you don’t need Akismet. I think … [/box]
It’s also quite interesting to see what’s spam, what’s ham, and what these robots do all day.