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Does Your Site Need Both Akismet And SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam?

Does Your Site Need Both Akismet And SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam?

Things to think about to determine if your website needs both the Akismet WordPress Plugin and the SI Captcha Anti-Spam WordPress Plugin.

Each WordPress Plugin you add to your site, can potentially result in the performance of your website slowing down. This for all sort of reasons, including poorly written code. This means that your website has to do more work which takes some more time to process. This slows down the process of displaying content on your website. This of course is not what you want.

**Important Update**

Since this post was originally posted, the SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam WordPress Plugin has been removed from the WordPress repository of plugins.

 

I no longer use the Akismet WordPress Plugin or the SI Captcha Anti-Spam WordPress Plugin.

My understanding

  1. The Akismet WordPress Plugin has a potential overhead in performance.
  2. The SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam WordPress Plugin has a potential overhead in performance.
  3. All WordPress Plugins have a potential overhead in performance.

This potential overhead in performance means that it takes longer for your website to process a request from a reader and to get back to your reader. The request could be to display a web page. The web page needs to display content to the reader as quickly as possible, especially the bit ‘above the fold’, so that the reader can start reading the content. The bit ‘below the fold’ can be loading when the reader is already reading the content ‘above the fold’.

So if you are okay with your website taking longer than necessary to display content, and your readers are also okay with it, than yes, you do need both Akismet and SI CAPCHA Anti-Spam WordPress Plugins active.

However if you like me want your website to display as quickly as possible, you want to make any possible improvements, bearing in mind that you may need the underlying functionally of WordPress Plugins.

What this article discusses is not having both the Akismet and SI CAPCHA Anti-Spam WordPress Plugins active. One ‘has to go’ if possible.

First, I mention my current SI CAPTCHA anti-spam settings I used in case that this information helps you.

SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam Settings I Used

After you install this WordPress PlugIn, you want to ensure that you set it up to your liking and that it is correctly the way that you expect.

Go into your WordPress Dashboard, then select Plugins, then select Si Capcha options.

The following SI CAPTCHA settings may need to be looked at and amended if required. These are settings that are working for me, no reason why they will not work for you.

  • No Tick – Enable CAPCHA on the login form
  • Ticked – Enable CAPCHA on the register form
  • Ticked – Enable CAPCHA on the lost password form
  • Ticked – Enable CAPCHA on the comment form

Make sure you click “update options”.

Then log out of WordPress completely.

Then navigate to your site as a visitor would.

Then you should see it the same way as your visitors.

Make sure that the CAPTCHA functionally works in the way that you want.

If not, simply go back into your WordPress dashboard, and review and edit your SI CAPCHA settings accordingly.

Site taking more than 4 seconds to display?

If so, you have a problem. The word out there, is that your website needs to be displaying content to your readers as quickly as possible, with different people saying that it should take no more than 2 or 3 or 4 seconds. Any more time, and the reader may have moved on and may never visit your website. This is not good for you.

So I decided to review the WordPress Plugins I have enabled and see if there is any room for improvement.

Some WordPress plugins can be enabled, do what needs to be done, and then disabled if you are performing WordPress related tasks where this approach makes sense.

I have both the Akismet WordPress Plugin and the SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam Word Plugin installed and activated.

The real question is do I need both activated?

Both of them do almost the same job, in reducing the amount of spam that reaches my comments area within the WordPress Dashboard and also my email inbox. With both active, some spam comments may still reach my comments area within the WordPress Dashboard and also my email inbox.

I reviewed both the Akismet plugin and the SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam plugin.

I decided that I would see what happens if I disabled the Akisment plugin for the moment. The SI CAPCHA Anti-Spam plugin affects the comments areas within my website, so I decided for now to leave that alone.

Impact Akismet has on load speed time

A comment from one of my readers wondered what impact Akismet has on load speed time, so I did some testing. This is what I did.

I used a tool that Google have at:
https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

I performed some testing with the WordPress Akismet Plugin enabled and with it disabled.

In my case, there was no difference in results. I assume that this is because Akismet is a WordPress plugin designed to help reduce the amount of comment related spam from reaching your inbox in the first place.

Other WordPress plugins are used when rendering content back to the user.

The other results it showed where interesting none the less. One of their recommendations is to avoid the use of plugins altogether, although I don’t think that they are specifically referring to WordPress plugins here.

I still think that the number of WordPress Plugins that are active on a website should be as low as it can be. A WordPress Plugin should only be enabled if it clear advantages.

Every time that WordPress is upgraded there is a possibility that a WordPress Plugin may not ‘play well’ with the upgraded version of WordPress.

Even if you do a lot of testing you may not discover any errors that users may discover. In my opinion, most users are not going to let you know about those errors as they have other things to be with their time. They simply jump off your site and go elsewhere.

Website Hosting Technology Moves On

This post was originally written in April 2015. Since then many webhosts have implemented additional functionally which means that the functionally provided by one or both of these WordPress Plugins may be handled by your webhost at the server level.

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David
Hi, I'm David, the guy behind Work From Home Notes.

I work from home. I've written guides, reviews, tips and notes that help people work from home. I include my experiences of my work from home journey.

11 thoughts on “Does Your Site Need Both Akismet And SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam?”

  1. I didn’t realize I could disable some plugins after they were set-up and still have the benefits. That is a great help to know because I have a number of plugins on my website. Thanks for the good info!

    Reply
    • Hi Gina,

      When you disable a Word Press plugin, that Word Press plugin is inactive.

      When it is inactive, you don’t have its benefits when it is inactive, so just be careful when you make a Word Press plugin inactive.

      Also bear in mind, that after a Word Press update, some Word Press plugins may not be fully ‘ready’ for the Word Press update. It can take a while for those ‘unready’ Word Press plugins to become fully ‘ready’, and some fall by the roadside.

      Thanks for dropping by and for your feedback.

      Kind Regards,
      David

      Reply
  2. I’m no expert on this stuff, but I thought these two plugins had totally different purposes and I didn’t think Captcha would work for spam. It would be great if it does because you are right that website load speed is hugely important especially since mobile is getting bigger every day. It would be good to know the impact Akismet has on load speed time.

    Reply
    • Hi Eoin,

      Thanks for your comments and for dropping by.

      The way I see it and I may need some re-education, is that if a reader has to complete the Captcha before sending the comment, it is going to stop an amount of spam comments, not all spam comments, just the ones generated by automated bots.

      I plan on doing some performance related testing regarding the impact that Akismet has on speed load time in the near future.

      Kind Regards,
      David

      Reply
      • Hi again Eoin,

        I wanted to follow up on the impact that the Akismet WordPress Plugin has on load speed time point that we were discussing earlier. I did some testing and added an additional section about that testing along with my results to my post above.

        Interesting or what,
        David

        Reply
  3. Really good website. I love the layout how have you managed to get the dropdown menu at the top?

    Reply
    • Hi Cam,

      The WordPress theme I am using defaults to putting the main menu there. When pages (not posts) are added, they automatically are added here. However this can be overridden in the WordPress dashboard. Go to appearance, then menu. Change the ‘from box’ to include all. Then create a new menu and then add options to it. Then at the bottom, tick on the main header menu. And update.

      Then visit the website to ensure it is what you want.

      Kind Regards,
      David

      Reply
  4. Thank you for this informative post.

    I have been wondering if I should have the captcha anti-spam plugin on my website. I don’t have it yet, and in almost two months I have had 33 comments on spam folder and only one got through to comments.

    Luckily my settings are set so that no comment can be published without my approval.

    So what do you think, could I notice some benefit by having captcha anti-spam plugin on my site or is it better in my case leave it as it is and have faster site displaying?

    Cheers!
    Maria

    Reply
    • Hi Maria,

      Thanks for your feedback.

      If you don’t have SI Captcha Anti-Spam plugin on your website, you have something like it. If someone enters a comment they have to fill in the random few characters before the comment is sent on its merry way to you. This stops automated bots from sending you automated comments, however it does not stop someone from sending you a comment that no way relates to the content on your website. The Akisment plugin (if active) can help in identifying these as potentially spam.

      It looks to me that you already have this covered. No change in my opinion is required. 🙂

      Kind Regards,
      David

      Reply
      • Hi again David!

        You are right, I actually do have captcha anti-spam plugin on my website… Silly me :0 It was already installed so I haven’t paid attention to it.

        Anyway thank you for the explanation about the differences between captcha and Akismet. Now I see why I need both of them.

        Keep up the great work!
        Maria

        Reply
        • Hi again Maria,

          Thanks for the additional feedback. Ideally if a website owner is not too concerned about overall website performance, measured in this instance by how quickly it displays content back to the website user, the website owner would use both.

          I have of course assumed that the content is top notch, as it is very important that the content makes sense to the reader. If a reader is already familiar with the content that you generate and they know that it is going to add value to them in some way, they will wait in a lot of cases. However if someone clicked on a link to your post from a search engine and do not already ‘know you’, they are less likely to wait (in my opinion).

          Each additional WordPress plug-in that is active on a website has the potential to ‘slow it down a bit’, so I like to run my websites with the minimum number of WordPress plug-ins active. That is my take.

          Like a lot of things in life, everyone has different points of view on this.

          Kind Regards,
          David

          Reply

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