Akismet Alternative: GASP Anti Spambot

Lately, there has been some buzz about Growmap’s Anti Spambot (GASP), a WordPress plugin, in the sphere. Developed by none other than Andy Bailey of CommentLuv, GASP is already being considered by some to be a real alternative to Akismet.

As many of you may know, the popular Akismet is a WordPress plugin, whose main job is to block unwanted (SPAM) comments. As a matter of fact, Akismet comes as a standard WordPress plugin when new installations are being made. Lately though, it has been humored that Akismet is being accidentally used to flag legitimate users as spammers. Also, it appears that In some cases Akismet has been deleting comments prior to users being able to see them. Gail of GrowMap has extensive information about this and if you are interested, you can read her post about it, which already has generated a massive 300 plus comments.

Being recommended by Justin of DragonBlogger and Ileane of BasicBlogTips, two people that I highly trust, I also wrote a small post about GASP in the Technology section of iBlogZone.com and decided to give it a test run on one of my other websites. Satisfied with the results, I installed GASP here on iBlogZone.com, deactivated Akismet and five days later, I am in a position to “confirm” that this Anti spambot works well and has been doing a good job since. So satisfied that I will be using it as my “default” Anti spam engine for not only this blog but on all of my other websites (for the time being).

Nothing more to say. If you have been looking for a serious alternative to Akismet, GASP delivers and installing the plugin is easy and free. Just be sure to install the latest update of GrowMap’s AntiSpam Bot, as the first release appears to have some minor glitches as identified by Justin (see link above). If for some reason you are one of those that prefer to use captchas, you can give this one a test drive – Making Money With Sponsored Captcha.

So, have you installed GASP yet? What do you think about it? Do you agree on what people are saying about Akismet? What say you?

UPDATE: 27/10/2010. In case some of you are wondering if you can use both GASP and Akismet at the same time, the answer is yes. Right after I published this post, I reactivated Akismet and worked with both plugins simultaneously. Results so far are looking good. More details (maybe) soon!


DiTesco is a Business and Inbound Marketing Consultant, and founder of iBlogzone.com. iBlogzone's main objective is to help startups and small business owners achieve success in their online ventures. | More About Me and my Digital Marketing Services in SP Brazil.

44 thoughts on “Akismet Alternative: GASP Anti Spambot

  • It seems more bloggers are switching to GASP. I’m thinking I may have to try out the plugin to replace Akismet myself. I have noticed some unusual behaviour with how it handles my comments as well.

    • Hi Paul. Unusual behavior is what I have been having problems with. Reason why I gave GASP a test drive. I have to admit that so far it is working well and it also does not appear to “frighten” commenters just as yet 🙂 Akismet worked silently but…. Do give it a try, maybe you’ll like it as much as I do 🙂

  • Hi DiTesco, I’m really pleased with GASP and the free time that I have on my hands since I installed it. I no longer need to be concerned that some of my friends have landed in the spam area of my dashboard among the unpleasant company of spambots.
    I like the way you customized the message next to the check box by adding “nothing personal”. Did you change any of the other settings in GASP?

    • Hi Ileane. Could not agree with you more when it comes to having to check in the SPAM folder if there were friends that “accidentally” landed there 🙂 As far as other settings are concerned, nope, did not change anything aside from the “nothing personal”. Default is good to go as is. Thanks for stopping by.

  • It is getting a real buzz around the blogosphere. I know Gail from Growmap was so pleased as she was getting so much spam and along comes Andy with this. I haven’t changed over yet as soon as I think techie I panic lol
    So far with only a new blog I can manage to delete the few spam I get but I have noticed recently a couple of my regular readers ended up there! Great to know there’s an alternative to akismet that works.
    Patricia Perth Australia

    • Patricia, I hope you know you won’t have ANY spam after the installation. And I’m only saying this from experience. It’s been some time since I’ve had to check. 🙂

    • Oh this works like a charm Patricia and the installation is as easy as can be, just like any plugin for WP. Install and activate, nothing else. This is almost an out of the box plugin and unless you want to change the messages it shows, you are good to go. Let me know if you need help.

    • I finally did it. As with anything to do with updating plugins or remotely techie I panic. But Gail from GrowMap message me and say it easy to do so I took the plunge. Was so easy to install and no spam which is great 🙂 so happy I did it and would recommend it to others too.

      Patricia Perth Australia

      • That’s great Patricia. That’s really awesome that you “bit the bullet”. Most of the time this is all what it takes to move on. Glad you have now installed and working well. Keep it up.

  • DiTesco, hope things are well with you.

    For the record, I installed the initial release and I never had a problem. I will check to see what Justin has discovered before I get the newer one. Just one of those “if it aint broke” things.

    I’m so glad you wrote about this, we really need to get the word out. I just don’t see how any blogger can use anything else – this is the absolute best thus far.

    Good to see you around.

    • Hi Kissie. All is well, tks. Good to see you here and you are spot on when you say that “if it ain’t broke”… lol. Anyway, the update is just as easy as when you installed the first version. Justin’s post does clarify the minor bug that occurred when people tried to check the box. Anyway, thanks for stopping by and do have a great week ahead.

      • Thank you for sharing these insights in this review and to all the bloggers who have commented on using G.A.S.P. and are promoting it in their own blogs.

        There is a changelog section in the WordPress page for every plugin that indicates what changes with each version. The original version worked fine; however, there have been significant improvements since then:

        0.4 added the warning suggested by Dazzlin Donna Fontenot that pops up a message if you forget to check the box. That eliminated the problem of possibly losing your comment if you forget.

        1.01 resolved a problem that the plugin did not work with some custom Themes (identified by Dragonblogger).

        Before 1.02 the plugin blocked trackbacks and pingbacks. Ileane noticed that and asked that they be unblocked.

        Some bloggers including Dragonblogger are plagued by spam trackbacks / pingbacks so he did not like the 1.02 change. In response, Andy created 1.04 which allows each blogger to either block or allow all trackbacks and pingbacks. Dragonblogger suggests using another plugin to filter those if you have a problem with pingback or trackback spam.

  • GASP works very well for stopping automated spam. It however will do nothing against manual spammers, which is why a plugin such as Typepad Antispam, Defensio, or Akismet is useful.

    • Hi Aaron. Totally agree with you, however, there is still the matter of your comments being moderated by “non-approved” users. In my case, all comments that have not yet attained at least 3 approved comments, they all go into the “moderation” mode. I think it is better this way than “hitting” that empty SPAM folder. I used to do this specially when there were tons labeled as SPAM. It between the process I am sure that there are friends of mine in there…

      • Probably 90+% of bloggers using G.A.S.P. disable Akismet and that is what I would recommend because Akismet is rude to commentators; however, I have not heard of any problems running them both and by blocking the spambots at least it would be easier to find the real comments that get sent to spam.

        Do make sure you don’t have that box checked that immediately deletes comments in posts older than 30 days though. Most bloggers think that setting gives them 30 days to review comments in spam but what it does is immediately delete comments if the POST is older than 30 days.

        When that happens the commentator sees a blank white screen. If you see white screens only in some blogs you have probably been flagged as a spammer and need to ask Akismet if you want to be unflagged. Be sure to note the exact name, email and Website you use and probably even whether you used the www or non-www version of your domain and whether you included the trailing slash. Most databases are very specific about EXACT data so you may be flagged for some but not all variations or your URL or name.

        Not that there are other technical problems that could show you the blank white screen after you submit a comment but being flagged by Akismet as a spammer is probably the most common reason.

  • Hi DiTesco,

    Knowing that you and Ileane give it two thumbs up is good enough for me. =)

    I actually did install it the other day, later to realize it does not work with Disqus only the default WP comment system.

    Trying to make the default system work with my template so I can add this plugin as well as the DoFollow one… was having some technical difficulties. Going to give it another shot tonight.

    Wish me luck and thanks again!

    • Hi Michele. I completely forgot that you are using a non standard WP commenting system. This is among other things why I got rid of JS-Kit and ID (lost a lot of comments on the migration process). Hopefully you can make it work. Good luck!

      BTW, you might have “touched” on an interesting topic for a blog post 😉

  • I switched to GASP a week back. It works really well. It unobtrusive and gets rid of the spam it’s. With akisment I still had to clear out the bot slams. GASP keeps the not spammers completely out of my in box.

    • Hi Richard. thanks for letting us know about your experience with GASP. That’s another thumbs up. Tks for stopping by

  • Also, it appears that In some cases Akismet has been deleting comments prior to users being able to see them.

    The Akismet WordPress plugin will delete comments under two conditions. First, it will delete comments marked as spam that are older than 15 days. Second, it can optionally delete comments considered spam on posts that are older than a month. That second condition is not enabled by default and will only happen if the user specifically enables it on the ‘Akismet Configuration’ page in wp-admin.

    • Hi Joseph. thanks for letting me know about these two conditions. Quite frankly I never bothered looking at them despite having used Akismet since the inception of this blog. The truth of the matter is that up to now, I have not had one single SPAM in my folder and if what @Bryan (see comment) is confirmed, then it will be difficult to even make a comparison in the future, unless of course some major changes are made. Tks and I appreciate your thoughts about this.

  • Love G.A.S.P plugin.

    Akismet and GASP work well together, my blog is free spam bots after i installed GASP.

    • Hi Kimi. Good to see you here. Thanks for letting us know that you too are satisfied with GASP. The more people happier with it the better. Tks for stopping by

  • I actually had doubts that GASP is just another overrated antispam plugin but after hearing from a blogger who actually tested it and proven to work makes me ashamed for doubting it. I will also use this on my blogs and I hope there will be no future problems on this new plugin.

    • Hi Andrea. The plugin is very easy to install and as far as I know, it is totally compatible with any theme. Can’t obviously give you a 100% that it will work, but as they say, try it and see how it goes 🙂

      • Will do and thanks.

  • I had tried to use that Akismet and GASP before and it really works. Well, maybe there are some bloggers who are not familiar of this and find it somehow difficult to use or such a waste but to tell you, it really works well as you never expect it to be.

  • I’m a bit surprised that none of the above commenters mentions the other new reason to consider alternatives to Akismet. It is no longer a ‘free’ plugin for Commercial users of WordPress. While it appears that the API key is grandfathered in on existing sites when they upgrade to WordPress 3.0, new sites must to subscribe to Akismet for $5.00/month.
    While this is not a commentary or recommendation about the new policy, it has forced me to consider alternatives to offer to my local website customers.

    • Now this is all new to me Bryan and quite frankly a very strong argument to find alternatives to Akismet. If Akismet does go forward and charge $5 a month I am pretty convinced that it only will be a matter of time until “new” WP users do consider using other alternatives. Thanks for the info and do you mind if I ask you where you saw this?

      • DiTesco,
        I saw this from within WordPress plugin panel when trying to activate Akismet.
        I first noticed this a couple weeks ago when I created a new blog on a new domain using WordPress 3.0. My typical configuration steps are to create a corresponding WordPress.com account for the client to grab an API key. The menu within WordPress changed to indicate several paid options.
        I also observed at the same time that while upgrading to WordPress 3.0 on an existing site which already had Akismet activated, it allowed me to keep the existing key. Hence, my conclusion on the grandfathering aspect.

    • Akismet has had paid account options since the very beginning.

      • Joseph,
        Well, I’m feeling like I have ‘stupid’ written all over my forehead.
        I just went back into the blog I originally mentioned, and it let me add an existing API key with no problem.

        I’m just wondering now what I did before because I spent a considerable amount of time trying to get past the $5/month option, and I didn’t see it this time…

        in the immortal words of Homer Simpson, DOH!

        • Hi Bryan. No harm done and on the contrary, it is things like this that makes it all worthwhile. Now at least we all know what “paid” option Akismet has (as I said, I did not even know they had paid options). I too being curious as I am verified this info from Akismet’s website and the only thing I was slightly concerned about was the “fine” line between the free API key and the commercial API key.

  • I installed GASP the day after it was released. It works great no more bot spam. Now if I can get this added to my contact forms plugin, it would be even better.

    • Hi there. Thanks for stopping by. The options to include it on your contact form is a great idea and maybe you can shoot an email to Andy to have him you at it. If its doable, I’m sure he’ll do it.

  • Actually akismet was centralizing all the data about people being reported as spam and if someone got flagged twice his comment was deleted automatically. I think you can see the problem here? Malicious people can flag a normal comment as spam and thus harming some legit person.
    GASP is cool because it just checks if you are a bot or not, and you have to approve the comments you get thus letting you to decide if you want to delete the comment or not.
    Until now GASP works well, that is until spammers will figure it out:P

  • Our blogs do not attract a lot of commenters, and so far most of the comments marked spam by Akismet has really been spam.

    But reading about this new anti-spam plugin GASP, I’ll consider it installing it to our other blogs to see the difference.

  • Found out about this plugin from Justin (Dragonblogger.com). I’ve been using Akismet since I started using WordPress and never had a problem with it until a few weeks back when I noticed that my comments were appearing on some of the blogs I visit. I contacted the Akismet team about it and it was fixed a couple days later. I think what happened was some bloggers have flagged my comments as spam (intentionally or unintenionally, i don’t know).

    Anyways, the GASP plugin is a very good option/alternative. I might just give it a try one of these days.

    Btw, haven’t been here in a while. Good to see you back to blogging. 😀

    • Hi Jaypee Thanks and good to see you here too. Akismet has been for a long time my antispam of choice and I have not yet totally abandoned them. I actually am now running a test of both plugins simultaneously and it appears to be doing well. We’ll see how it goes and if you do try it, let us know what you think about it. Your opinion will be greaty appreciated and to me is worth a lot 🙂 Thanks for stopping by-

  • You can use GASP and Akismet at the same time, but the primary reason not to is that Akismet will sometimes SPAM good users comments on you and you may miss them if you don’t check your SPAM bucket. On the other token, GASP will never block or SPAM a valid users comment.

    I still think GASP needs one more update that allows you to set comments with 2 or more URL’s in the comment to auto SPAM, I am still seeing about 5-8 comments per day coming into my pending queue that should go to my SPAM queue if possible, yet I don’t want to use Akismet which has blocked several regular commenters on my site even though they leave 3-5 comments per week they end up in spam sometimes with Akismet.

  • I’m loving it. I turned off Akismet with no regrets. The spam is nearly gone completely. I’m slowly switching my clients’ blogs over because it works so much better. Love the new pop up window ad since I’m guilty of forgetting to check it.

  • Just discovered GASP when doing a search for alternatives to Akismet. Had only a few minor issues with Akismet as far as functionality, but the price is insane if you have multiple sites. GASP is a wonderful alternative and works great. Kudos to the developers!

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