New: Akismet for MODX

Everyone hates spam.

A few defense mechanisms currently exist for MODX. Some of these aim to break naive/fully-automated spam attempts (by having a hidden "honeypot" field or requiring CSRF tokens), but these days spammers are pretty good at avoiding those. And then there's CAPTCHAs, which forces your visitors to do math, identify traffic lights, or accept Google will profile their behavior to tell apart users from bots. Even reCAPTCHA is routinely broken by spammers, while also hurting site performance and accessibility. 

About a year ago, the signup spam on SiteDash had gotten very severe, despite CSRF tokens and several other measures. 78% of signups were spam, which was actually causing email abuse reports from the activation emails going out. At that point we added Akismet, and almost all of the spam disappeared.

Akismet works by analysing a bunch of information about a comment or signup, and automatically identifying new spam patterns as they emerge. Not just on your own site: but on the internet at large. It's made by the company behind WordPress, and used on millions of sites, all feeding information to The Machine to answer that one simple question: is this message spam?

It's an extremely effective solution, and we're now bringing it to MODX with a new (and free!) extra.

Our new Akismet extra integrates with both FormIt and Login/Register, to help you combat both (contact) form and signup spam.

It's implemented in your forms in a matter of minutes:

  1. Signup with Akismet. It's free for personal sites, and quite affordable for commercial sites.
  2. Install Akismet from our package provider.
  3. Add your Akismet API Key to the akismet.api_key system setting.
  4. Add the snippet (as a hook) to your FormIt or Register snippet calls.

The extra also comes with a dedicated component to override the spam check results, in case Akismet got it wrong. That helps Akismet recognise the patterns in the future, improving the reliability and effectiveness.

Screenshot of the component in Akismet, listing spam checks and the results.

This Akismet integration is free and open source. Feature requests and bug reports are welcome on GitHub.

If this integration helps you deal with spam, please consider supporting open source work with a donation.