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CleanTalk vs Akismet: An Unbiased Comparison

By | First Published: | Last Updated: 14 March, 2024

No one likes spam, and small business owners are no different. Small business websites are common sources of spam. Yet, they are essential for modern businesses. For years, WordPress website owners have been relying on Akismet since 2005 to stop spam in its tracks. But now, newcomer CleanTalk is rising to challenge  Akismet. Here is what you need to know about CleanTalk vs Akismet.

Cleantalk vs Akismat: Which is Better for Your Small Business?

Akismet and Cleantalk are WordPress plugins that help prevent spam. Spam is not just annoying. It can affect your ranking in Google through:

Dropping the quality of your content with spammy content

Inserting spammy links into your website

Inserting viruses into your website

So, preventing spam is important for your small business website.

In this article, I compare Cleantalk and Akismet. This is an unbiased review, as I am not affiliated with either Akismet or Cleantalk.

Spoiler – I recommend CleanTalk in most cases. But read on, because making an informed decision leads to making a better decision.

Akismet vs CleanTalk in a Nutshell

Both Akismet and Cleantalk are like virtual versions of security stations at airports. Before a comment or message is processed, they assess its characteristics. They then decide whether the comment or message is genuine or spam. They then process (let through) genuine messages while blocking spam.


Easy to use

Largely set and forget

Covers Comment Spam

Covers Form Spam

No Free Option

Honeypot available on limited form plugins

Far less expensive for business websites

Cover registration forms

Integrates with more form plugins


Easy to use

Largely set and forget

Covers Comment Spam

Covers Form Spam

Free for personal websites

Uses honeypot when appropriate

More expensive for business websites

Doesn’t cover registration forms

Integrates with fewer form plugins

What is the Same?

CleanTalk and Akismet both filter out different types of spam. This includes comment form spam, contact form spam, and registration spam.

Akismet and CleanTalk are both cloud-based services. Information from your form entries is forwarded to their cloud servers, where it is assessed (in many ways) before being blocked as spam or let through to your site or email.

CleanTalk and Akismet are both good at what they do. I’m not a believer in putting all my eggs into one basket, so I also add reCAPTCHA and honeypot techniques to my contact forms. Yet, both CleanTalk and Akismet are good additions that help filter out spam from your inbox.

What Is Good About Akismet & Why I Left It?

Other than being good at fighting spam, I love that Akismet is:

  • Is made by Automattic, the company behind This means it is designed to take advantage of the existing WordPress infrastructure.
  • Is free for bloggers and other personal users

Why I Left I left Akismet is that it is too expensive for small business owners. This includes most of my web design clients and me.

For business use, Akismet starts at about $250 Australian per year.

Why I Use & Recommend CleanTalk?

For small business websites, the CleanTalk antispam service costs about $12 Australian per year.

$250 vs $12 per year …

For me, the choice is easy. For a more detailed comparison, read on.

Cleantalk & Akismet’s Features Compared

#1 Ease of Use

Both Akismet and Cleantalk are easy to use. They both work in the background searching and flagging spam. Yet, Akismet automatically blocks spam while Cleantalk gives you the option to approve it manually.

#2 Set & Forget

After installing either Cleantalk or Akismet, you set your settings. Then, both plugins largely operate in the background. However, Cleantalk does give you the option to manually allow a suspicious message through.

#3 Types of spam blocked

Akismet and Cleantalk both block spam on contact forms and within comments. However, Akismet does not block spam registrations, such as user accounts, membership forms, email forms, and alike. Cleantalk does.

#4 cost

For personal use, Akismet is free. Cleantalk is not. Yet, for business use, Cleantalk is far less expensive at $12 US per year. By contrast, Akismet is $250 US per year.

#5 honeypot

Honeypot guards against spam by adding hidden fields only visible to bots. If the field is completed, then it flags it as spam. Honeypot can also block spam due to typical bot behaviours, such as a form being filled out in less than 5 seconds.

Cleantalk and Akismet both use honeypot as an additional way to fight spam. Yet Cleantalk only uses honeypot on a small number of form plugins.

#6 integrations

At the time of writing, Cleantalk integrates with 40+ forms. Yet, Akismet only knowingly integrates with 9 of the big form plugins.

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Shaun Killian (me) is a small business owner, who is passionate about helping other small businesses succeed. He has been working with website design since 2008. He is also an expert in digital marketing, including SEO, content marketing and email marketing. In a former life, Shaun was a school teacher and principal before a heart transplant and bilateral leg amputation led him in other directions.