You know, this is a bit awkward to admit, but apparently I haven’t been paying for Akismet. Like, ever.
It’s not that I was trying to skip over my duty to our wonderful spam fighting plugin or that I even was attempting to cheat any system that was made available to me – I simply did not think of ever coming back to the system and being reminded that I should pay for the service if I’m using it for a product or commercial service.
And there’s really no one that I can blame except for myself – because Akismet and Automattic are certainly not following up on me. Like, ever.
Did you know that if you were selling any product or service or doing anything remotely commercial with your WordPress-powered blog that you should be sporting Automattic $5 a month, minimum?
It’s right here, clear as day:
If your site is for a business or if it promotes a product or service, you should pick from one of our paid account options.
Oops. My bad.
The thing is that Akismet is not “checking” your site and clearing it for commercial license and neither is the system “closed” if you don’t pay (or even stop paying). Akismet still continues to work, just as it has intended to, whether or not you’re making a butt-load of cash from your WordPress blog.
So, is there anyone at fault? Is there anyone to blame? Not technically I suppose – if there’s anyone truly at fault it’s us, the commercial users that have forgotten to come back and pay the dues for such a nice service, a service that I suspect 10’s of thousands (hundreds of thousands?!) of users have taken for granted.
Even for WP Daily which has yet to make an explicit dollar from advertising we are writing about and promoting commercial products and we are looking to monetize the site so that we can continue to keep the lights on. As a result, we went ahead and paid Akismet our monthly sub.
And for $5, it’s well worth the pain of having to work with another spam system or even build our own.
So, are you forgetting to give a little love to Akismet? Who’s fault is it that you haven’t paid, especially if you’re selling commercial products or services? What if Akismet started “turning off” the service for obvious use cases of sites and blogs that weren’t paying?
This isn’t an indictment against anyone and I’m not calling anyone out at all – in fact, if anything I’m admitting that we’ve fallen short here! But we are grateful for the Akismet service, despite it’s imperfection at times, and don’t want to take it for granted.