I had a few sites get totally smashed with comment spam the past few months. Each site has Akismet installed and working and, for the most part, the automated 'bot' spam was captured and segregated properly. When Akismet works, it works pretty well, even when a site gets hundreds and hundreds of comment spam per day.
That said, sorting through comment spam to find legitimate 'ham' comments is a chore that grows as long as the comment spam keeps coming in. So, for a week I tried out a few dozen different WordPress spam control plugins. Some seem to work OK, others conflict with installed plugins, a few haven't been updated in years, and others were more complex to setup and manage than sorting through Akismet's spam catches.
I settled on the plugin NoSpamNX which does something rather simple, yet, so far, highly effective. It puts in additional, unusable comment fields which attracts spam bots like a honeypot. The bots try to fill the field and that signals to NoSpamNX that it's actually a spambot, not a human.
No captcha. No math formula. Simple.
Options are nominal, too. Set it up to block spam, or simply mark a comment as spam (which lets Akismet do its thing). And, there's an option for a blacklist (for a single site or many sites from one list). This has worked very well the past week.
Just to add to this (I posted this in another thread) I just installed Conditional CAPTCHA on a site with Akismet. If Akismet thinks it's spam then the CAPTCHA shows up. So it's pretty unobtrusive and gives real commenters a shot of getting through. I'm going to go install it on my personal blog to see if my spam folder stops growing.
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