Open Source Extras Akismet Examples Standalone usage

If you use custom form-handling snippets in MODX that you want to protect against spam with Akismet, you can re-use our work (v1.1+).

Grab the Akismet class

Akismet is not automatically loaded as a service, we recommend the following code to check if it is installed/available:

$path = $modx->getOption('akismet.core_path', null, MODX_CORE_PATH . 'components/akismet/');
$path .= 'vendor/autoload.php';
if (!file_exists($path)) {
    // Handle the case where akismet is not available
    return "Unable to check for spam";
require_once $path;

Check for spam

Next, create an instance of the modmore\Akismet\Akismet class, and call the checkSpam method. Because both the instantiation and checkSpam can cause an exception, wrap the whole thing in a try {} catch () {} block.

try {
    $akismet = new Akismet($modx);
    $values = ...; // see below
    $config = ...; // see below
    $isSpam = $akismet->checkSpam($values, $config);
    if ($isSpam) {
        // Handle spammy form submissions
catch (InvalidAPIKeyException $e) {
    $modx->log(modX::LOG_LEVEL_ERROR, 'Akismet API key not found. Please add it in the MODX system settings. Form is submitting without a spam check...');
catch (GuzzleException $e) {
    $modx->log(modX::LOG_LEVEL_ERROR, $e->getMessage() . ': ' . $e->getTraceAsString());
catch (xPDOException $e) {
    $modx->log(modX::LOG_LEVEL_ERROR, $e->getMessage() . ': ' . $e->getTraceAsString());

Passing $values and $config options

There are two ways to provide configuration to the class.

  1. Provide an array of submitted values in $values, and an array of $config that matches the snippet properties.
  2. Provide only an array of values, already using the Akismet keys.

An example of option 1:

// could just be $values = $_POST, but in this case we want to show the structure of the array
$values = [
    'name' => $_POST['name'],
    'email' => $_POST['email'],
    'message' => $_POST['message'],

// could just be $config = $scriptProperties, but in this case we want to show the structure of the array
$config = [
    'akismetType' => 'signup'
    'akismetAuthor' => 'name',
    'akismetAuthorEmail' => 'email',
    'akismetContent' => 'message'  

$isSpam = $akismet->checkSpam($values, $config);
// or:
$isSpam = $akismet->checkSpam($_POST, $scriptProperties);

An example of option 2:

// Note the key names must now match the Akismet api @
$values = [
    'comment_type' => 'signup',
    'comment_author' => $_POST['name'],
    'comment_author_email' => $_POST['email'],
    'comment_content' => $_POST['message'],

$isSpam = $akismet->checkSpam($values);

These are functionally identical. Option 1 is easier to implement in a snippet (just pass $_POST and $scriptProperties and configure it like you would FormIt or Register), while option 2 gives you a bit more control.