We recently had to disable our Akismet plug-in, which offered reasonable protection from spam, but not stellar performance.
How they plug their plug-in ...
"Used by millions, Akismet is quite possibly the best way in the world to protect your blog from comment and trackback spam. It keeps your site protected from spam even while you sleep. To get started: 1) Click the "Activate" link to the left of this description, 2) Sign up for an Akismet API key, and 3) Go to your Akismet configuration page, and save your API key."
At a cost of $50 per month for unlimited WordPress commercial websites, some users want alternatives. Several spammy comments got by the protection anyway. We immediately though it would be a good idea to dump the comments section from WordPress.
For years Askismet was provided free with our WordPress host. But a compatibility problem prevented the host service from offering Akismet with a shared API key. Each website publisher was forced to get their own API key. Then came the shocker -- $50 per month for any Akismet spam protection coverage greater than ONE website.
The host provider didn't warn users about the cost. We thought we would just activate a new API key. Deactiveted to old key and then watched spam increase at a rate of about three spammy comments per minute or 2300 new spammy comments in 12 hours -- without any protection. Instead of paying $50 per month, we removed the COMMENTS SECTION TAG ...
<?php comments_template(); ?>
You'll find yours in your Single Post (single.php) Template. You can search comments in your template to jump to the text illustrated above in bold. Simply remove the text and your comments section is removed.
As soon as we removed the COMMENTS SECTION TAG, the spammy comments stopped, except for about four that trickled in over the next five hours (forgot to uncheck "Allow people to post comments on new articles" in the Discussion Setting).
In summary, it's not very easy to learn how to delete the comment section. It's surprising there isn't a control feature in the discussion section that would complete the operation.
We're wondering how much the lack of a comment section and the lack of processing the pending spammy comments will increase the speed of our website and decrease the load on the host server.