Despite the essence of file upload forms, they are invitations for spams and fake files. It is very tedious having to comb through all the uploaded files trying to sort the real forms submitted by a human being from those sent by spambots. Most people do not love spending much of their precious time and resources doing all those annoying tasks. And neither do you.
On this post, will discuss on building a Spam-free contact form for your WordPress web site, that is, adding a reCAPTCHA anti-spam tool to your contact form that will help you safeguard your website from fake file submissions.
Previously, before the introduction of reCAPTCHA, web site owners were using CAPTCHA as anti-spam tools. CAPTCHA would require web site users to complete simple tasks such as completing a simple math test or entering specific text in the CAPTCHA field. If the CAPTCHA field was not filled or filled wrongly, CAPTCHA could block the submission of that file. Hence, spambots could not submit forms. CAPTCHA is not the best tool as it may blocks away real website users, especially users with specific sight disabilities, from sending their files. Luckily, Google improved reCAPTCHA, more straightforward and user-friendly anti-spam tool. ReCAPTCHA does not require users to answer any quiz; they are only supposed to mark an “I’m not a robot” checkbox and reCAPTCHA detects that you are not a bot. However, there are two main types of ReCaptcha; v2reCAPTCHA and reCAPTCHAv3. There are two reCAPTCHAv2; with interactive checkbox and invisible reCAPTCHA.
I have tried Contact Form 7 + reCAPTCHAv3 and it is not working for me. WPForms + reCAPTCHA works well.
reCAPTCHAv3 uses a behind-the-scenes scoring system to detect and block abusive traffic all over your web site.
Here are two main reasons why choose reCAPTCHA for your WordPress web site.
- Block spam file submissions – reCAPTCHA requires a user to verify that he is a human. If a user does not verify, he is blocked from submitting his forms. Since bots cannot check, they are prevented from sending forms hence improving your website’s security. In addition to that, reCAPTCHA helps reduce form abandonment rate as users feel that their files are secure due to the improved security.
- Easy to use – Sometimes CAPTCHA was hard to get right. Thus, users could not submit files. reCAPTCHA does not require web site users to complete any test. Instead, users should mark the checkbox, and the anti-spam tool understands that they are not automated bots. For that reason, reCAPTCHA makes it easy for all users to submit their files. The tool’s user-friendliness also helps in reducing the abandonment rate.
Steps to build a spam-free WordPress Contact Form using reCAPTCHA
Let us now look at our step-by-step guide on how to build Spam-free WordPress contact forms using reCAPTCHA.
Step 1: Create a Contact Form in WordPress
The first step to take is to install and activate WPForms plugin for your WordPress. When enabled, create a new contact form. On your WordPress dashboard, go to WPForms then Add New and select Simple Contact Form. A simple contact form template will appear on your screen. Drug and drop any form field you like considering the information you want your user to fill and click the Save button.
Step 2: Configure the reCAPTCHA setting
When done creating a contact form, proceed to the next step, which is setting up reCAPTCHA. Go to settings on WPForms and click on reCAPTCHA tab and select one of the three options; reCAPTCHAv2, invisible reCAPTCHA, or reCAPTCHAv3 to add an interactive reCAPTCHA box on your form. ReCAPTCHAv2 is the most convenient and highly recommendable. We will select reCAPTCHAv2 on this guide.
Enter the site key and secret key to use reCAPTCHA(requirement).
You can generate these keys by visiting Google’s reCAPTCHA setup page – the service is free of charge provided by Google. On this setup page, click on the Admin Console button and sign in to your Google account. On signing in, you will be redirected to a reCAPTCHA registration site and register your web site. After registration, select the reCAPTCHA type you want to add to your site. In this case, we will choose reCAPTCHAv2 and click on “I’m not a robot” checkbox. Fill all the required details and click on submit button. On submission, site key and secret key will appear.
Copy and paste both keys to your reCAPTCHA interactive box on your WPFoms and click on Save Settings box to activate the reCAPTCHA anti-spam tool on your web site.
Step 3: Add reCAPTCHA checkbox to your contact form
To add reCAPTCHA checkbox, go to form editor, add field and click on reCAPTCHA button. An interactive box notifying you that google’s reCAPTCHAv2 has been enabled will be displayed; on the interactive box, click on OK button. A reCAPTCHA enabled badge will appear on the top right corner of your form.
Remember to save changes when done.
Step 4: Add Complete Contact Form with reCAPTCHA to your WordPress
WPForms allows you to add contact forms in various locations in your WordPress web site including web pages, blog posts, and sidebar widgets. On this guide, we will add our contact form on the most common location; web page or post.
You can add on an existing or create a new page. Inside the page block, click on Add WPForms icon and select the contact form we created on the dropdown on the modal popup. Your page, with a reCAPTCHA-enabled contact form, will be ready for publication.
Lastly, click on the publish button to publish your page on your web site.
If you want to add an invisible reCAPTCHA, you will follow the same steps as on this guide. Only step two varies. On step two, you will select Invisible reCAPTCHAv2. While registering your website, you will choose the invisible reCAPTCHA badge while selecting reCAPTCHA type instead of clicking on “I’m not a robot.” All other steps are the same.
With the above simple steps, you can build a spam-free contact form and continue providing service to your users without having to spend a lot of your time worrying about fake submissions.
Try WPForms + reCAPTCHA now
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