Do you want to keep your WordPress website free from spammy & fake submissions? In this article we will tell you how to build spam-free contact form in WordPress by making use of reCAPTCHA
If you are a website owner and have an online form on your website there are chances that you might have come across fake, spammy and bot submissions
There are several website owners who have to clear the spam and fake form submissions on a daily basis and send them to trash. You might do this for a day or maybe for a week provided they are less in number but what if you come across 100 such form submissions on a daily basis? You won’t certainly delete them one by one manually because that would be tedious task altogether and would consume a lot of time and efforts. What if we told you that you can make your life easier and hassle-free to keep spam away from your WordPress site. Keep reading to know more
Let’s get an understanding on why you receive such fake and spammy submissions
Spam bots crawl websites and are on the lookout of contact forms to send messages through WordPress contact forms. If you don’t have any protection mechanism or anti-spam functionality and if your website is a popular website then there are chances you might be bombarded with such fake and spammy bot submissions which do nothing but just waste your time.
These spam bots might even try to hijack your server and exploit your email list through your contact forms by making use of brute force attacks and that is the reason why WordPress security is of utmost importance
Also, because these are fake and bot submissions you won’t get quality leads by any chance and that is the reason why it is of utmost importance to make use of an anti-spam mechanism for WordPress
- Choosing the Right WordPress Plugin to Block or Reduce Spam
- 2 Methods to Block Spam from your Contact Forms
- How to Block Contact Form Spam in WordPress Using WPForms
- Method 1: By Using anti-spam protection in WPForms
- Method 2: By making use of reCAPTCHA mechanism inside WPForms
Choosing the Right WordPress Plugin to Block or Reduce Spam
It is of utmost importance to choose the right WordPress plugin to combat the contact form spam
In order to get rid of contact form spam forever we are going to make use of a WordPress plugin called WPForms which is one of the most popular contact form plugin and form builder for WordPress
WPForms comes in-built with honeypot spam protection feature as well as in-built reCAPTCHA form that lets you fight spam effectively
The anti-spam mechanism in WPForms will not only save your time and efforts but offer you that extra layer of security which will avoid any such fake submissions. This way you will only focus on quality leads as WPForms has already taken care of filtering out those spammy submissions.
One of the primary reason why we love WPForms is because it lets you create smart forms within minutes without hiring a developer or doing any kind of coding.
WPForms offers an automated way to reduce and block contact form spam so that you don’t have to do any kind of manual intervention.
2 Methods to Block Spam from your Contact Forms
Method 1: By Using anti-spam protection
Method 2. By making use of reCAPTCHA mechanism inside WPForms
So let’s check out the step by step process on how to keep your WordPress contact form spam free
How to Block Contact Form Spam in WordPress Using WPForms
In order to block contact form spam in WordPress you will have to install the WPForms WordPress plugin. Let’s check out the first method
Method 1: By Using anti-spam protection in WPForms
Step 1: Install the WPForms Plugin
In order to install the WPForms plugin follow the below given steps
Navigate to your WordPress dashboard
Go to the Plugins section –> Add New
Once you click on Add New you will come across a screen. In the search box type “WPForms” and then you will come across a screen similar to this one.
Now click on “Install Now” and then Activate the Plugin
Once you are done with the activation you will be asked for the License Key
Where to find the WPForms License Key
Navigate to your WordPress Dashboard and then go to the WPForms section –> Settings
Once you click on Settings you will get a window on the right hand side. Keep on scrolling down until you find the License Key section. You will come across a screen that’s similar to the one shown below
In case you have purchased the WPForms Pro plan then you can find the license key in the account which you used to purchase WPForms subscription
Now that we are done with the Installation and activation of the plugin let’s go to the next step which is creation of a simple contact form
Step 2: Create a Simple Contact Form
WPForms has several inbuilt templates which you can make use of while creating forms but for the sake of this tutorial we are going to make use of simple contact form
Follow the below given steps to create a new form.
Navigate to your WordPress dashboard –> Go to WPForms –> Add New
When you click on Add new you will come across several WPForms templates choose simple contact form template from the list. You can refer to the below screenshot to get an idea of what it looks like
Once you mouseover on the Simple contact form you will come across a screen as shown similar to the one below.
Once you click on “Create a Simple Contact Form” you will come across the form builder interface as shown below
You can rename your form and change it to whatever you want
Now you can drag the elements on the left and customize the form as per your needs. You can also rearrange/reorder the fields
Step 3: Enable anti-spam protection
Once you have created the form select the form for which you want to enable anti-spam check
In order to select your specific form navigate to your WordPress dashboard –> Click on WPForms –> All Forms
Once you click on All Forms then you will come across all the forms you have created. Now select the one for which you want to enable the anti-spam mechanism.
Go to settings and enable the checkbox which says “Enable anti-spam protection“
Method 2: By making use of reCAPTCHA mechanism inside WPForms
reCAPTCHA is one of the most popular mechanism to fight bots, separate humans from automated bots. If you have been using Internet for a while there are chances that you might have come across reCAPTCHA several times.
reCAPTCHA helps in fighting spam effectively and that is the reason why millions of website owners use it on their website to block contact form spam and keep their site free from such fake submissions.
Let’s have a look at the step by step approach on how we can add reCAPTCHA to your contact forms using WPForms
Now that you have already installed WPForms plugin then navigate to the WordPress dashboard and click on Settings
Select the Type of reCAPTCHA that you want
When you click on Settings you will come across a screen similar to this one. Choose CAPTCHA from these options and then choose reCAPTCHA (refer to the below given screenshot)
reCAPTCHA is a free anit-spam service provided by Google
Google offers 3 versions of reCAPTCHA (all supported within WPForms):
- v2 Checkbox reCAPTCHA: Prompts users to check a box to prove they’re human.
- v2 Invisible reCAPTCHA: Uses advanced technology to detect real users without requiring any input.
- v3 reCAPTCHA: Uses a behind-the-scenes scoring system to detect abusive traffic, and lets you decide the minimum passing score. Recommended for advanced use only (or if using Google AMP).
You can choose one from these 3 reCAPTCHA types
Get the Site Key and Secret Key
In order to get the keys we will have to go to Google’s reCAPTCHA site. When you visit this site you will come across a screen similar to the one shown below
Now choose the option “Admin Console”
(Note: You have to be logged into your Google account (if not, then log in to your Google account in order to do the next steps)
Once you are logged in to your Google account and click on Admin Console you will register your site with reCAPTCHA. Follow the below given steps to get this done.
First of all enter your domain name (for example, greatvillas.com), you will enter your own domain name where it says Label. In order to register your site with reCAPTCHA (Refer to the screenshot below)
Once you enter your domain name in the Label field, then in the next step choose the type of reCAPTCHA
For the sake of this tutorial we are going to choose reCAPTCHA v2 and the option “I’m not a robot” checkbox. You can choose the option which suits your requirement
Once you have chosen the desired captcha type it’s time to add your domain again (this time around without the https://)
You can add multiple domains where you wish to make use of reCAPTCHA by clicking on +
Once you are done adding your domain name it’s time to accept the terms of service and then click on Submit
Once you click on Submit you will come across a new screen wherein you will find your Site Key and Secret Key
Copy the Site Key & Secret Key where
Copy the Site Key and Secret Key and paste it where you could see the box for entering the Site Key and Secret key. (If you scroll above you will come to know where exactly to paste these two keys). Just for your reference we have shown the whole process in the below given screenshot
Once you have entered the site key and secret key then click on Save Settings
Now you would be adding the reCAPTCHA to your form
Add the reCAPTCHA to your form
In order to add the reCAPTCHA to your form you will have to switch to the WPForms form builder interface and choose reCAPTCHA element and drag it on to your form
You will find the reCAPTCHA element on the left hand side under the Standard fields inside your form builder interface
WPForms is a drag and drop WordPress form builder and you can make use of this drag and drop functionality and drag the reCAPTCHA element from the left hand side to your form. Once you have dragged the element you will see a screen similar to the one shown below
Once you click on OK you will come across the reCAPTCHA enabled symbol at the top right hand corner
This reCAPTCHA enabled badge won’t be seen on your published form. Make sure that you click on Save the settings.
That brings us to the end of this tutorial. We hope you enjoyed reading our guide on how to make your contact forms in WordPress spam-free by making use of WPForms