Howdy, if you’re on this page…it means you’re considering using a captcha service to prevent spam submissions in your WordPress forms by protecting the forms on your website – be it your contact form, order form, or any other form from the menace of automated bots.
If you’re still wondering whether you must use one, I highly recommend that you should along with these must-have WordPress plugins for all website owners. As a fellow webmaster, I have seen how spamming can drive you crazy. At first, it starts slowly when you first create a website. But once you start publishing content regularly on your site and it is indexed by search engines, bad bots start crawling through the content on your site looking for relevant keywords and start spamming your site.
Some bots spam you with related links and messages while others spam you with unrelated links leading to potentially infected websites that might infect your computer. It’s better to not click on them.
Why use a captcha service
Captcha services help you distinguish bots from humans by making them solve challenges that ideally only human beings should be able to solve. It can be as simple as just figuring out what the word is and type it in a box or as complex as solving a small quiz or mathematical question.
With increased complexity, you can keep most of the bots out of your site. But, it can also keep the real users away. There have been many times when I was not able to solve a captcha. I’m pretty sure you would have faced this situation at least once when you were signing up for a new account, a newsletter, or submitting a form somewhere on the web.
The best way to use captcha on your site is to keep it simple enough for most users to solve them but not too easy for bots to overcome it. That’s why we have services like Google’s reCaptcha, hCaptcha, and few others that make our jobs really easy. You needn’t break your head designing a captcha system. Instead, you could just leverage the existing ones.
Why choose hCaptcha over reCaptcha
Even though there are many captcha services out there, the one which stands out the most is Google’s reCaptcha since it is what people have seen everywhere due to its popularity. But, it is not always the best choice. And nowadays, people are becoming wary of Google and are focusing on other privacy-focused alternatives.
Android users are already flocking to free and open-source alternatives to proprietary Android applications.
That’s where hCaptcha comes in.
hCaptcha is a privacy-focused alternative to reCaptcha that protects user privacy by not tracking users, rewards website owners for every captcha solved and helps companies get their machine learning models trained by getting their data labeled by real users. It’s a win for all the parties involved. Now that you know how hCaptcha can benefit you, let’s see how you can set up and use it in your WordPress forms using WPForms.
How to set up hCaptcha in WPForms
Time needed: 15 minutes.
Please note that this tutorial applies only to WPForms users. If you haven’t got WPForms on your site yet, install it first before proceeding. You may also want to check out my WPForms review before installing.
- Select hCaptcha in WPForms
Login to your WordPress site, navigate to WPForms –> Settings page, and click on the CAPTCHA tab. From there, select the hCaptcha option.
- Add your website to hCaptcha
To connect WPForms with hCaptcha, you need to generate a new site key which is nothing but an API key to authenticate your hCaptcha account with your WordPress site. Login to your hCaptcha account and click on the New Site button. You can give your site a name under the Add New Sitekey section.
- Configure hCaptcha settings
From the General Information section, you can configure your hCaptcha settings like hostnames (domain name of the website where you’ll be using hCaptcha), captcha difficulty, and captcha filters by audience interests (display captcha related to your site’s niche and target audience). Once you have configured everything, don’t forget to save your changes.
- Copy hCaptcha Site Key
You will now be redirected to your site key’s settings page. Click on the Settings button to view your full site key.
- Add hCaptcha Site Key to WPForms
From the above page, copy the site key and paste it into your WPForms settings page under the Site Key setting which we saw in Step 1.
- Copy hCaptcha Secret Key
Save your site key on hCaptcha website to go back to your site key overview page. From there, click on the Settings tab and copy your secret key from the Secret Key section. Now, go back to the above step and paste your Secret Key as well.
- Configure other hCaptcha settings
Now that you have added your hCaptcha site and secret keys to WPForms, you can configure other hCaptcha settings like failure message, no-conflict mode, and captcha preview provided by WPForms on your site.
- Add hCaptcha to your WordPress form
Once you have saved the above changes, create a new form or edit an existing one using WPForms and click on the hCaptcha field under the Standard Fields section. To confirm if hCaptcha is enabled on your form, just look for the ‘hCaptcha Enabled‘ badge in the upper right corner of your form builder. Alternatively, you can turn on or off hCaptcha for individual forms under the form’s general settings.
You have now successfully enabled hCaptcha in WPForms. All you need to do is test it by submitting a dummy form entry by solving the captcha. Once that’s done, you know how to set up and use the hCaptcha in WPForms. Congrats!
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