This has come up in a couple projects recently, so maybe others have questions on what reCAPTCHA or CAPTCHA is and why your WordPress Website forms need it.
Let’s start with what the heck is CAPTCHA?
Wikipedia does a great job at explaining so let’s just leave that to them…
A CAPTCHA (/kæp.tʃə/, an acronym for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart”) is a type of challenge–response test used in computing to determine whether or not the user is human.Wikipedia
OK, so now that we know what it is, why should you add one to your forms?
SPAM baby! I think it’s safe to say that no one likes spam. CAPTCHA reduces the bot spam. Makes it more likely that the contact forms entries are actually from your humans and not a waste of time.
Now, what’s the difference between CAPTCHA & ReCAPTCHA? ReCAPTCHA is a type of CAPTCHA.
There are more details to the ReCAPTCHA story… like that ReCAPTCHA started by using humans to type the words/numbers in an image and THAT was used not only to distinguish humans but to help digitize Google books & the New York Times archives… super cool. Two birds, one stone… nice.
Google bought ReCAPTCHA in 2009 and now provides it as a free service.
Are there other ways to provide CAPTCHA? Yes.
I use Google’s ReCAPTCHA mainly because plugins like Gravity Forms and Ninja Forms have a clean interface that simply needs two keys and you’re connected. Easy Peasy.
We’ve covered the what and the why now let’s touch on the how. Things may have changed since writing this post, here’s how I do it today.
This assumes you have a WordPress website with Gravity Forms or Ninja Forms installed and have a Google account (maybe a gmail account, G Suite or another Google login you use for your business/website).
- Log into the backend of your WordPress website that has Gravity Forms or Ninja Forms plugin installed.
- Navigate to Forms = > Settings (Gravity Forms) and scroll down to the bottom of the page.
- Follow the link “Read more about ReCAPTCHA” to open a browser tab.
- Select “Admin Console” blue button in the upper right. They certainly could have named this button more clearly… maybe “Get Your ReCAPTCHA” or something. It is what it is…
- Now you’ll be directed to a Google login (unless you’re already logged in). Be sure your logged into the account you want to use for your business/blog/website (we all have so many different accounts).
- Once you’re logged in, You’ll add a new v2 ReCAPTCHA. Select the “+” to create a new ReCAPTCHA.
- Add the label (I always include the website ie., mysite.com), select the v2, enter your domain, accept the terms and decide if you want an email sent, then select ‘Submit”
- Copy and paste your keys back into the settings page on your WordPress backend.
- Decide what Type and select “Save Settings”
That’s it. (The steps are similar for Ninja Forms).