If you don’t use a Captcha (or reCaptcha) on the contact form on your website you likely receive a massive amount of spam submissions. The problem is that people really don’t like to enter Captchas as the codes can be difficult to read and add a difficulty level to submitting a completed form. So how else may we stop all these spam submissions? Here are two common solutions.
For a brief time we used “captchas”. The idea is simple. You add a hard to read image of a few random letters asking a submitter to identify themselves as “human” by entering the text. However, the problem is obvious: To make it hard to OCR the image, it has to be quite hard to read. Johannes Ullrich, SANS Institute
Akismet Contact Form Anti-Spam
If you use the awesome Jetpack Plugin with the Akismet Plugin active (with a valid Akismet subscription) then your form submissions are auto-checked to determine if they are spam. Contact Form 7 can also be set to use Akismet to check for spam.
Gravity Forms Anti-Spam Honeypot
The popular Gravity Forms Plugin comes with some clever trickery that is super-simple to use and doesn’t involve a Captcha. The solution is called ‘anti-spam honeypot’ and it effectively adds an invisible field to a form. When bots fill forms they generally fill all fields as they can’t tell which are required fields (contrary to popular belief spam form submissions are almost always the result of a bot). If the invisible field is filled on a Gravity Forms submission then it must be spam as humans can’t see the field.
- Go to the Form Settings of your form.
- Under Form Options check Enable anti-spam honeypot.
- Click Update Form Settings.
There we go. Three of the most popular Contact Forms Plugins for WordPress and they don’t require an annoying Captcha to stop spam.