WHAT IS reCAPTCHA?
You may have heard many web developers, design agencies or even experienced WordPress users use the term, ‘you need to add reCaptcha’.
reCAPTCHA is a free service from Google that helps protect websites from spam abuse and other abusive techniques such as brute force.
A Captcha is a mathematical test that can tell if a user is a human or a computer bot. The tests are easy for humans to solve but hard for “bots” and other malicious software to work out. By adding reCAPTCHA to your website, you can block automated software while helping your users enter your website with ease.
Using reCaptcha does not eradicate spam entirely as there is no way of stopping real humans from sending you unwanted promotional messages, but it will stop all the annoying automated messages you would come to expect from spammers.
HOW DO YOU INSTALL GOOGLE reCAPTCHA ON WORPDRESS?
There are many plugins you can use to install Google reCaptcha on your WordPress website but the main thing here is to select a plugin that works for you and your website. For example, if you only want Google reCaptcha to protect your contact form then you would want to look at a contact form plugin that has been developed with reCaptcha in mind. Most popular WordPress contact form plugins including Contact Form 7, Ninja Forms and Gravity Forms all have an easy Google reCaptcha integration process.
Before installing any of the said plugins you must create a Google reCaptcha account. If you already have a Google account, you will be able to login to create your first reCaptcha for your website.
So where do you go? The first step is to head over to https://www.google.com and click on the blue button labelled ‘Admin Console’ at the top right-hand side of the page. From there you will be prompted with a login screen and you will be given the option to log in or to create a new account.
Once logged in you will see a screen that says Register New Site, on this page you must give the reCaptcha a name, so it will be easy for you to identify the website later. You will also have to add your website URL.
Let’s break down the process in steps so it’s easier to understand:
STEP 1 : Give your reCaptcha keys a name, something you can easily identify later.
STEP 2 : Select the option Google reCaptcha V3
STEP 3 : Add your website address, accept the terms and conditions and then click on the submit button.
STEP 4 : After hitting the submit button Google will generate a couple of Site Keys for your website which will allow you to use Google reCaptcha on the website address(es) you entered in step 3. You must now copy both the Site Key and the Secret Key and store them somewhere safe where you will be able to access them easily as you will need them to enter them in your WordPress website.
Up to this point, you have successfully created your first reCaptcha website keys which are ready to be used on your website. Let’s now look at how you add your reCaptcha keys to your WordPress website using Contact Form 7.
If you haven’t already done so, install the Contact Form 7 plugin and once installed head over to Contact Form 7 options page by clicking on the Contact menu item on the left-hand side of your website.
Next click on the integration option and select reCaptcha Setup Integration.
Then on the next page all you have to copy and paste the Google reCaptcha keys you generated in Step 4. Once you have copied them over hit Save Changes and you are done.
Success! You have added Google reCaptcha to your WordPress website using Contact Form 7. There is nothing else for you to do. When you next insert a contact form to any page of your website Google reCaptcha will automatically load and protect your form(s) from spam abuse.
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