With the rapid growth of its community, WordPress has become one of the most attractive targets for spammers. Many security researchers have worked a lot to control the spam. Back in 1997, CAPTCHA was invented to distinguish between humans and bots.
Since then, it has been widely used to control the spam. Later on, Google jumped into it and started making it more advanced.
Evaluation of CAPTCHA
Since the launch, CAPTCHA has been considered as the most appropriate solution to control the spam. The most highlighted improvements of CAPTCHA are discussed below.
First, the CAPTCHA asks the visitors to solve a puzzle. It can be a distorted text, and you’ll have to figure out what it is. It was difficult to identify words by bots.
Bots became smart enough to solve the puzzles by simple CAPTCHA. Therefore, with reCAPTCHA V2, Google makes it harder for bots to solve the puzzle by making it necessary to check “I’m not a robot”. If Google detects the unusual behavior, reCAPTCHA displays pictorial puzzle asking you to select images of mountains, rivers, and different signs etc.
To make it more simple for humans, Google launched another version called Invisible reCAPTCHA, in which puzzle is displayed only when Google suspects that the visitor is not a human.
Today, I will guide how you can easily integrate Google Invisible reCAPTCHA to a WordPress site.
Integrate Invisible reCAPTCHA to WordPress
If you are confident enough to integrate Invisible reCAPTCHA to a WordPress-based site, then follow below steps to add it.
In my example, I will be using the most popular Invisible reCAPTCHA for WordPress plugin.
Feature of Invisible reCAPTCHA Plugin
- Registration form protection
- Log in form protection
- Comments form protection
- Forgot Password form protection
- Reset Password form protection
- Product Review form protection
- Support for Gravity Forms and Contact Form 7
- Custom form protection
Install Invisible reCAPTCHA on WordPress
Log in to your WordPress Admin Dashboard and then navigate to Plugins > Add New and search Invisible reCAPTCHA, click on Install Now and then Activate.
You can find the plugin settings under Settings > Invisible reCAPTCHA.
Configure Invisible reCAPTCHA WordPress Plugin
Here are the few settings that Google Invisible reCAPTCHA requires to complete the setup process.
All the settings are simple, but you might be thinking about the Site and Secret key. Don’t get confused, let me explain them one by one.
- Your Site Key: The public key that I am going to get in next steps.
- Your Secret Key: The secret key to connect with the public key.
- Language: There is a list of languages that can be used by Google for the badge.
- Badge Position: By default, the badge is positioned on the bottom right corner of the page. You can change its position.
- Badge Custom CSS: You have the ability to change the CSS of the badge, that best fits with your WordPress theme.
Get Site and Secret Key from Google
Since invisible reCAPTCHA is a product of Google, I need to connect my WordPress site with Google and get the Site and Secret Key so that my site can communicate with Google.
Log in to your Google account and visit reCAPTCHA. Here, you will be asked to register your WordPress site. Set a name for these setting by writing in the label text field, then select Invisible reCAPTCHA, enter the domain name of your WordPress site.
My domain name might look a bit confusing, but don’t worry! My testing site is hosted on Cloudways that provides staging URL for testing purpose, and this URL is one of them.
Scroll down a bit, accept reCAPTCHA terms of service and click on Register. Here is the complete screenshot for reference.
Once you hit the Register button, it will take you to the next screen, containing the Site and Secret Key for your WordPress site.
Copy and paste them to their respective text fields on the settings page of Invisible reCAPTCHA plugin.
Configure other settings according to your requirements and click on Save Changes at the bottom of the screen.
Congrats! You are done with connecting Google Invisible reCAPTCHA to a WordPress site.
I have configured everything properly, let’s dive into the different kinds of WordPress-based sites.
Invisible reCAPTCHA for WordPress
On a simple WordPress site, you can enable Invisible reCAPTCHA on different areas like registration, login, comments, and forgot password pages.
Invisible reCAPTCHA for WooCommerce
If you own a WooCommerce store, you can protect the Product Review Form besides the regular form protections.
Invisible reCAPTCHA for UltraCommunity
Ultracommunity is the plugin for creating a community-based WordPress site. You can enable Invisible reCAPTCHA on registration and login pages.
Invisible reCAPTCHA for BuddyPress
As of writing this guide, the plugin only supports registration form protection for a BuddyPress site.
Invisible reCAPTCHA for Contact Forms
Do you have a contact us form and want to protect it from bots? Well, Invisible reCAPTCHA plugin for WordPress has a solution for you. Currently, they support Invisible reCAPTCHA for Contact form 7 and Gravity Forms, the most popular among all others.
If you have a contact us form other than the above-mentioned, then I would suggest you get help from the official plugin details page.
Invisible reCAPTCHA Plugin in Action
Let us have a look, how Google Invisible reCAPTCHA plugin works. I had a simple WordPress site and marked the check box where it says Enable Log In Form Protection under settings for WordPress tab.
When I visited the login page, here is what I got!
Hide Google Invisible Badge Completely
You might be thinking of hiding the badge completely. Use the below code in Badge Custom CSS text field in Invisible reCAPTCHA settings page.
P.S. I would suggest you don’t do that because the badge links to Google’s terms and privacy documents.
Invisible reCAPTCHA by Google does not secure a WordPress site. It is used just to control the spam on different areas of a WordPress-based site, like registration, login, comments, contact us form, etc. If you want to tighten the security of a WordPress site, don’t forget to follow WordPress security tips.
If you encounter any other problem while setting up Invisible reCAPTCHA on a WordPress site, feel free to leave a comment below.
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