hCaptcha: The Popular Alternative to Google’s ReCaptcha

Are you someone who regularly get spam messages on your contact form!

Today I’ll show how you can add a spam-free contact form on your WordPress website in just a few steps.

Adding contact form on your WordPress website is a great way to receive messages from your website visitors or customers right to your email address. But, there is nothing worse than finding spam submission on your inbox through your contact form.

When you have a form submission limit on your free/paid plan it’s really frustrating to see the time, effort and resources being wasted.

Being a website owner myself I know how stressful it can be to get rid of these spams. Most of these form spams are automated with bots. Luckily I’ve found an easy way to get rid of these spams and improve the form submission quality.

So let’s begin!

One of the best ways to have spam-free on your contact form is to add a CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing-test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) to your WordPress forms

Captchas block spammers and online frauds from registering or carrying out any suspicious activities. 

Google reCAPTCHA

Google reCAPTCHA is a CAPTCHA-like system designed to make sure whether a computer user is a bot or a human.

There are two types of reCAPTCHAS:

1. Checkbox- In this type of reCAPTCHA every user is required to check an “I’m not a robot” box to send contact form entry to you.

2. Invisible- According to Google, Invisible reCAPTCHA analyzes the activity of the user (e.g. mouse movements and typing patterns) to determine if the user is a robot or human. 

Now reCaptcha was used by everyone who wanted to secure their website and forms because it was effective and FREE since its inception.

Google’s Changing Business Model

Some time ago, Google said that it will begin charging for reCAPTCHA. Therefore I started looking for a better and free alternative to reCaption and finally found hCaptcha.

The Alternative: hCaptcha

 hCaptcha is pretty similar to reCaptcha but with some advantages/differences such as:

  1. They don’t trade personal data; they collect only the least necessary personal data,
  2. They are transparent in describing the info they collect and how they use it.
  3. Performance of hCaptcha was as good as or better than Google’s reCaptcha during A/B testing.
  4. It works in countries where Google was blocked.
  5. Advanced machine learning models are used to determine humanity to reduce time to perform verification tasks.

How to add hCaptcha to Your Contact Forms?

Now, let’s go through the process of adding a hCaptcha to your new WordPress contact form:

Step-1- WordPress Contact Form Plugin 

To add a spam-free contact form on your WordPress website you need a contact form plugin. My most recommended contact form plugin is WPForms

I use WPForms plugin on my all websites and its beginner-friendly and one of the best form builder plugin out there. 

WPForms Lite is totally free, to create a simple contact form. If you need additional features then you can upgrade to WPForms Pro. 

5 Reasons Why WPForms Is the Best Form Builder

To add hCaptcha on your contact forms you won’t need WPForms pro.

1. To install WPForms plugin – Go to your WordPress Dashboard and click on Plugin and then click on Add New.

2. Type WPForms in the search box.

3. Click Install and then Activate.

install WPForms hcaptcha

Step-2- Create A Simple Contact Form With WPForms

1. On your WordPress dashboard click on WPForms and then on Add New.

add new form

2. WPForms lite gives you two free contact form template options- Blank or Simple contact form.

simple contact form wpforms

3. For this example, we are going to choose a Simple contact form.

contact form template

4. You use the mouse to drag and drop feature to add or remove any field on your contact form.

5. After you’re done click Save.

Step-3- Configure hCaptcha Settings

Now add hcaptcha to the WPForms contact form you need to configure hcaptcha settings in WordPress to create a spam-free contact form.

1. On your WordPress dashboard click on WPForms and then on Settings.

2. In the settings click on the CAPTCHA tab. Now choose hCaptcha.

 captcha integration

3. Next, you’ll need to generate a new set of keys in your hCaptcha account to connect to WPForms. 

enable captcha

4.  Log into hCaptcha dashboard and, click the New Site button in the upper right corner to get started.

hcaptcha new site

5. A setup form for your hCaptcha will appear. Here you can add a name to this specific site key under the Add New Site key section.

hcaptcha sitekey

6. Then, under the General Information, you can configure additional settings for your captcha.

general info

7. Now, click the Save button to save your settings.

8. You will be redirected to your site key’s settings. To view and copy your entire site key, click the Settings button to view more details.

settings hcaptcha

9. Copy the key, and paste it into your WPForms settings under the Site Key setting as shown in the 3rd point above.

site key
site key

10. Now, again click on the Settings tab. You can then copy your secret key from the Secret Key section within these settings and paste this secret key into your WPForms settings.

secret key

In the end, don’t forget to click the Save Settings button to save your settings.

Step 4: Add hCaptcha to Your Contact Form.

1. Go to the simple contact form we created in step-2 and open the form builder.

2. Under the Standard Fields section and click on the hCaptcha field.

hcaptcha enable

3. The badge in the upper right corner of your form builder will confirm that hCaptcha is enabled.

hcaptcha badge

Step 5: Add Contact Form with hCaptcha to the Contact page.

1. Click on the Edit Contact page.

2. Then choose Add WPForms icon inside of a block.

add wpforms on contact page

3. Next, select your form from the dropdown in the modal popup.

simple spam free contact form

4. Publish your page so your form will appear on your website.

simple contact form

Voila, we are done. 

Follow these steps one by one you’ll be able to add hCaptcha on your WordPress website contact form to protect yourself from spam submissions and create a spam-free contact form.

If you have any queries regarding the above information leave a comment or reach me at divyanshu@digitalgrowthninja.com.

See you in the next article.

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