How to Add CAPTCHA to WordPress and Keep Spammers Off Your Site

How to Add CAPTCHA to WordPress and Keep Spammers Off Your Site

There’s no doubt that WordPress security is important. After all, a breach can result in serious damage to your site. However, with hackers using bots to rapidly and effectively assault websites, it can feel like the odds are stacked against you.

Fortunately, there’s a very simple tool you can use to keep bots and spammers out of your WordPress site. Incorporating a Completely Automated Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart (CAPTCHA) is a simple, low-effort way to boost your website’s security.

This guide will introduce you to CAPTCHAs and how they can play a role in protecting your site from hackers and spam. Then we’ll walk you through how to add them to your site and introduce some of the best WordPress CAPTCHA plugins.

Let’s get started!

Understanding CAPTCHAs

You’ve likely seen CAPTCHAs many times online. They can take a variety of forms, one of the most common being distorted text that you have to decipher. Others require you to select images that meet certain specifications from a group of low-resolution photos:

Example of an image CAPTCHA

In all cases, the challenge presented is one that most humans should be able to easily complete. However, even today’s advanced bots aren’t able to make sense of words that have been distorted or fragments of images. When they’re unable to complete the test, they’re being blocked from your site (or whatever else the CAPTCHA is protecting).

This is important because bots are used in multiple situations that could compromise the security and credibility of your website. Brute force attacks, one of the most common hacking strategies, use bots to repeatedly enter credentials into your login form until they gain access to your site.

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) is another type of cyberattack in which hackers inject malicious code into your site via a form, such as your login page or comments section. This could result in malware stored on your site, stolen information, and other negative outcomes.

Bots can also be used for spamming your comments section with low-quality links that hurt your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and deter legitimate users. Spam is annoying, but more importantly, it makes your site look under-protected and poorly monitored.

Anywhere on your site that users can input information – in other words, any form – is vulnerable to attacks by bots. Requiring a CAPTCHA before form submissions prevents non-humans from successfully gaining access to your site or injecting malicious code into it.

What’s Google reCAPTCHA?

While CAPTCHAs clearly provide a variety of benefits and protections to your site, they do have a couple of drawbacks. For example, they tend to negatively impact User Experience (UX). By slowing users down, these simple tests get in the way of visitors smoothly and quickly accomplishing their goals on your site.

Plus,

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This article was written by Matteo Duò and originally published on Blog – Kinsta Managed WordPress Hosting.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the product, We may receive an affiliate commission.

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