How to Add a WordPress Comment Captcha

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If you are tired of receiving spam comments on your WordPress site, then one of the easiest ways to resolve the situation is to block them by using CAPTCHA.

Although there are several other methods that can help you to block these unwanted messages, CAPTCHA is effective because it reduces the chance that bots and other automated processes will leave a comment that you must filter out later on. It requires users to submit a web form by entering specific information items that prove a human is behind the controls instead of an unmanned system.

What Is CAPTCHA?

CAPTCHA stands for “Completed Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart.” This technique prevents non-human content from being posted on your site, reducing the abuse that can happen in your comments area. You can also combine this method with Akismet to further reduce the amount of spam left behind.

Adding a WordPress comment CAPTCHA will not stop all forms of spam from being left on your site. A significant number of human users use the comments section as a way to leave links to specific websites as a way to create additional traffic for themselves. You will not stop this content because it is initiated by a real Internet user.

When to Add a Comment CAPTCHA to Your WordPress Site

The best time to add this method of spam control is when you know for certain that a majority of the comments you receive on your WordPress site are bot-initiated. This process will screen out these items, which can reduce the notifications you receive. You will save time authorizing what you want to display in the comments section because there will be fewer items left to review.

If you want to encourage comments on your site, adding CAPTCHA can be a hit or miss experience for some users. The average Internet user finds it annoying to have an extra step added to the verification process. Some of the forms can be challenging to fill out as well, which may cause fewer people to leave a comment about the content they encountered.

How to Implement CAPTCHA on Your WordPress Comments

There are several plugins available today that will allow you to add CAPTCHA or a reCAPTCHA challenge to your comments form on WordPress. It is up to you to determine which of these options will work well with the current structure of your site.

1. Easy Captcha
This option allows you to install and configure in one basic step. You will also receive an option to add a hidden CAPTCHA, a simple one, or the reCAPTCHA option after installation. The hidden one is similar to honeypot technology, with human users not seeing anything added to the comment form. Bots get caught, reducing spam levels while eliminating the extra step that some users would see.

2. Securimage
Use this option if you don’t want to have Google images populating your site when verification is necessary. This plugin will generate your own CAPTCHA image using a php GD image library. You have the chance to add display audio and refresh commands for users who struggle with the initial request as well. You will need to uncheck the box that allows the “protected by” link because it will display the plugin’s website to the user.

3. WP reCaptcha
This plugin requires activation on your website. Go to the settings option on your dashboard, and then choose this command to configure the plugin to meet your needs. You must use reCAPTCHA API keys, which means visiting the site with your Google account to add them. You will need to copy/paste those keys after generation into your WP reCaptcha page to create the key. Then you’ll need to check the box that enables this option for your comment form. You can hide it from registered users, pick your own color, and add it to your registration page. Make sure to save the settings to ensure the update populates.

If you are ready to start blocking spam comments on your WordPress site, then the CAPTCHA process is one of the easiest to use. Download the plugin that you prefer, or use the one incorporated with your dashboard already to limit the number of comments which do not add to the conversations that you hope to develop.