6 Proven Ways To Stop Contact Form Spam in WordPress
Contact form spam is a common problem for every website owner who is dealing with it. It doesn’t matter if your website is big or small, spambots target all the websites, sending unnecessary emails to your inbox. It causes a huge waste of your time as you have to sift through hundreds if not thousands of entries to find genuine users among spam messages.
But the good news is there are some automated ways to stop the contact form spam in WordPress. In this article, we have come up with six different ways to block and reduce the spamming in your contact form and increase your website’s conversion. First, le
t’s have some ideas about spambots.
So, read on.
What are spambots?
Spambots are a malicious program designed to collect email addresses and data from online sources, such as contact forms, websites, and chat rooms. Generally, this information is gathered to send an unsolicited email. As emails have some distinctive structure, it is easy to create this type of bot. Sadly, it is hard to ignore them. Sometimes people use decrypt addresses to confuse bots by showing emails in different styles. But this procedure has some drawbacks. So, we have got some excellent ideas to block bots from spamming your contact forms.
Why do bots spam contact forms?
As bots are automated, they crawl websites to find out ways to email you through an unstable form. In the worst cases, they look for ways to destroy your site or email lists by forms. They submit wrong information and plan to take over your site, server, or email address to send spam emails. Moreover, they steal emails so that they have a fresh collection of users to spam.
That’s why it’s essential to have a contact form plugin to prevent your website from spam. Especially if you are running a small online business website, but before moving into the solution, let’s find out why it is important to stop contact form spam for your website.
Why do you need to stop contact form spam in WordPress?
Contact form spam is a threat to all kinds of online businesses. As it is carried by bots that automatically send spam by non-secure forms, it is an alarming issue for websites. They may also interrupt your logins into forms by covering brute force attacks. That is also a definite reason to protect your website from this contact form spamming.
Sometimes, they look for the easily attachable forms, so they can hijack them for sending spam or malware to other people. Some other reasons for stopping contact form spam in WordPress are:
Businesses that use contact forms to gather leads are affected by fake registrations from spambots. This kind of situation results in low conversions of websites and online forms.
Some bots hijack your website’s comment section and threads on your blogs and forums. These types of bots are called malicious bots or malware programs. These bots spam users’ websites or forms by posting malicious website links, phishing lions, and downloadable exploits that steal personal data. Therefore, new and regular users of your website will get irritated by this kind of activity, and even they may stop visiting your site.
Unwanted bots can slow down traffic on your website, and the cost of bandwidth may also increase. Besides, when millions of bots spam your website and applications, it takes a lot of time to load a page or content for users. Surely, people don’t like a slow loading page.
At last, spambots frustrate users and advertisers, and that affects your brand value. Consequently, users went to your competitor’s websites to get their desired things. For this, you lose the credibility of your business.
It means that spam isn’t just a nuisance. Those spambots can be very dangerous to your website and your business reputation. So, it is necessary to stop contact form spam on your WordPress website. As said, let’s find out the ways to prevent spam from your online business.
How to stop contact form spam
Keeping your forms secured in a way that is not too complicated is part of the challenge. You have to make sure that regular users can enter their information conveniently. Here are six ways you can stop contact form spam or other sign-up forms while enhancing its performance.
Select a robust plugin to remove the contact form spam
The best effective way to block contact form spam is by selecting a powerful WordPress plugin. But most of the tools in WordPress don’t come with built-in spam protection. They give some protection features and often don’t work correctly.
We recommend using Fluent Forms because it comes with a Honeypot spam protection, google reCAPTCHA options to save your form from malicious bots. Besides, it is one of the robust form builders in WordPress. The drag and drop feature and smooth interface of the plugin make the form building process way easier. It comes with 60+ pre-built templates and 30+ input fields. Moreover, it has PDF entry, advanced post creation, signature add-on, GDPR compliance, file upload option, multi-column layout, radio button, and more functionalities. In a nutshell, WP Fluent Forms is a complete package for your website.
Use the spam protection with Honeypot in WP Fluent Forms, go to your dashboard, select WP Fluent Forms pro, and then click on the settings. From the settings option on the left sidebar, scroll down a bit, and turn on the “Enable Honeypot Security” option.
reCAPTCHA is a CAPTCHA system designed by Google. Fluent Forms also gives this feature to its users. To enable it, go to the settings option from Fluent Forms pro. From there, click on the reCAPTCHA option on the left sidebar. Then paste your site key and password from your Google account.
Isn’t it so easy to do? So, install Fluent Forms and use its unique features now!
Use reCAPTCHA to your forms
When users submit your form, they click on reCAPTCHA to prove that they are human. It blocks spam submissions and spam attempts by confirming that a human is filling out that form. Visitors feel better when they see that you are serious about the security of your website. As a result, the conversion of your site increases.
Sometimes CAPTCHA can be time-consuming and hard for people to do it in the right way. That’s why people prefer reCAPTCHA to websites. So, Google changed the CAPTCHA in v2 as reCAPTCHA. In this method, instead of typing a text or word, people hover the mouse on the checkbox, and the system understands that it is not a spambot.
In the invisible reCAPTCHA v2, an image-based question is presented to users to ensure that they are not spambots. Here, visitors need to select all the squares in the picture, as said on the question. When they fill that up, the skip button turns into the submit button. Then people can submit the form.
Furthermore, there is also a v3 available on reCAPTCHA. It uses behind the scenes of the process to track the user’s behavior and find out the unusual behavior of visitors without asking them anything. But sometimes, while using v3, you may prevent some genuine users from filling out your contact form. So, it is better to use reCAPTCHA v2 to stop the contact form spam.
The hCaptcha field allows you to use the hCaptcha on your contact form so only human users can pass over. It terminates spam submissions and spam attacks by confirming that a human fills out the form. Visitors feel secure when they see these types of safety on your website. It’s as simple as reCAPTCHA.
Fluent Forms version 4.3.0 comes with this incredible feature for your website. To activate this, you need to have a secret key from Google, which you can create within a minute. At first, go to the Google hCaptcha website, and sign in with your Google account. Copy the site key and secret key from the hCapctha account.
Paste it on the Fluent Forms Global settings section.
Go to the certain contact form where you want to use hCaptcha. Then drag and drop or click the hCaptcha field on the form editor.
Utilize custom CAPTCHA
If you don’t want to use the antispam service from Google for privacy concerns, you can also customize and apply a CAPTCHA to your contact forms. Here, people will answer math or word-based questions while submitting your form. In order to complete filling up the form, users have to answer the CAPTCHA correctly.
WP Fluent Forms can help you in this matter as well. You can add different custom questions that are randomly cycled through a page load. The math questions work better to stop contact form spam. Besides, you may change the question pattern monthly, or quarterly whatever you like.
Block copy and paste and IP address in your forms
Another way to prevent the contact form spam is to disable the right-click function on your WordPress site. This process will help you control the human spammers copy-pasting their information from another site to your site. Besides, you can prevent the possibility of stealing content from your website. To do so, you can install some tools or plugins from the WordPress directory.
In the worst cases, if you notice a lot of spambots are blocking the traffic in your form or website, you can block the traffic from the IP addresses they are coming from. You can do this if there is no other way to control the massive number of spams. Because sometimes it might block the legitimate IPs to come to your website.
Enable an antispam method
You can also use some anti-spam tools like Akismet, WordPress Zero Spam, Antispam Bee, JetPack, and Honeypot to protect your whole site from the malicious bot entries. These work properly to shield your contact forms, spam comments, and form submissions. More so, they compare submissions to blacklist names, email addresses, and words. Some anti-spam plugins are even letting you add a CAPTCHA or other anti-spam method to your forms. So, before you use these tools, it is better to get an idea about the instructions and details.
The honeypot is also a proper invisible way to protect your contact from spam. It hides a form filed in your form that can only be seen by bots. A human can’t see this. Those bots are then tricked into filling out that field by thinking that it is a form field that is not. So, when a bot fills in that field and submits the form, the system knows that it is a honeypot submission and rejects that form immediately.
Stop spam bots from seeing your form
So what if you don’t want to use CAPTCHA or reCAPTCHA or any antispam method on your website but still want to save your contact form from spam? There is another way to prevent bots from your form. You can easily do this with password protection or by showing your forms to your website’s registered users only. This process might keep you from getting the maximum number of submissions or conversions, but you can use it for a particular period when needed.
For example, if you run a question and answer series to your email subscribers, you can design a form for them to submit questions.
Now, you know how to stop contact form spam on your WordPress website successfully. You want to spend your time on increasing the conversion of your website rather than thinking about spambots. So, choose any method from these six options and add it to your website today. If you are worrying about designing a form in WordPress, you can read our article on seven easy steps to create contact forms.
We hope you found our article helpful. Also, you can give a try to WP Fluent Forms to cover all the solutions to your website.
Hello, This is Prema. I work as a marketing strategist for Fluent Forms at WPManageNinja. When I am not playing with words, I go to explore nature.