Comments play a vital role for any website, especially blogs. It helps you to know what people think about your latest posts and how do they interact with the same. Besides, the comment sections are a simple yet effective way to cultivate a loyal reader community. However, many times you may find your comment section rife with spam comments containing backlinks and irrelevant advertising messages. This is an unethical cheap way to get the backlinks and many spammers now use automated spam bots to randomly post such spam comments on different sites. Nearly every blogger has to face this annoying incident.
In this post, we will tell you about an effective way to fight and stop these malicious spambots with the help of reCAPTCHA. This guide will mention a step by step tutorial on adding reCAPTCHA to your WordPress comment section so that your site will be able to fight (and defeat) the malicious spambots
What is a Spambot?
Spammers use a bot known as spambot that goes around the web and randomly posts the spam comments on any website (including yours). It helps them to automate the process of spamming and increase the volume of spam comments with least efforts. Being technically advanced the spammers can find out the sophisticated ways to continue spamming even if you have installed antispam on your site.
How does reCAPTCHA help to stop Spambots?
reCAPTCHA makes it possible to tell humans and robots apart using innovative and efficient technology.
Generally the users need to click a checkbox to complete an action and proceed further. It proves that they are human beings and not robots. In case the attempt fails then they are offered a challenge to identify slightly deformed or obscure text or a series of images containing a specific object.
Can you use reCAPTCHA on your site?
In its endeavor to stop spam Google allows the common people to freely use reCAPTCHA for verification purpose on their site. It helps them to validate login attempts, contact form submission, and comments. The site owners can thus remain assured that the action has been initiated by a real human being and not by any spamming bot.
Adding reCAPTCHA is not a difficult task and even the people with beginner-level technical knowledge can do it without any difficulty.
Steps to add reCAPTCHA to the comments section of your site
Note: You first need to install and activate the plugin named reCAPTCHA in WP comment form
· Plug-in setting configuration
· You will be prompted for keys for Google reCAPTCHA. There is an easy provision available on the reCAPTCHA site to create these keys.
· You would need to provide 2 Google API keys to proceed further. Both the keys are available on Google reCAPTCHA website and you can get them by clicking admin console button in the top pane of the page
· Upon prompting, log in with your Google credentials and fill in the general information on Register a New Site page.
· Fill in your website name in the label field and then click reCAPTCHA V2 radio button
· You will be offered 2 options. Select “I am not a robot” checkbox
· Type your site’s domain name in the domain textbox
Tip: if you wish to employ the same keys for multiple domains then just click the + icon and type the additional domain names.
· Your default email address will automatically appear the email field but you also have the option to provide additional emails if you want
· Accept the terms and conditions to proceed further. Don’t forget to pick the option “Send alerts to owners” checkbox as it will allow Google to alert you about any alarming activity or find some fault with the configuration settings.
· Click submit button and wait for getting the key pair (site key + secret key)
· If required you can also copy the key pair and save it in a file for the future reference. Don’t forget to protect the file with a strong password for the safety purpose.
· Go to WP dashboard and select reCAPTCHA in comments option from the setting menu in the admin panel
· Go to “Paste the Goggle reCAPTCHA API keys pair” section and paste both the keys in the relevant boxes. Now click Save your Google reCAPTCHA keys pair and click the toggle button.
· Click “Save changes” and you are done.
· If you need you can also add a personal touch to reCAPTCHA in the reCAPTCHA customize option that allows you to modify the basic visual settings like size, style, and alignment of the checkbox.
· Visit your website and head to the comment section to ensure that it is working fine
reCAPTCHA allows you to secure your website against spam bots with strong verification process that don't annoy the human visitors. By adding Google reCAPTCHA you can remain assured that your blog will be fully safe from the risks of spam bots.