Every few months we see waves of spam messages being sent through our customers contact forms. Fortunately there are steps that can be taken to help put a stop to it.
Start with the basic moves
The first step we recommend is to add a service called Akismet to your site. Akismet has a WordPress plugin that allows it to filter and discard spam comments and spam contact form submissions before they reach you. You may purchase an Akismet license on your own or Cinch customers may share in one of our Enterprise licenses at very low cost, so reach out to get Akismet started. If you’re an Essential Support customer this set-up included in your free 30-minute fixes.
Hit harder if necessary
If you find that spam has not stopped you’ll want to set up your site to use a Google reCAPTCHA. reCAPTCHA V2, the “I’m not a robot” Checkbox, requires the user to click a checkbox indicating the user is not a robot. This will either pass the user immediately (with No CAPTCHA) or challenge them to validate whether or not they are human.
reCAPTCHA v2 is the simplest option to integrate with and only requires two lines of HTML to render the checkbox. This option also can be implemented into most major WordPress contact form plugins using built-in settings. You’ll need to register with Google and create a pair of API keys for reCAPTCHA to work. If this is beyond your skill set, don’t worry. Cinch can get everything completed for our active customers, typically with an hour of billable development work.
Upgrade your finishing move
To make all your anti-spam efforts work seamlessly together and gain the benefit of a wonderful contact form system consider using GravityForms. GravityForms integrates perfectly with Akismet and reCAPTCHA v2 plus includes its own anti-spam honeypot. To make the switch to GravityForms reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll provide a competitive estimate for the installation, configuration and rebuilding your contact forms into this great system. If you’re not an active customer, check out our maintenance plan options at https://cinchws.com, then sign-up to get started.
Unfortunately, the spam bots that will inevitably find your site won’t give up the fight. Following these steps will eliminate most spam, but, you may find that over time new techniques are needed to stop the spam once again.