I have a love/hate relationship with CAPTCHAs. I love to block spam, (who doesn’t?), but I hate CAPTCHAs. My nemesis is the CAPTCHA that Amazon Kindle Books taunts me with as a punishment when I can’t get my password to work. And the thing is, I’ve never been able to get the Amazon CAPTCHA to work.
I’m usually pretty good with that type of thing, so I find myself wondering if anyone else can get it to work. I usually end up so frustrated that I pay them back by calling Amazon to talk with a human. You know, one they have to pay.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that with the ever-increasing proliferation of bot spam on our comments and forms, we have to take some action. Anti-Spam plugins have fought the good fight with some of the spam in comments and contact forms, and until recently, CAPTCHAs have been the next line of defense in that fight.
But now, the bots have learned to game the system, while humans such as myself have lost patience with the “CAPTCHA experience.” What’s more, CAPTCHA presents impossible barriers to people with vision and hearing problems.
It seems that everyone was having trouble with them – except the bots. So, in recent years, Google announced the death of the CAPTCHA. And then, they introduced an alternative, the reCAPTCHA.
ReCAPTCHA v2 is the “I’m not a robot” checkbox that you surely have seen on your forays around the Internet.
Google has taken it one step further and created an invisible version, reCAPTCHA v3, that doesn’t even show up!
We don’t need to decipher mangled blurbs of text to prove that we’re not bots any longer. Google is now able to derive evidence of our humanity from such things as our IP addresses and cookies and has astutely determined that only a human would be buying dog toys at Chewy.com.
Last week, a few days after we launched a new website, the owner of the website requested that I add a CAPTCHA to her forms since some spam entries were coming through the forms we’d created using the Gravity Forms plugin.
I decided this was an opportunity to try the visible reCaptcha2, “I’m not a robot” checkbox. That way she’d have proof that we’d uploaded the CAPTCHAs to her forms.
It took about ten minutes total to add the “I’m not a robot” checkbox to four Gravity forms.
Here’s what we did:
- Go to Google’s reCaptcha page and sign up for a free reCAPTCHA API account for the domain of the site where you want to use the reCAPTCHA.
- You’ll be given two strings of characters, the Site Key, and the Secret Key.
- Navigate to Forms on your website’s dashboard.
- At the bottom of the Gravity Forms General Settings page, you’ll see the reCAPTCHA area with fields to enter the Site and Secret API keys that you got from the Google reCAPTCHA API page.
5. Create a Gravity Form on the website. You’ll need to add a reCAPTCHA field that you’ll find on the Advanced fields tab. Simply drag the reCAPTCHA to the bottom of the form and Save.
6. PRESTO! You’re done!
What do you think about CAPTCHAs and reCAPTCHAS?