Comment Spam Is Pretty Much Handled
If you’ve been blogging with WordPress for any length of time, you already know how much comment spam Akismet has saved you from. It’s a really good system they have set up for bloggers where reports by one blogger help to update the database so that other bloggers don’t even need to see comments from a spammer. Not perfect but very effective. When you consider it’s standard on all new WordPress installations, it’s positively a no-brainer.
What About Contact Form Spam?
Contact form spam is kind of another animal. The same bots that can be trained to leave BS comments on your blog can be used to find the contact form and spam you there. Unlike comment spam, there’s no built-in solution that comes with every WordPress install. That’s the reason I’ve done some research and found two free WordPress plugins that will all but eliminate your contact form spam.
Not All Contact Forms Are Created Equal
I’ve used a number of different contact form plugins and I’ve got to say the easiest to install and customize by far is Contact Form 7 It’s free and installs in seconds and really requires no customizations out of the box. It’s nice looking and easy for your visitors to fill out when they have a question of you. The only problem is it has no built-in spam detection. The easiest way to get this feature is to install a captcha field on your contact form so a bot cannot complete it. But which one?
Keep It Really Simple
Really Simple Captcha, that is! Really Simple Captcha is a free WordPress plugin that puts a simple but effective captcha field on your contact form. Once you get the Contact Form 7 and Really Simple Captcha plugins installed all you have to do is go inside your Contact Form 7 settings, click the “Generate Tags” dropdown, select CAPTCHA and copy the codes for the image and input fields into the form code on the left of the settings screen in between your Message and Submit fields. See the graphic below. Click the image to open it in a new window.
Hope This Helps
I’ve looked at a bunch of contact forms since I’ve been blogging and Contact Form 7 is the one I keep coming back to. Pairing that with Really Simple Captcha should make your contact form spam almost completely disappear overnight. You can see it in action on this blog by going to my contact form
If you’re using another tool or tools that you really like, leave us a comment and let us know about it. I’m always looking for better stuff.
I’ll also mention that while it would be easier if the plugin could do both duties every all-in-one contact form plugin was way too complicated to just get the form up and running on your blog. Contact forms and their spam are just not that complicated. Unless you require a completely customizable solution and you’re willing to put the time in to learn it, my method is your easiest choice.