How to Add reCAPTCHA to WordPress (Easy Ways 2024)

Having a WordPress website for business or personal use is excellent. It offers easy installation and modification of the entire website. But the fear of a website getting hacked or abused constantly lurks in an owner’s mind. This is why you might want to know how to add reCAPTCHA to WordPress. It can save you from spams and malicious access attempts.

Imagining a website without any basic level of protection is nearly impossible in this era of the internet. Hackers are always finding vulnerabilities in websites to launch their attacks. Adding captcha challenges to WordPress minimizes these risks and is a remedy for website owners. Tons of websites use Google’s reCAPTCHA captcha service to stay safe from harmful bots and malicious attacks.

This article is for those who are looking for an easy way to add reCAPTCHA to their WordPress website. So, without wasting time, let’s see how you can add Google reCAPTCHA to your WordPress site.

What is reCAPTCHA?

reCAPTCHA is a service by Google to verify humans online. CAPTCHA stands for Completely Automated Public Turing Tests to Tell Computers and Humans Apart. This technology was invented in 2000 at the Carnegie Mellon University. It helps protect websites from misuse and abuse. 

Google reCAPTCHA uses tests to set apart humans from bots. The way these tests are designed that it allows humans to solve them. But bots struggle to pass them. The original reCAPTCHA uses distorted text or image matching to set apart humans.

Today, it’s more sophisticated and could detect human connections without interaction. Currently, there are three main types of reCAPTCHA to fight bots.

  1. reCAPTCHA v2
  2. reCAPTCHA v3
  3. Invisible reCAPTCHA

reCAPTCHA v2

reCAPTCHA v2 is the most used type of reCAPTCHA on the internet. It detects humans by offering a checkbox and other tests. These tests include identifying traffic lights, bikes, cars, etc. Also, answering simple addition math by seeing images.

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reCAPTCHA v3

The reCAPTCHA v3 is the newest addition to reCAPTCHA. It is more like the invisible reCAPTCHA where it uses machine learning to identify secure connections. reCAPTCHA v3 uses a scoring system to determine human and bot behavior.

Invisible reCAPTCHA

The last reCAPTCHA type is Invisible reCAPTCHA. It uses machine learning to detect human connection by analyzing many factors. It can identify bots and spam without any visible tests like the other two types.

Why do I need reCAPTCHA on my WordPress site?

reCAPTCHA is a great way to protect your website from unwanted access. It can prevent harmful bots and spammers from getting access to your business. Let us explain why you would want reCAPTCHA on your WordPress site.

  • Prevents Spam Comments: Spam comments are one of the most irritating things for website owners and visitors. It damages a website’s reputation and can mess up with search rankings. Google’s reCAPTCHA can prevent this by blocking spam bots from websites.
  • Protects Login System: Cyber attackers use bots to launch many hacking and brute-force tactics to get access to websites. They mainly focus on the website’s login page. Adding reCAPTCHA on the login page makes it harder for hackers and bots to access your login system.
  • Prevents Unauthorized Access: Hackers also use bots to exploit vulnerabilities inside a website’s code. This method quickly provides them unauthorized access to a compromised website. reCAPTCHA makes it difficult for bots to exploit these loopholes and vulnerabilities.

How to add reCAPTCHA to your WordPress site (6 methods)

Adding reCAPTCHA is one of the best ways to protect your WordPress site from spam bots. Fortunately, it is also very easy to add reCAPTCHA to your WordPress site. We’re going to take a look at some of the ways through which you can add reCAPTCHA on various sections of your WordPress site.

Adding reCAPTCHA to the login and registration forms

If you want to protect your WordPress site from bot infiltration, then the login and registration forms should be your first line of defence. To add reCAPTCHA to your login and registration page you can use the Advanced Google reCAPTCHA plugin. 

There are other plugins as well, but Advanced Google reCAPTCHA is one of the simplest ways to adding reCAPTCHA on your WordPress site. That’s why we’re using this plugin for our tutorial. Let’s go through the steps of adding reCAPTCHA to your WordPress site.

Step 1: Install Advanced Google reCAPTCHA plugin

First we’re going to install the Advanced Google reCAPTCHA plugin. We can do this from the WordPress admin dashboard by going to Plugins > Add New Plugin.

advanced google recaptcha installation

After the plugin is installed, click on the “Activate” button to activate the plugin.

Step 2: Create Google reCAPTCHA

With the plugin installed and activated, the next step is to create your Google reCAPTCHA credentials. To do this, visit the Google reCAPTCHA site and add your domain there. Then click on the “V3 Admin Console”. (Note that this might change in the future.)

generating google recaptcha key

Provide the label, select reCAPTCHA type then add the domain or URL of your website. Then click on the “Submit” button. Next you’ll be given a site key and secret key.

google recaptcha site key and secret key

You need both, the site key as well as the secret key. So go back to your WordPress dashboard. From there go to Settings > Advanced Google reCAPTCHA

Step 3: Paste the site key and security key in Advanced Google reCAPTCHA

Now click on the Captcha tab and below there are two tabs, Captcha and Where To Show. Make sure that the Captcha tab is selected. Now from the first dropdown which is labeled as Captcha, click on it and select the Captcha version you chose on Google Captcha site. In our case, we’re selecting the Google reCAPTCHA v2. Then copy and paste the site key and secret key.

enabling captcha in advanced google recaptcha

After pasting both the keys, you need to verify if the Captcha is working or not by clicking on the “Verify Captcha” button. Then solve the captcha and submit it. Once it’s verified your captcha will be working fine.

Step 4: Choose where you want to place reCAPTCHA

You can choose where you want to display the Google captcha. Right next to the Captcha tab, you’ll find the Where To Show tab. Click on it and choose the location. You can choose to show the captcha in the login, registration, lost password, contact form, WooCommerce registration, EDD registration, and more pages.

where to show google recaptcha

Now when you log out and then try to log back in you’ll see reCAPTCHA.

google recaptcha in wp login form

Adding reCAPTCHA to the password reset form

Using the same Advanced Google reCAPTCHA plugin you can also add the captcha on your site’s password reset form. From your WordPress dashboard, go to Settings > Advanced Google reCAPTCHA and click on the Captcha tab. Then click on the Where To Show tab and enable Lost Password Form.

captcha in lost password form

To test this, log out of your WordPress admin dashboard then click on “Lost your password?” option on the sign-in page.

Adding reCAPTCHA to the WordPress comment form

Using the same process you can also add reCAPTCHA on the comment section of your WordPress posts. So from your WordPress dashboard, go to Settings > Advanced Google reCAPTCHA and click on the Captcha tab. Then click on the Where To Show tab and enable Comment Form. Now if you visit your posts (while you’re not logged in) and scroll down, you can see that a captcha is required in order to make a comment.

recaptha in comment form

Adding reCAPTCHA to WooCommerce login/registration forms

With Advanced Google reCAPTCHA you can also display captcha on your WooCommerce registration/login page. Like the previous steps, go to Settings > Advanced Google reCAPTCHA from your WordPress dashboard. Then open the Captcha tab and then click Where To Show. Enable the WooCommerce Registration Form option. You can also enable reCAPTCHA for WooCommerce Checkout Form.

recaptcha in woocommerce registration page

Now if you log out of your WordPress website and view the WooCommerce sign in or account page, you’re going to see reCAPTCHA there as well.

Adding reCAPTCHA to the Easy Digital Downloads registration page

Again, you can use this exact process for adding reCAPTCHA to your Easy Digital Downloads registration page. From your WordPress dashboard go to Settings > Advanced Google reCAPTCHA > Captcha tab. Open the Where To Show tab. Now enable the Easy Digital Downloads Registration Form option.

recaptcha in edd login form

Now you can log out of your WordPress website and visit the page with the EDD login form. You should see reCAPTCHA there.

Adding reCAPTCHA to the BuddyPress registration form

If you have a BuddyPress registration form on your WordPress website, you can also protect it with reCAPTCHA. From your WordPress dashboard navigate to Settings > Advanced Google reCAPTCHA > Captcha tab. Select Where To Show and enable the BuddyPress Registration form option.

👉 Video: How to Add Captcha to WordPress

Using Wordfence to add reCAPTCHA to your login and registration page

We used the Advanced Google reCAPTCHA plugin to display captcha on our login, registration, and forgot password forms. But you can also use other plugins as well. For example, you can use Wordfence, a popular WordPress security plugin to add captcha to the account-related forms. The free version of Wordfence can also give you the captcha feature.

To use Wordfence, you can install it from your WordPress admin dashboard. Then follow the steps below:

  • Go to Wordfence > Login Security from the WordPress dashboard.
  • Paste your reCAPTCHA v3 Site Key and Secret Key.
  • Click on the checkbox labeled Enable reCAPTCHA on the login and user registration pages.
  • Press the SAVE CHANGES button to finish the process.
wordfence recaptcha settings section

Wordfence provides different types of online protection for WordPress. Like Wordfence there are other plugins that you can use to setup captcha on your website.

Adding reCAPTCHA to contact forms

You might also have contact forms on your WordPress website. Bots can also spam you through these contact forms. Therefore, you can display reCAPTCHA on your contact forms as well. In order to add reCAPTCHA to your contact form, you need to check the plugin you’re using.

Some of the popular WordPress form plugins give you the option to add reCAPTCHA on your forms. Take Contact Form 7 for example. It is a popular form plugin for WordPress that also gives you the ability to display reCAPTCHA on your forms.

Let’s see how you can add reCAPTCHA to your forms using Contact Form 7.

Step 1: Install and Activate the Contact Form 7 plugin from the WordPress plugin repository.

First install and activate Contact Form 7 by going to Plugins > Add New Plugin from your WordPress dashboard. 

Step 2: Paste the Google reCAPTCHA site key and secret key

After activating the plugin, go to Contact > Integration from the WordPress dashboard. Select reCAPTCHA and press on Setup Integration. Now Paste the generated Google reCAPTCHA site Key and secret Key. Finally click on the “Save Changes” button.

recaptcha integration of contact form 7

After this, every form created with Contact Form 7 will have a reCAPTCHA badge. A scoring system will appear at the bottom-right corner of the web page. This will verify if the interaction is from any human or bots.

contact form 7 with recaptcha on

Note: Contact Form 7 only supports reCAPTCHA v3 as far as we’ve seen.

Wrapping up

Adding reCAPTCHA to your website offers an additional safety layer. It’s a simple and effective way to turn on the shield. Site owners can add reCAPTCHA to WordPress websites with the Advanced Google reCAPTCHA plugin without any coding experience.

There are tons of ways to add reCAPTCHA to WordPress. You can use plugins or manually add reCAPTCHA codes to the website files. In this article, we’ve provided the easiest way to add reCAPTCHA to any WordPress website. That’s all for this post. Please let us know your thoughts in the comments, and stay tuned!


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