TECH NOTE: ALL ABOUT RECAPTCHA
We purposely design our web sites with contact forms instead of "open" e-mail links. This approach prevents spambots from harvesting the e-mail addresses in plain view. A contact form is best practice for having web site visitors contact you by e-mail, but sometimes it's not enough protection. In recent years, new bots have emerged that can fill in your contact form and send you spam messages. While these messages are usually easy to spot in your inbox, you still have to spend the time deleting them or marking them as spam. What can be done to fix this?
The solution we recommend for this problem is to add what's called "reCAPTCHA" verification to your contact form. You've undoubtedly seen this in the past. The first version of reCAPTCHA showed a photograph and asked you to type in what you saw. For example, the photo might be a mailbox with the house number on it, and you were asked to type in the address.
Newer versions of reCAPTCHA are more sophisticated than the early ones. They typically have a checkbox that says "I am not a robot" on the page. When you check the box and submit the form, your message will be sent. If you don't check the box you'll see an error. We've put one of these reCAPTCHA form widgets on this page to illustrate how it works. Try playing around with it and see what happens. If you click on the submit form without checking the "I am not a robot" box, you will get an error message.
This newer version of reCAPTCHA also has another feature. If you (or a spambot) tries to use a contact form to send you a whole lot of emails, or if enough errors are encountered, the simple "I am not a robot" checkbox will disappear and will be replaced by a more complex problem of picking out certain features in a set of photos. For example, you might be asked to select all the photos that have cars in them.
I can personally vouch for the effectiveness of adding the reCAPTCHA feature on my own contact forms. I was getting a large number of annoying spam messages before installing reCAPTCHA. Afterwards, the spam messages from the contact forms disappeared. Our clients who have had us implement reCAPTCHA have also seen significant reductions in spam messages.
We Can INSTALL RECaptcha on YOUR web site!
There are no license fees or software to purchase in order add reCAPTCHA to your contact form. The only costs are associated with the labor to set it up. The labor includes the registration of your domain name with the reCAPTCHA system and the programming necessary to add the feature to your web site. We offer reCAPTCHA integration at a flat rate of one billing hour ($75) to our clients. Contact us today if you would like us to add reCAPTCHA to your site!
Posted: February 2019