Stop Contact Form 7 Spam Cold - 5 Easy Solutions

How To Crush Contact Form 7 Spam With These Simple Tips #wordpress

In this post I will show you a variety of techniques to crush Contact Form 7 spam messages, cold!

Contact Form 7 is one of the most effective and popular WordPress plugins for adding a contact form to your website.

And I certainly recommend it in my Best WordPress Plugins Checklist, that I give away to my email subscribers.

Crush Contact Form 7 Spam

It’s a great little plugin that is simple to setup, adapt to most any purpose and start getting emails from your website.

The Problem: Email Spam from Contact Form 7

Once your website has been found and targeted by spammers, you will often find yourself getting anything from 

  • a few a day
  • to many an hour (like a client of mine recently)

And not only are these emails often frequent, but they are hard to stop unless you know what techniques you have at your disposal.

The Solutions To Crush Contact Form Spam

Not all solutions will work for everyone, so I am going to give you a variety of options here. 

Try out any you think you like the sound of, and if it does not work, move on to the next.

1

CAPTCHAS

The developers of Contact Form 7 have created a CAPTCHA plugin the works well with their contact form and helps offer great spam protection.

Here is an example of what it looks like on your contact form:​

Contact Form 7 Simple Captcha

The Idea: CAPTCHAs are those hard to read images with letter and numbers that "only humans" can read. The idea is that spammers use "bots" or computer code to fill in your form, and a piece of code cannot read the image!

The Solution:

Simply download the Simple Captcha Plugin and add a capture field to your Contact Form 7 Forms.​

More Information:

Check out the Contact Form 7 Documentation on Captcha Fields

2

QUIZZES

The developers of Contact Form 7 have also created a simple QUIZ field where you can ask people to fill in a field answering a simple question.  The question can require a word answer (like below) or it can be a simple Math quiz (What is 5+4).

contact form 7 quiz

The Idea: Again, the idea is that a "bot" will not be able to answer the question and will fail to fill in the form successfully.

The Solution:

Add a quiz field to your form within your Contact Form 7 forms.

Just be careful not to make it so confusing people cannot answer it

More Information:

Check out the Contact Form 7 Quiz Documentation

3

AKISMET INTEGRATION

For those of you who are familiar with WordPress comments and the huge torrent of spam you can get, you will know Akismet from WordPress.

Akismet is a cloud-based anti-spam system that is constantly learning what spam is and applying that to helping you stop spam on your website.

The Idea: In this case, you can also use Akismet to help stop "known" spammers sending you contact form emails.​

The Solution:

  1. Configure your website to use Akistmet (you need to sign up for the API key and enter it on your website).
  2. Add a specific Akismet field prefix to the fields in your content form.

This one is perhaps a little more complex as you need to follow the documentation to get it done.

Below is an example of an Akismet field for someone entering their email.​ (the bold is the part that is normally NOT there)

[email* your-email akismet:author_email]​

This is what the normal email field would look like

[email* your-email]​

More Information on Contact Form 7 Quiz Fields:

Check out the Contact Form 7 Akismet Fields

4

THE HONEYPOT

This is a killer solution I applied to a client's website recently when they were being bombarded with contact form spam!

Before I added it he was getting 10-15 per hour. Afterwards none.

And yes, he is still getting client requests, so it did not just block the emails :>​

The Idea: This is an innovative solution that really got my attention.

This plugin let's you add a hidden field to your form which humans will not see, and ignore.

BUT, evil "bots" on the other hand, the ones sending most of the spam, will fill in every field, including the hidden one and the form will not send.

No more spam!​

The Solution:

  1. Download the Contact Form 7 Honeypot plugin and add it to your site.
  2. Add a honeypot field to each of your forms. 

Note: you will see nothing on the actual forms, but you put an extra field like this on your Contact Form 7 forms

[honeypot honeypot-477]

Just look for the Honeypot field in the list of fields you can add.

More Information on Contact Form 7 Quiz Fields:

Check out the Honey Pot Installation page

5

OTHER OPTIONS

If none of the above area solving your spam problem, then there are a couple of other anti-spam options you might want to check out:

  1. Bad Behavior Plugin acts as a general gatekeeper or spam checker on your website and can act in conjunction with many other plugins. Just add it and turn it on.
  2. Zero Spam Plugin​ can be set up to work with Contact Form 7 via a hook. It might take a programmer to set that up for you.

So there you have it, the 5 spam crushing solutions that will help you eradicate Contact Form 7 Spam from your WordPress site today!

Which Do I Recommend?

I recommend giving the Honey Pot method a try first​ because it is the least intrusive (the user does not have to see or do anything new) and seems to have great results according to my clients.

Discover even more amazing WordPress Plugins – Grab My FREE Best Plugins Checklist & Guide

About the Author Ashley Faulkes

Ashley is obsessed with SEO and WordPress. He is also the founder of Mad Lemmings. When he is not busy helping clients get higher on Google he can be found doing crazy sports in the Swiss Alps (or eating too much chocolate - a habit he is trying to break).

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