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Getting started with CAPTCHA 4WP

CAPTCHA 4WP is a WordPress plugin that makes it easy to implement CAPTCHA on your WordPress forms and login pages. When using the plugin, visitors and WordPress users have to pass a CAPTCHA test before submitting a form or logging in.

This getting started guide will cover the steps you need to take to install and configure the CAPTCHA 4WP plugin on your WordPress website.

Step 1: Download and activate the plugin.

To get started, you first need to download and activate the plugin. The plugin can be downloaded straight from the WordPress repository as follows: 

  1. Log in to your WordPress admin dashboard
  2. From the left-side menu, click on Plugins
  3. Next, click on Add New
  4. In the ‘Search plugins’ field, type CAPTCHA 4WP

Once you have identified the correct plugin, click the Install Now button. When the plugin finishes installing, the Install Now button will read Activate. Click Activate to activate the plugin and start the configuration process.

Premium users 

If you have purchased the premium edition of the plugin, you will need to install and activate CAPTCHA 4WP before you can continue with the configuration process.

Step 2: Get your reCAPTCHA Site Key and Secret Key

Before we get started with configuring the plugin, you need to have a Site Key and a Secret Key for the reCAPTCHA that you would like to use. Refer to the How to get ReCaptcha keys guide to learn more about reCAPTCHA and how to get a key set.

Step 3: Configure the plugin

Once you activate the plugin, the configuration wizard will open automatically. The configuration wizard is designed to guide you through the initial configuration of CAPTCHA. If you’re not ready to start the configuration process at this time, you can exit the wizard by clicking on Cancel and restarting it later.

WordPress CAPTCHA wizard welcome screen

Click Next to continue

Step 3.1 Select ReCAPTCHA version

CAPTCHA 4WP offers a number of different ReCAPTCHA versions to choose from. While we recommend using Version 3 since this version offers greater control, your requirements may necessitate using a different version.

Click on the radio button next to the version you would like to opt for.

Choose the ReCAPTCHA version for your WordPress website

Step 3.2 Enter your Site Key and Secret Key

ReCAPTCHA uses a Site Key and a Secret Key to connect to the ReCAPTCHA service and display ReCAPTCHA on your website, as highlighted in Step 2. The wizard will verify that the keys match your chosen version and domain.

Enter ReCAPTCHA Site and Secret Keys

It is very important to ensure you enter the right keys that match the domain and version as configured in the Google ReCAPTCHA console. The plugin will also carry out some basic verification checks. Should the keys fail to pass the verification check, you will see an Invalid site key error message. Kindly check your Google ReCAPTCHA console to ensure you have the right keys.

Click Next to continue.

Step 3.3 Version 3 failover action

If you chose ReCAPTCHA Version 3, you can set the failover action here.

What is failover action?
ReCAPTCHA Version 3 analyzes visitor and user behavior to determine how human-like or not they appear to be. Based on that analysis, it issues a score. If the score is above the pass mark (more on this later), the visitor essentially passes the CAPTCHA test. However, if the score is below the pass mark, and the visitor fails the CAPTCHA test, you can decide what happens next.

Click on the arrow as highlighted in the screenshot below and choose from the following options:

  • Take no action – If the visitor fails the CAPTCHA test and they cannot proceed forward
  • Show a V2 CAPTCHA checkbox – The visitor will be shown a ReCAPTCHA v2 checkbox where they have to confirm they’re not a robot
  • Redirect the website visitor to a URL – The visitor will be redirected to a URL of your choosing

If you choose the Show a V2 CAPTCHA checkbox option, you will need to supply a Site Key and Secret key for V2 I’m not a robot. These keys will be different from the V3 keys. Kindly create a new key pair using the same procedure used when creating the previous key pair – but choosing V2 I’m not a robot instead.

If you choose the Redirect the website visitor to a URL option, you will need to enter the full URL (example: you would like the visitor redirected to (should they fail the V3 ReCAPTCHA test).

Set the ReCAPTCHA V3 failover action

Click Proceed to continue.

The wizard has now completed its initial configuration. Click Finish to exit the wizard and continue with the remaining configuration options.

Step 4: Configuration options

It\’s important to note that ReCAPTCHA Version 3 includes additional settings specific to this version. Configuration of these settings is highly recommended.

CAPTCHA ScoreReCAPTCHA Version 3 assesses visitors’ interaction with your website to determine if it’s human-like or bot-like. Based on its assessment, it issues a score. The closer to 1 the score is, the more confident ReCAPTCHA is that the visitor is a human. The closer to 0 the score is, the more confident ReCAPTCHA is that the visitor is a bot.

By default, the score is set to 0.5; allowing assessments with a score of 0.5 and higher through. If you see an increase in spam at any point, you can increase the score. We recommend increasing the score by +0.1 at a time.

Load CAPTCHA v3 scripts onFor ReCAPTCHA V3 to assess visitors’ interactions, it needs to load its scripts. Here you can set where scripts are loaded:

Additional configuration options

  • All Pages – Load scripts on all website pages. Improves assessment accuracy
  • Form pages – Load scripts on form pages only. May reduce assessment accuracy
  • Captcha Language – Select the language that the reCAPTCHA should use. You can choose Auto Detect for reCAPTCHA to detect and match the user’s language automatically
  • Error Message – Enter the message you would like to display when a user does not pass the reCAPTCHA test. 
  • Theme – Select the color scheme that you would like the reCAPTCHA to use. Available options include Light or Dark.
  • Size – Select the size you would like reCAPTCHA
  • Badge – Select the location of where you would like to place the reCAPTCHA badge. Available options include Bottom Right, Bottom Left, or Inline. 
  • Recaptcha Domain – Select the reCAPTCHA domain that you would like to use to load reCAPTCHAs. This option allows you to choose a different domain should be blocked. Unless you are experiencing any issues, this should be left as
  • Remove CSS – Tick this checkbox to disable the plugin’s CSS. The plugin includes its own CSS file that adjusts the width to fit reCAPTCHA. 
CAPTCHA customization options

Step 3.3: Configure optional settings

At this stage, the plugin and the reCAPTCHA tests are fully functional. However, the plugin has several other settings which you can configure to customize the plugin to your requirements further. 

More configuration options