How to Prevent Spam Registration on WordPress? (Complete Guide 2022)

How to Prevent Spam Registration in WordPress

A key measure of securing your WordPress website is to prevent spam registration. Doing this blocks all the registration attempts made by spam bots through the registration form.

Besides protecting your site from malicious intent, it also saves you from the headache of dealing with never-ending spam registrations.

This article will explore some easy ways to prevent WordPress spam registration. Before that, let’s learn why it’s essential to stop spam registration and the best tool to help you do so.

Why is it Important to Block WordPress Spam Registration?

Spam bots target the registration forms on your site by sending a large number of registrations within a short period. 

It’s obviously a hassle to deal with such spam submissions. Here are a few more reasons why you should prevent spam registration in WordPress.

  • Leaving spam registrations unchecked gives spam bots access to various parts of your site. This will compromise your site’s security significantly.
  • All the fake registrations in your website’s database weigh it down and harm its overall performance.
  • Spam registration lets spam bots post unwanted content in your comment and review section. This may affect your professional reputation among genuine users.

That’s why we also recommend enabling anti-spam protection for your registration forms.


Best Way to Prevent Spam Registration in WordPress

When it comes to preventing spam registrations, WordPress offers multiple solutions. You’ll find anti-spam plugins that are designed solely for eliminating spam issues. On the other hand, there are registration form plugins that offer anti-spam features.

And one of the best plugins to stop WordPress new user registration spam is User Registration

User Registration Form Plugin

As the name suggests, it’s a registration form plugin that lets you create custom registration forms. With its user-friendly drag-and-drop builder, you can build event registration forms, course registration forms, etc., in no time!

And if you’re a WooCommerce store owner, you’re in for a treat! User Registration provides a WooCommerce add-on to help create custom WooCommerce registration forms. No coding is needed at all!

Most importantly, you’ll be able to prevent spam registrations with its advanced security features against spam. Specifically, you get three anti-spam features:

  • reCAPTCHA/ hCaptcha integration
  • Anti-spam honeypot
  • Whitelist domain registration

Thus, we recommend this incredible plugin for you to create custom registration forms and protect them from spam.


How to Prevent Spam Registration on WordPress?

User Registration offers three anti-spam features for your custom registration forms. So, in this guide, we’ll show you how to use these features to prevent spam registrations. 

Before proceeding, let us inform you that anti-spam honeypot and whitelist domain registration require the pro version of this plugin. However, you can still integrate your forms with reCAPTCHA and hCaptcha through the free version.

With that said, let’s begin!

1. Adding reCAPTCHA or hCaptcha to The Registration Form

The first way to protect a registration form from spam is by adding reCAPTCHA or hCaptcha. 

If you’re unfamiliar with CAPTCHA, it’s simply a tool to determine whether a user is a human or a bot. There are various types of CAPTCHAs, so the method each CAPTCHA uses to separate a bot from humans is also different.

Just follow the steps below, and you’ll be able to implement CAPTCHA integration in your form in no time.

I. Install Free User Registration Plugin

The very first thing you need to do is install and activate User Registration on your website. Since reCAPTCHA and hCaptcha integration is available in the free version, you can just install the free plugin.

To do that, log into your WordPress dashboard. Navigate to Plugins >> Add New

Navigate To Plugins Then Add New

Now, search for the plugin and click on the Install button once it appears in the results.

Search and Install User Registration

Then, Activate the plugin.

Activate User Registration Free

After the activation is complete, you’ll arrive at the Setup page. Here, you can either complete the setup or skip to the dashboard. 

Welcome and Setup

If you’re a new user, we recommend completing the setup process. 

One thing you must not miss during setup is the Anyone Can Register setting. Enabling this option allows users to register on your site with a front-end form. Otherwise, your users won’t be able to access the registration form.

Anyone Can Register Option

If you’ve already skipped the setup, navigate to Settings >> General. Tick the checkbox for the Membership option, and you’re done!

Enable General Membership

II. Create a New Registration Form

Next, you must create a registration form where you can enable CAPTCHA protection. Go to User Registration >> Add New, and you’ll be taken to the form builder. 

User Registration to Add New

You can simply drag and drop the necessary fields to create a custom registration form.

Form Builder Interface User Registration

Refer to our guide on creating a registration form with User Registration if you need help.


III. Integrate the Registration Form with reCAPTCHA or hCaptcha

After completing the registration form, open Settings >> Integration under the User Registration tab.

User Registration CAPTCHA Types

Here, you’ll find the three CAPTCHA types you can protect the registration form with:

reCaptcha v2: This CAPTCHA asks users to tick an “I am not a robot.” checkbox or complete image challenges. It then analyzes the user’s actions to tell humans and bots apart.

reCaptcha v3: reCaptcha v3 works in the background and doesn’t ask users to perform any challenges. 

It analyzes how a user interacts with your website and generates a score depending on the interactions. This score determines whether the user is human or not; a higher score indicates a genuine user.

hCaptcha: hCaptcha is similar to reCaptcha v2. But unlike v2, it doesn’t sell user data to third parties.

You can add any one of these CAPTCHAs depending on your requirements.

For a detailed guide, you can refer to our article on integrating CAPTCHAs with registration and login forms.

Adding reCAPTCHA to Registration Form

First, you must get the Site Key and Secret Key for reCAPTCHA from the official Google reCAPTCHA page

reCAPTCHA Keys Prevent Spam Registration WordPress

Click on v3 Admin Console on this page and log into your Google account. 

Official Google reCAPTCHA Page

Once signed in, you’ll arrive at the Create page, where you can register your website. The website you register must be the one where you want to display the CAPTCHAs.

Register a New Site

Enter the Label and choose between reCAPTCHA v2/v3. 

Enter Label and reCaptcha

Then, enter the Domains, accept the terms and conditions, and click Submit.

Submit New Site for reCAPTCHA

Google reCAPTCHA automatically generates a Site Key and Secret Key for you.

Copy reCaptcha Keys

So, copy them and head back to User Registration >> Settings >> Integration.

Now, choose the CAPTCHA Type you generated the keys for. Next, paste the keys into the respective fields and hit Save Changes. For reCaptcha v2, you get the choice to make it invisible. 

Paste reCAPTCHA v2 Keys

For reCaptcha v3, you get to set a custom Threshold Score.

Threshold Score for reCAPTCHA v3

Adding hCaptcha to Registration Form

Likewise, you require the Site Key and Secret Key for hCaptcha.

hCaptcha Keys WordPress Spam Registration

You can get them from the official hCaptcha page.

hCaptcha Official Page

Click on Sign Up and choose Add hCaptcha to your service (free).

Choose Free hCaptcha Service

Complete the signup process, and hCaptcha automatically generates both Site Key and Secret Key

Get hCaptcha Site Key and Secret Key

Copy these keys and go back to User Registration >> Settings >> Integration.

Paste hCaptcha Keys WordPress New User Registration Spam

Choose hCaptcha in the CAPTCHA Type option, paste the keys, and save the changes.


IV. Enable CAPTCHA Protection for the Form

With the integration done, you still need to enable CAPTCHA protection for the registration form. You can enable this protection for any form you’ve created with User Registration. 

So, open the previously created registration form and go to its Form Setting.

Form Setting Prevent Spam Registration WordPress

In the General section, you’ll find the Enable Captcha Support option. Just tick the checkbox and click Update form.

Enable CAPTCHA Prevent Spam Registration WordPress

That’s it! You’ve successfully integrated your registration form with CAPTCHA and protected it from spam.


2. Using Anti-spam Honeypot

The second way of preventing WordPress new user registration spam in User Registration is its anti-spam honeypot feature. 

It uses the honeypot technology to add an invisible field to the registration form. The hidden field is only visible to spam bots. So, the form immediately detects and blocks a spam bot that submits the form with the field filled.

For this feature, you’ll need User Registration Pro. So, go to User Registration’s official pricing page and purchase a suitable plan.

User Registration Pricing Plans Page

Once that’s done, log into your account and open Downloads. Here, find the User Registration Pro zip file and download it. 

Download User Registration Pro File

Back in your WordPress dashboard, go to Plugins >> Add New >> Upload Plugin and upload the file. Then, install and activate it.

Upload User Registration Pro

Note: Similar to User Registration free, the pro version also asks you to set up the plugin. Whether you proceed with the setup or skip, don’t forget to enable the membership option.

After that, copy the License Key from your account dashboard. 

User Registration License Key

Next, go to the Plugins page and paste it into the field under User Registration Pro. Just hit enter, and your pro license will be activated.

Activate User Registration Pro License

Now, open the registration form you previously created. In the form builder, navigate to Form Setting >> Extras.

Enable Honeypot

Here, you’ll find the Activate Spam Protection by HoneyPot option. Just tick the checkbox for it and click Update form.

That’s all you have to do to protect the registration form from annoying spam.


3. Using Whitelist Domain Registration Feature

With the whitelist domain registration feature, you can allow users with only specific email domains to fill out and submit the registration form. 

You can enable this option for your registration form from Misc Settings. So, navigate to Everest Forms >> Settings >> Misc

Advanced Whitelisted Domains Option

In the Advanced section, you’ll see the Whitelisted Domains option. List all the domains you want to allow registration for in the textbox and click Save Changes

Add Whitelisted Domains

You must list only genuine domains such as gmail.com, outlook.com, etc. You can enter multiple domains; just separate each domain with a comma.

Thus, only the users with the whitelisted email addresses can register through the form. The domains not listed here are automatically restricted.

This way, you can quickly enable spam protection for registration forms through whitelisted domains.


Wrapping Up

If you want a secure site, you must prevent WordPress spam registrations. Doing so blocks any fake registration and protects your site from malicious attacks.

A registration plugin like User Registration helps you build registration forms and enforce strict protection against spam bots. For complete protection, you can use its reCaptcha/ hCaptcha integration, anti-spam honeypot feature, and whitelist domain feature together.

If you just want spam protection, you can try anti-spam plugins instead.

Besides that, you can prevent spam in WordPress contact forms as well. You might also want to use WordPress security plugins for all-rounded security.

And that’s it for this article! You can explore our blog for more WordPress-related articles. Also, follow us on Twitter and Facebook to receive updates on new posts.

Anisha Maharjan

A Writer and Editor with an imaginative flair. You'll find her sketching, reading, exploring new music, and unwinding in cozy cafes in her free time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to top

Pin It on Pinterest