How to Add Invisible reCAPTCHA Spam Protection to Shack Forms

How to Add Invisible reCAPTCHA Spam Protection to Shack Forms (2)
A few years ago, Google reinvented its reCaptcha spam prevention system.

Previous versions of Captcha tried to prevent spam by presenting users with distorted letters and numbers. This system was confusing to users, but spammers still found workarounds.

The new Google system is known as No Captcha reCaptcha. This new system is way more user-friendly and doesn't require user interaction. 

In this blog post, I am going to show you how to add the "Invisible reCaptcha" spam protection to Shack Forms.

Google's "Invisible reCAPTCHA" allows you to protect your Shack Forms from spam. It does it on background, without user interaction.

For those new to the concept of captcha, this tool protects your site from bots and malicious visitors.

They will try to steal your passwords, post spam comments, scrape your content and create fake user accounts.

Google Captchas stand in between your site and malicious bots and visitors. Captchas normally ask a question that is simple for humans but hard for robots.

Such one-time verification doesn't fit all use cases, however. That's why Google developed the invisible version of its captcha.

It eliminates the interactive test your site visitors have to pass to fill a form, so they won't be interrupted anymore.

Let's take a look at how to set this up.


Step #1. Register your site to use the Invisible reCAPTCHA API

  • Login to your Gmail account and go to google.com/recaptcha.
  • In the "Register a new site" box, click "Invisible" under "reCAPTCHA v2":

click recaptcha v2 invisible

  1. Enter your domain name into the "Domains" text area.
  2. Click "Accept the re-CAPTCHA Temrs of Service".
  3. Click "Send alerts to owners".
  4. Click "Register".

enter domain name agree and register

  • Copy the Site and the Secret keys:

copy your keys


Step #2. Configure the Invisible re-CAPTCHA plugin

  • In your Joomla control panel, go to "Extensions" > "Plugins".
  • Click "Captcha - Invisible reCAPTCHA":

click captcha invisible recaptcha

  • Paste the Site and Secret Keys that you copied in the previous step into their respective fields:

paste the site and secret keys into their fields

  • Click "Published" and then click "Save & Close".
  • Go to "System" > "Global Configuration".
  • Find the "Default Captcha" setting and set it to "CAPTCHA - Invisible reCAPTCHA":

select invisible recaptcha as joomla default


Step #3. Configure your Shack Form

  • Open up your Shack Form for editing.
  • Go to the "Advanced" tab.
  • Find the "Captcha" parameter and set it to "Captcha - Invisible reCAPTCHA":

select invisible recaptcha

  • Click "Save" or "Save & Close".

When you check your Shack Form now, you will see Google's "Invisible reCAPTCHA" at work:

invisible recaptcha at work


 What's Next?

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About the author

Alex is a based in England self-taught Microsoft Certified Professional. He enjoys learning Joomla and helping beginners and web site administrators make the most of it.