Unwanted form submissions can come in a variety of ways. Some comments come from actual humans fishing for ad traffic or clicks. A much more common type of spam comes from bots that find ways to inject information, like links back to their site, etc. While both are frustrating, the second can actually be easier to fight.
For any UXi site that is using Gravity Forms and still receiving spam bot submissions, here are a few things that can be checked:
Q: Is the site using an Email field instead of Single Line Text to collect email addresses?
If not, consider updating the form to use the Email field. Using the Email field allows the form to validate the email address entered; making it harder for bots to make submissions.
If so, consider activating the Enable Email Confirmation option. Email confirmation forces the user to enter their email address twice, which is even more effective in stopping bot submissions.
Q: Are fields like name, email, and phone numbers required?
If not, require them.
Great! Keep them set that way. Requiring fields to be submitted will also make it harder for bots to make submissions.
*Please note that when you remove a field, all of it's entry data will be lost as well.
If you remove a Single Line Text field that's been collecting users' email addresses, those addresses will be deleted from existing entries.
Export the entries first.
Q: Should the form include a CAPTCHA field?
A: If the client is interested in requiring uses to enter a randomly generated phrase, follow the instructions displayed on the CAPTCHA field:
- Sign up for an API key pair for your site.
- Enter your reCAPTCHA site and secret keys in the reCAPTCHA Settings section of the Gravity Forms Settings page.
- Add the CAPTCHA field to the form. It's available in the Advanced Fields section.
Q: Should the site go further and use Akismet?
A: If the site is still receiving unwanted bot submissions, click the Activate on the UXi Add-Ons page next to Akismet.
- Sign up for an Akismet plan to get an API key.
- Go to your Akismet configuration page under UXi Settings > Akismet, and save your API key.
- Go to the Gravity Forms > Settings page and activate the Protect your form entries from spam using Akismet option.