Do you want to build a safe WordPress form?
Forms allow users to post information on your website. Nevertheless, hackers may also use these to steal information, target websites, and install malicious code. In this article, we will show you how to create a safe WordPress contact form. We will clarify how to ensure safe submissions of WordPress forms on your blog.
What Do You need to Secure WordPress Forms?
You will need two things to make your WordPress contact form safe.
- Need a contact form plugin
- A secure Hosting environment for WordPress
Let’s get started with the plugin method.
1. Need a contact form plugin
A secure plugin contact form helps you to save entries on your website securely. This also helps you to use protected email methods to send updates about your form. We suggest using WPForms, the best plugin on the market for the WordPress contact form. It comes with a lot of powerful features to secure WordPress forms and protect your site from spam, hacking, and data theft. A free version, called WPForms Lite, is also available. It is equally secure, but features are minimal.
2. A secure Hosting environment for WordPress
Choosing the right WordPress hosting is critical to your website protection and your contact forms. We suggest using Bluehost. They are one of the world’s largest hosting firms, and officially approved hosting service for WordPress. More importantly, they give free domain and SSL certificate to users (you will need it for better protection in WordPress form). You can also use other standard WordPress hosting companies such as SiteGround, WP Engine, HostGator and so on since they all offer free SSL.
What is SSL? And why do you need it to secure WordPress forms?
SSL stands for Secure Layer Sockets. It changes your WordPress site from HTTP (secure HTTP) to HTTPs. Next to your website, you may find a padlock icon showing it uses SSL protocol to transfer data.SSL protects the information by encrypting the transfer of data between the website and the browser of a user. This adds support for encryption in WordPress form, which makes it more difficult for hackers to steal data. See our article on how to get a free SSL certificate on your website for more information.
Let us now take a look at how WordPress can build a safe communication form.
Creating a Secure Contact Form in WordPress
Creating a secure contact form for WordPress is simple if you have already reviewed the above requirements.
Next, add more layers of security to your contact form on WordPress. It helps to keep data from the form secure and helps to reduce spam and boost the efficiency of your website. Two of the most popular ways anyone can steal information or exploit the WordPress forms are as follows.
Firstly, they will smell the details when a form introduces it. You can solve this by using a hosting platform safe for WordPress and allowing SSL encryption on your website. The next part is when your WordPress form sends out emails for notification. Business email services are not part of WordPress, so if you do not send those emails correctly, then they can be unsafe.
Finally, it is possible to exploit the WordPress forms to send spam messages and DDoS attacks. When you use a custom WordPress login form, hackers would be able to use brute force attacks to log into your WordPress account.
Now, let’s get each of them addressed to make your WordPress forms better.
Securing WordPress Contact Form Email Notifications
As we have already mentioned, insecure emails can be spied on and are unsafe. There are two ways you can handle emails about the form notification.
1. Do not send form data via email notification
The first thing you would like to remember is not sending data about the form that emails. For example, when somebody submits your contact form, you will only receive an email warning that someone submitted the form and not the form data themselves. WPForms comes with an integrated entry management system which stores data about your form in your WordPress database. Simply go to WPForms » Entries page to show all submissions for the form.
N.B.: For the entry management functionality, you will need to upgrade to the paid version of WPForms.
2. Send secure WordPress form notification emails
For some users it is important to send emails from the notification form to their company. For instance, you might need to send email notifications to your users if you have an online order form, a donation form, or a payment form. To do this, you need to set up a proper SMTP service for secure email sending which stands for Stable Mail Transfer Protocol. Sending emails safely over the internet is the industry norm. We suggest using G Suite that allows you to create a professional email address for companies. Powered by Google, it lets you send and receive emails using the popular Gmail app. If you are going to send a lot of emails, however, then we suggest using Sendinblue, Amazon SES, or any of the reliable SMTP service providers.
Next, you need to connect your WordPress email service so that all your WordPress form updates can be sent using your protected email link. To do that, you need the W.P. Mail SMTP plugin installed and activated. It fits with any SMTP email provider and enables secure sending of WordPress emails easily.
Securing WordPress Forms Against Spam and Attacks
The forms on your website are open to the public. This means that anyone can fill in and access them. In the next step, we will cover restricting form access to specific users, but we will address public forums for this step. This can become a trap for spammers and hackers as the form is available to everyone on the internet. As spammers try to use your form for fraudulent activity, hackers can attempt to use it to access or even downgrade your website.
Fortunately, WPForms comes with several functions for spam prevention. This also makes the honeypot anti-spam technique automatically in all types. Nonetheless, securing online forms in this way is not the most efficient way. When you believe that your forms are being manipulated or targeted, then you can deploy the spam security tools below.
1. Enable Google reCAPTCHA in Your Forms
Google provides three types of software for the reCAPTCHA. We recommend using the reCAPTCHA v2 checkbox as it is easier to use. To allow reCAPTCHA on your site, you’ll need site key and secret key. Only go to the reCAPTCHA website and click at the top of the Admin Console tab.
First, you should go ahead with info about your website. Provide a site mark and then pick reCAPTCHA v2 with the checkbox I am not a robot. Click on the Submit button to start, and you should see the API keys. Go ahead and copy those keys and paste them into the WPForms settings tab. Do not forget to click the Save Settings button to save your changes.
You can now update your form and add the reCAPTCHA field to your form. You will see a message that reCAPTCHA is now available for your form. If you have not already added a form to your website, you can simply edit the post or page where you want to view the form and add the WPForms block to the content area. In the drop-down menu, simply pick your form and WPForms will load a sample of your form. With the reCAPTCHA field in action, you can now save your post or page and view it in a new browser tab to see your form.
2. Enable Custom Captcha for Your WordPress Forms
When you don’t want to use Google’s reCAPTCHA, instead you can use your math quiz or WPForms Custom Captcha addon with questions.
Note: To use custom captcha addon, you will need a pro version of the plugin.
Simply go over to WPForms » Add page for installation and activation of the Custom Captcha addon. You can edit your contact form after that and add the Captcha field to your form. By default, it gives a random math problem to solve. You can change that by changing the captcha type to text, to add your custom captcha. You can now save your form and use the WPForms block, to a post or website. Visit your post or website now to see the custom captcha in motion.
Restricting WordPress Forms Access to Certain Users
Another way to secure the WordPress forms is by limiting access to members who are logged in or setting up a password protected form. WPForms comes with a Form Locker addon that allows you to use different form permissions as well as access control rules.
You can use the form locker to:
- Password Protect Forms – this requires users to enter a form password. The additional security aims to reduce the number of unnecessary submissions to the form.
- Close Form Submissions After Particular Date / Time-this is perfect for any application form or other time-sensitive type.
- Limit the total number of entries-this is excellent for contests or giveaways. When the total number of entries is submitted, the WPForms closes the form automatically.
- Only one entry per user-you will love this choice if you want to prevent duplicate submissions. This is very useful in applications for grants, prizes, etc.
- Limit Membership Forms Only – you can limit your forms to your WordPress web users who are logged in. It is perfect for subscription platforms or companies who just want help exclusive to paying customers.
Inside Form Builder Settings panel, you can access Form Locker settings.
Keeping Your WordPress Site Secure- Conclusion
The security of your WordPress forms depends on your entire WordPress website is free. You can strengthen the protection of your WordPress website with a few straightforward measures. We recommend using the best plugin on the market for WordPress security. It comes with a firewall on the website that prevents any suspicious activity even before it hits your website.
See our other articles for more realistic tips. We hope this article helped you create a safe WordPress contact form. You may also want to see our email newsletter guide and our list of must-have WordPress plugins. To have the best WordPress themes, click here