How to Stop Fake Bot Registration Attempts in WordPress

Fake, or bot registration attempts in WordPress can be a real pain. Every time you get an email that someone registered to your site and you think it’s an actual user, but it turns out it’s a bot. I once heard from someone that a bot tried to register every 30 minutes. This is not worth your valuable time. In this article I’ll show you several ways of blocking these kinds of registration attempts.

1. Manage Who Can Register

This is probably the easiest way, but this has a downside. In the WordPress Settings -> General tab,  you can tick a box that says anyone can register. Tick this box if you want anyone to be able to register to your site. If you leave it unchecked, no one will be able to create an account on your site. Now only you can create accounts for people. If you have a plugin like WooCommerce installed people can still register when they order a product from your site.


The downside of this approach is that normal users won’t be able to register either. So if you need the functionality of everyone being able to register (except bots), keep reading.

2. Captcha Plugin

There’s a great plugin called Captcha by BestWebSoftWith this plugin, not only your registration form will be protected by a captcha, but also forms like comment and contact forms. The plugin is completely free and easy to use, no programming knowledge required. If you don’t believe me, believe the 450 users who gave the plugin a 5-star review.

Features of the free version:

  • Add captcha to:
    • Login form
    • Registration form
    • Reset password form
    • Comments form
    • Contact Form
    • Custom form
  • Choose Captcha type:
    • Character Recognition
    • Simple math actions such as addition, subtraction, and multiplication
  • Enhance captcha protection with:
    • Letters
    • Numbers
    • Images
  • Hide captcha for:
    • Registered users in comments form
    • Whitelisted IP addresses
  • Set captcha submission time limit
  • Refresh captcha option
  • Image packages with hand-drawn digits
  • Edit captcha title and notifications
  • Merge IP addresses from Limit Attempts plugin with Captcha whitelist
  • Add custom code via plugin settings page
  • Compatible with latest WordPress version
  • Incredibly simple settings for fast setup without modifying code
  • Detailed step-by-step documentations and videos
  • Multi-lingual and RTL ready

There’s also a premium version of this plugin, but the free one will be enough for most sites.


3. reCAPTCHA Plugin

A maybe better solution is the Google reCAPTCHA method. It may require a little more work to implement, but it’s more user-friendly for your visitors. Instead of having to solve math problems, they can just tick a box and move on. Personally I’d go for this solution if I’d want to block bots, but still let ordinary site users register whenever they want.

The plugin I recommend for this is the Google Captcha (reCAPTCHA) by BestWebSoft. It has may 5-star reviews and works very well.


Well, that was a quick post on how to block bots from your WP site. Like it? Then share it with your WordPress friends on Facebook and Twitter! Did we miss something or do you know another way of protecting the WP registration area? Then please leave a comment below.

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About the Author:

WordPress developer and founder of Hostsonny

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