Google reCaptcha in China

Written By Wolfgang Geiger

WordPress developer in Hong Kong specializing in making websites work in Mainland China. More information on the About Me page

Google reCaptcha is used to avoid spam and make sure, the user submitting a form, logging into an account or making a purchase is a real user, not a bot.

The problem with this: reCaptcha doesn’t work well in China.

As a result, whatever part of your website you want to secure with reCaptcha, Chinese internet users won’t be able to use that part.

Here’s how to deal with this:

Removing reCaptcha

This in itself, unfortunately, isn’t as straight forward as deactivating reCaptcha in your plugins. Some plugins still load the reCaptcha file from the Google or GStatic server, slowing the website down similar to how Google Fonts are.

Having said that, making sure all settings are set correctly to not use reCaptcha is still the first step.

The next steps are as follows:

  • Go into your HTML code and check whether reCaptcha is still loaded from an external domain
  • If it is, try to find out what plugin it is loaded by and make sure the settings are configured to not load reCaptcha
  • Should the file still be loaded, dequeue the file manually

What to use instead

You can use alternatives to reCaptcha like hCaptcha.

Using WordPress security tools or firewalls is another way to make sure bots aren’t destroying your website. I personally like Blogvault for that.

In general, however, try to avoid things like Captchas as much as possible, you might solve one problem but create others which you might not realize.

If you have questions or need help with your website, click on the button below to get in touch.

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