In one site I'm getting a lot of spam via a contact form created with Freeform. Is there a good solution, besides adding a CAPTCHA?

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    – Anna_MediaGirl
    Commented Dec 22, 2012 at 6:17

11 Answers 11


I would recommend using either snaptcha or honeepot as they are both unobtrusive captchas that the end user never sees. They are also very very effective.

  • I've used honeepot in the past and it works really well. In my experience it did let a bit of spam in... but nothing's perfect.
    – Mutual
    Commented Nov 18, 2012 at 13:19
  • We have used honeepot too with great results; highly recommended.
    – Brett
    Commented Nov 21, 2012 at 9:31
  • I prefer Honeepot and have found it to be reliable as well. Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 13:51
  • Honeepot works to an extent, and in fact uses the same method that Snaptcha uses on its low security setting. Once you get more traffic though spam will start to get through and that's when Snaptcha's high security setting really comes into its play.
    – Ben Croker
    Commented Feb 12, 2014 at 0:51
  • +1 for Snaptcha. Increasing the security level really works a charm... But expect some flack from users at the annoyance of submitting stale forms.
    – stalanoa
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 16:14

There's also Low NoSpam, which you use in conjunction with an Akismet license. I started using it on my personal site when CAPTCHAs weren't effective and it reduced spammy submissions to zero.

The other advantage to Akismet is you don't need user-unfriendly CAPTCHAs. Even honeypots can be outsmarted by bots on occasion, and they're not effective against human spammers.

The one caveat with Low NoSpam on Freeform is that you can't moderate flagged submissions from the CP. Though that hasn't really been a problem for me.

  • Well according to the question, quote "besides adding a CAPTCHA" this would be the correct answer, so upvoting. Amazing as even I when reading the question suggested a Captcha variant. kgrote deserves the answer here as he seems to be one of the few that actually read the question!
    – Blatant
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 12:04

I like Sean's suggestions, but if you are avoiding CAPTCHA simply because they can be difficult to enter in for a user, check out Accessible CAPTCHA to see if it will suit your needs. You can set up a series of questions that will be picked at random instead, that a user has to answer.

I've used it on sites and have had some fun having the questions be "on brand" for the site.

  • I also like accessible captcha and have used it in the past as well.
    – CreateSean
    Commented Nov 18, 2012 at 22:01

In addition to CAPTCHA, you might want to take a look at VZ Bad Behavior - it will block known spammers from the entire site. Give it a look; I've used it and had great success with it.


Not sure of any other ways of preventing forms to be submitted without a captcha, Sean's idea sounds great though and definitely worth looking into. But you can always go with RECAPTCHA if you really need to use a CAPTCHA. I hate them (as most people probably do) but here's the link:


It's ADA compliant, your visitors help translate books and its probably the most popular. Snaptcha would do the trick as well, but I personally think that if you need a captcha (which I hate :)) then go with RECAPTCHA :)

Oh and it's completely FREE too!!

  • Since the new version ReCaptcha is even better (sorry I missed your answrr and posted my own), no more word deciphering, just a tick box that monitors human heuristics! clean, neat and quick.
    – Blatant
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 10:31

I released a (free) anti-spam addon for Freeform which a) adds a honeypot field and b) checks the submission's IP address against a few blacklists. You might want to give it a try - I've used it to mostly eliminate spam submissions on several sites.


I've also created a plugin for Mollom. You can find it here. https://github.com/tsmith86/EE_mollom I do need to update it though.


On Monday i installed a Snaptcha as Honeepot which had been installed for years was letting some spam through ( maybe 5/7 a week). To date no spam. It may cost $15 but if these levels stay more than worth it!


I've had good results with Freeform Anti-Spam. It places honeypot fields and can filter results for those that do get through. I've been able to remove the hated captcha field from some client forms using this. http://devot-ee.com/add-ons/freeform-anti-spam


There is also the free Honeypot for ExpressionEngine add-on which works with Solspace Freeform, Solspace User and Expresso/DevDemon FreeMember.




Have you seen the new version of ReCaptcha? It's about as unobtrusive as you get, it's a tick box that monitors for human style movements and clicks, really nice IMHO.

I always use this : https://devot-ee.com/add-ons/recaptcha

It's kind of like a drop in replacement for the build in Captcha so it works anywhere the built in one does, including Freeform front and back end. You can use your existing captcha settings via EE CP and I beleive it has tags to easily include in many forms!

Best of all it's free! This module with the new style of ReCaptcha makes for a winning combo in my book, and not messing about at all!

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