Product Support


Adds a Google reCAPTCHA human user verification control.

Product support page for the Re-Captcha Add-On Plugin.

Product Setup

This add-on requires you to obtain API keys from Google. It’s not hard, but if the process is unfamiliar it may seem like a lot of trouble to go to. You will need a Google account for this, but you don’t have to create a new one if you already have a Gmail account, just log in to your Gmail (or Google Accounts) before you begin and it will go smoothly. Otherwise, create your Google account, then once you’re logged into it, get your API keys as explained below.

Google has created a very helpful setup page for using the reCAPTCHA API, just click on the “sign up for an API key pair” link on this page:

>>>Getting Started with reCAPTCHA

Be sure to click on the sign up for an API key pair link first thing, that’s really all you need to do. The rest of the technical stuff you don’t need to worry about. Be sure to choose a V2 key with the “invisible” type. Get your key pair and enter them into the plugin settings.

Setting Up the reCAPTCHA Field

Once the keys have been entered, go to the “manage database fields” page and create a new field for the captcha (if you don’t already have one). Set the form element setting to “captcha” and enable the field for the signup form by checking the “signup” checkbox.

Enable the Google reCAPTCHA control in the field by typing the word “recaptcha” in the form element “Attributes” field.

If the user does not click the reCAPTCHA checkbox, the message shown is set in the Participants Database “Failed CAPTCHA Message” setting, under the general tab.

Product Settings

Site Key, Secret Key

These keys, which are supplied by Google, must be provided for the plugin to work. See the instructions for how to obtain these codes for your site.

CAPTCHA Passed Message

This is what to show if the challenge has been met to let the user know they passed it. It can be a simple string or some HTML if you like.

Widget Theme, Widget Type

Selects the appearance of the widget.

Invisible reCAPTCHA Badge Location

When using Invisible reCAPTCHA, a badge is placed on the screen. This setting sets where that is shown. Use the “Inline” setting if you want to style it yourself with CSS.

Revalidation Type

If the user requires additional validation, this selects which type of revalidation widget will be used. It’s usually best to stick with “image” because most people are familiar with it.


Does the plugin support audio CAPTCHA?

Yes, it the “image” or “audio” mode for the fallback validator is chosen in the plugin settings. This validator is only used if the user cannot be validated in the background, so it does not always appear.

How does just clicking the checkbox verify the user?

I don’t know, but this looks like a good answer…

How do I change the message that appears if the user does not click on the reCAPTCHA?

In the main Participants Database settings, under the “General” tab, is the setting: “Failed CAPTCHA Message”

Can I reposition or hide the Google Invisible reCAPTCHA badge?

In the settings, there is a location preference for the badge, try the different settings to see which you like best.

You can change the position, size, etc. of the badge when it is in “inline” mode with your own CSS. Be aware that hiding the badge is probably a violation of Google’s terms of use. It may also be a privacy law violation in the EU. Here is a link with some more details on this question.

Support Discussions for reCAPTCHA

  • Can you add reCaptcha to the pdb_login ? When I have someone login i would like to have recaptcha there.

    • It’s possible, but this isn’t built into the plugin. Currently the only way to get a captcha on the form is to use a custom template for the login form and add it yourself.

      • Do you by chance have an example of the custom template?

        • No, I’ve never tried setting this up. The Google reCAPTHCA site gives good instructions, you’ll need to be fairly familiar with javascript.

  • Hi, i tried to add re-CAPTCHA field to my PDB fields but it’s not working nor showing. I saw that there is a re-CAPTCHA add-on for $5, does this mean that i cannot use re-CAPTCHA without getting the re-CAPTCHA add-on plugin? I just want to confirm please. thank you

    • The use of the reCAPTCHA widget does require the reCAPTCHA add-on. The free plugin only has a simple math CAPTCHA.

  • Hi,
    Where can I control what kind of Captha method is used. Currently I am only able to see Captha math check at signon. Is there documentation that I have overlooked?

    The development validation is currently is on main page on

    Thanks for any tips.

    • I have found the error. Overlooked the following part of the documentation.

      “Enable the Google reCAPTCHA control in the field by typing the word “recaptcha” in the form element “Attributes” field.”

  • I am using the contact form, recaptcha & Email add-ons with the participants database. I am trying to setup the recaptcha, but my database field for CAPTCHA form element does not have a “values” parameter in the field. I am not seeing the same thing as your screenshot in the instructions above. I have tried to continue without this part of the setup, but I get a message that my form was not sent when I submit the contact form.

    • I’m sorry, I need to update those instructions. The word “recaptcha” should go into the “attributes” area of the field definition.

      • I added “recaptcha” in the attributes. Validation is CAPTCHA, Form Element is CAPTCHA, checked Read Only and Sign Up boxes. I have gone through your instructions multiple times to see if I am missing something and I just don’t see anything.
        Any other ideas why I would get ‘No message was sent’ when I use Recaptcha in my contact form? It worked great before I added the recaptcha. I’m using the v2 Invisible like it specifies in the instructions for the contact form. The statistics from Google, don’t show that the keys have been used for a request. In the pdb recaptcha settings, I have tried every widget type ( Normal, Compact and Invisible). Would greatly appreciate your thoughts or suggestions.

        • It might be helpful if I could see your signup form.

          If the invisible recaptcha is not configured correctly you won’t see anything. The most common problem is the API keys not validating. If you open your Browser Developer Tools and look at the console when the page is loaded, you can see if there is a problem with the API or the javascript.


          It’s a contact form, based on search results from database.

        • OK, I don’t see a problem, the recaptcha is active.

        • The recaptcha is visible/active, but the contact form is not sending a message now. Before I downloaded and installed the recaptcha add-in, when I filled out the form, I received a pop-up “Your message has been sent” and I received an email. Now after the recaptcha installation I get a pop-up “Message not sent” and no email.

        • Make sure your API keys are correctly set up for recaptcha. To really see what the problem is, you need to check your php error log…you’ll have to set it up if you haven’t already.

  • i have google recaptcha installed on my site. It works on my wordpress login page
    can i use that on the signup form?
    i tried to add a field (captcha) set as readonly on the signup form, but it does not show up
    thanks for your help

    • Make sure your captcha field is configured to be included in the signup form..there is a checkbox for that in the field definition. Also, make sure that you have “recpatcha” in the “values” parameter of the field.

      • well the field does show up but in the middle of the form! after personal info, but before code of ethics, liability and payment button.
        i have the personal information (name, phone, email) but also they must check that they agree to our code of ethics and submit a copy of their liability insurance.
        i would prefer that it come right before the member_payment buton

        i don’t see where i can set the order of the fields on the signup form. – am i missing something.

        • Field can be reordered on the Manage Database Fields page by dragging a field into the desired position.

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