Contact Form 7 Update and Google reCaptcha Issues

Contact Form 7 Update and Google reCaptcha Issues

Vanja K.
Vanja K.
August 21, 2023
3 min read

A few weeks ago, Contact Form 7, version  5.8 was released. It brought a lot of bug fixes and it’s one of the most important updates for this highly regarded contact plugin in a while. However, it brought on its own set of problems which we’re dealing with for several of our clients. But, before we dive into the details, here’s a list of updates and bug fixes resolved with Contact Form 7, version 5.8 right below:

  • Requires WordPress 6.2+ and PHP 7.4+.
  • SWV: Updates the version to 1.2.0 (Contact Form 7 SWV Schema 2023-07).
  • SWV: Newly supports the dayofweek and time rule types.
  • Introduces SHA-1 hash-based contact form identification.
  • Ignores the id attribute if the same ID has been used for another element.
  • Stripe: Updates the API version to 2022-11-15.
  • New filter hook: wpcf7_mail_html_body
  • New filter hook: wpcf7_config_validator_available_error_codes
  • New filter hook: wpcf7_form_additional_atts

Contact Form 7 Hero Featured 1

The form updated your form IDs (the old ones still work from our experience, but be sure to check them out in order to avoid any issues on your websites). You can browse the full list of changes on GitHub. However, from what we’ve learned, the update brought two distinct problems. First, the issue is with the HTML formatting of each form. And if you didn’t have the HTML tags added for line breaks and/or any other items, the new update (for unknown reasons) doesn’t add any line breaks and/or HTML formatting anymore automatically. So you’ll have to deal with that accordingly.

However, for some of our client’s sites, we’ve found a more concerning issue. It concerns anyone using reCaptcha, as the issue lies in the way the spam score was calculated. The issue – from what we’ve learned – stems from the Google reCaptcha API keys used. In turn, even though the reCaptcha is a great service (albeit slowing down sites when used on pages where no forms are added, but that can be dealt with), it posed a big problem for our clients as the lead generation was lower due to this. Just to make sure we drop all the details, we use the Contact Form 7 plugin with the Post SMTP plugin, which utilizes MailGun for e-mail delivery, set up in a way that works best for our clients. However, once the update for CF7 was rolled out, we started seeing spam issues across the board. And after a lot of digging, we found the possible solution for this is to reactivate reCaptcha keys and start over.

And whilst this is a simple procedure, it requires re-creating a reCaptcha account for each website, as you can’t simply reactivate keys on that Google Cloud service. And once the domain activates (you need to wait about 30min for that to happen), the forms and spam issues resolved themselves, and all the inquiries started flowing back. However, we have to warn you that whilst this seemed to rectify the issue, we’re still closely monitoring our client’s sites for any issues and adjusting accordingly. In turn, if you have Contact Form 7 running on your client’s sites, we strongly suggest you look into the issue yourself, as this solution might not work for you and you’ll need more research done in order to rectify this issue.

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