Eliminate User Registration Spam from your WordPress Membership Site with Profile Builder

User Registration Spam is becoming an important concern for many of the WordPress membership site owners. If your WordPress site is set to allow user registration, then it’s probably vulnerable to user registration spam from spam-bots.

Anyone can Register - Spam Registration
But, as we all know, user registration is a must have for any community or membership website. It’s what keeps the site alive and kicking and can also be an important source of revenue.
That’s why shutting down WordPress user registration is not an option for these types of sites.
But if you ever had to go through all the stress of deleting tens or even hundreds of users every day, you probably know that keeping your user list clean can be a big pain.

We built Profile Builder because we were convinced that WordPress user registration can be done better. Profile Builder, or “WordPress Registration Done Right” as we like to call it, is a plugin meant to enhance your site’s user registration by adding front-end registration, profile and login forms.

Since spam was also a recurring problem amongst Profile Builder’s users, we built into the plugin some cool features that will help you get rid of Spam once and for all.

Here are four features from Profile Builder PRO that will help you kiss Spam goodbye:

1. Using reCAPTCHA

One of the most popular ways to fight Spam is to use a reCAPTCHA verification in your registration process.

Profile Builder Pro has Extra Fields Types and one of them is the reCAPTCHA field, which allows you to add reCAPTCHA verification on all Profile Builder front-end forms, as well as default WordPress register, login and lost password forms.

Profile Builder Pro - Recaptcha field
Default WordPress Login page with Recaptcha field
All you need to do is to get a site and a secret key from Google: www.google.com/recaptcha, add them in the reCAPTCHA field and you’re all set. A reCAPTCHA verification will be added automatically to the front-end user registration forms.

Profile Builder Pro - Recaptcha field backend
If you would like to read more about adding reCAPTCHA to WordPress Register, Login and Lost Password Forms with Profile Builder view this article.

[UPDATE] The new No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA has replaced the old version, starting with Profile Builder 2.1.0.

However in some cases reCAPTCHA alone doesn’t get rid of user registration spam completely. That’s why we didn’t stop here.

2. Custom Redirects

Custom Redirects is probably one of the most efficient ways to stop user registration spam. The Custom Redirects module allows you to redirect any request from the default WordPress pages to a custom register page created via Profile Builder.

Profile Builder Pro Custom Redirects module backend
Custom Redirects will give you the option to redirect users from the Default WP Register Page, Default WP Login Page, Default WP Lost Password Page, Author Archive Page or even the Default WP Dashboard to custom pages created with Profile Builder, that can’t be targeted by bots. This way you won’t be using the standard WP registration urls at all.

As a side note, if you want to take things even further, you can disable WordPress registration all together and have Profile Builder registration still working. This is done with a specific filter we added to the plugin wppb_register_setting_override, which you can use to activate the registration process using the PB shortcode, and still have the default WP registration page deactivated. This way you’ll make it impossible for spam-bots to track your registration pages urls.

3. Email Confirmation

Under Profile Builder’s general settings you’ll have the option to activate the Email Confirmation feature.

Profile Builder Pro Email Confirmation backend
This means each newly registered user will have to confirm his email address first in order to proceed to the actual registration process. This is a perfect way to make sure that only valid email addresses pass the registration process. The users with unconfirmed email addresses will be placed under an “Users with Unconfirmed Email Address” tab in the All Users window. From here you’ll be able to easily remove them or confirm their emails yourself.

Profile Builder Pro Email Confirmation feature

4. Admin Approval to eliminate User Registration Spam

Admin Approval is another feature that will keep your user list clean. It makes sure not to create the WordPress user account until you have approved that specific user.

After you activate this feature, you’ll notice an “Admin Approval” tab in the All Users listing. There you can easily approve or delete newly signed up users.

Profile Builder Pro Admin Approval Backend
In case you decide to use both Admin Approval and Email Confirmation the built-in Email Customizer will give you the ability to edit and customize the emails sent to the users upon registration or after receiving admin approval.

Profile Builder Pro User Email Customizer Backend
This was a round-up of all the features built into Profile Builder Pro that are meant to help you get rid of user registration spam. You can use all the methods above combined in a way or another to prevent spam registrations.
Would love to hear what methods you use to fight user registration spam on your site.

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18 thoughts on “Eliminate User Registration Spam from your WordPress Membership Site with Profile Builder

  1. Hi,
    I would like to allow everybody to post content without register. I don’t know how to delete the register obligation (when you want to post a job or a cv).
    Secondly, do you know how to translate all in French?
    Thank you

  2. Where is this filter “wppb_register_setting_override”? How do you use it? It sounds like just what I’m looking for, but I don’t see any instructions for it. Thanks, Brian

    1. Hello Brian,

      it can be found in profile-builder-pro\front-end\wppb.register.php (at around line 269), and what it does is retrieves and allows you to change one of the settings the form relies up on: whether or not a user can register.

      See, for instance if registration is turned off, no registering options will be available on the back-end, and since PB uses this also, it won’t be available in front-end either.

      The good part is that using this, you can still have registration blocked in the back-end, but have it open in the front-end. This has the main advantage that it is secure (no spam-bots fiddling around, and no curios users clicking links in the back-end).

      Should you have any further questions about it, please open a topic in our forums (http://www.cozmoslabs.com/forums/) and ask away.


    1. Hello Richie,

      and thank you for showing interest in Profile Builder!

      Unfortunately due to our site-setup we can’t offer free trials, w/o also giving you access to the source code. Here you can check out basic functionalities, but should you decide to purchase it, you will benefit of a 30-day money back guarantee in case you are not satisfied with the plugin and/or we can’t help you.

      Sending bulk email doesn’t exist in PB at all. Though I would usually suggest using the built-in filters to customize such features, but I am not sure if this can be done (easily). Other than that, all user-actions (like sign-up, confirmation etc) is notified via (customizable) emails.

      Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with!


  3. Here’s one for you…
    Registration is turned off.
    The same number(53) of users listed in WP site.
    But in the database for the site the table wp_users has about 4000-5000
    bogus users listed?

    Could your plugin prevent this?

  4. I’m using formidable plug-in with their paypad addin. I’d like to be able to prevent registration if not paid. Is there anything your plugin can do in this area?

  5. Can I use this for registrations to a bbpress forum?

    The bbpress register widget doesn’t capture any details beyond a username and password, and I’m keen to build a database of at least some user contact details.

  6. i install profile builder plugin which work fine but my reply comment (post) and the forum which shows you must log in to access is still showing me the wordpress login page compare to my profile that show the plugin login page

    1. Hi Pam,

      Yes, Profile Builder will work with wp-members, however, membership sign-up will have to be powered by wp-members, as there is no integration between the two. You can then use the Edit Profile forms to gather extra information from your users and the rest of Profile Builder features.

      Alternatively, you can use Paid Member Subscriptions, that’s a membership plugin that’s fully compatible with Profile Builder.

  7. When I originally commented I seem tto have clickrd on the -Notify mme when new comments are added-
    checkbox and ffom now on each time a comment iss added I receive 4 emails with the
    exaact same comment. There has to be a way you can remove me
    from that service? Thanks!

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