5 Ways of Battling Form Spam

Published on by

5 Ways of Battling Form Spam image

Once you’ve created an application sooner or later you are going to get hit with a spam bot. It’s inevitable.

On one of my projects the registration form got hit and I ended up with 17,000+ fake users and it was a pain to clean up. As part of the process, I asked on Twitter how other people are fighting bots and preventing form spam without captcha, and I had a huge response with a lot of great ideas. I wanted to share all the ones mentioned so that if you ever get hit you’ll know how to fight back.

  1. Cloudflare

If you are using a service like Cloudflare you can utilize their “page rules” set up to lock the URL with form submissions down.

I do not believe this will work as well as the others, but it’s quick to implement if you are already using the service and it shouldn’t hurt anything.

  1. Honeypot

Honeypots are a first-line defense and are pretty easy to setup. The way they work in this context is you add a hidden form input that should never have a value, then when the form is submitted if that hidden field has a value you know it’s probably from a bot.

You can implement this yourself but if packages like honey pot exist to make integration a breeze.

Just remember if you are making your own name the input fields something that seems legitimate, that way the bots think it’s a field that should be filled out.

  1. Validate Emails

If your form requires an email, like for new user registration then you could verify that the email actually exists and that they click a button in the email to confirm registration. This option is how a lot of newsletters work including our weekly Laravel Newsletter.

You enter your email. The service we use sends you an email. You click confirm. Then you are a subscriber.

This helps ensure they really wanted to signup and are not a bot, or someone signing up an enemy.

Another option that goes along with this is a service like identibyte that will verify an email through their API. This saves the hassle of making your users go through extra steps.

  1. Captcha

This is my least favorite option because I really hate captchas. Google has invisible reCaptcha which is probably the best captcha option.

  1. Dedicated Spam Services

The two primary spam services are Akismet by WordPress and Stop Forum Spam. Akismet is paid and Stop Forum Spam is free.

I’ve used Akismet extensively on every WordPress site I run, but you can use it with any app including Laravel. You’ll just need to tap into their API or use an existing page like nickurt/laravel-akismet.

Stop Forum Spam is a free service that sounds similar to Akismet and Laravel packages like nickurt/laravel-stopforumspam exist to help with the integration.

  1. Stopping Spam with Captcha

The last line of defense is usually captcha and Recaptcha and with some of the services now you no longer have to treat your users like robots. We have compiled a list of some of the ones available in a reCAPTCHA Packages tutorial.


Out of all these options I’d recommend starting with the honeypot, then if that fails, continue to the other options until you’ve stopped the bots from attacking your forms. Just remember what works today, may not work tomorrow. So it’s always going to be a battle.

Eric L. Barnes photo

Eric is the creator of Laravel News and has been covering Laravel since 2012.


Laravel Newsletter

Join 40k+ other developers and never miss out on new tips, tutorials, and more.

Laravel Forge logo

Laravel Forge

Easily create and manage your servers and deploy your Laravel applications in seconds.

Laravel Forge
Tinkerwell logo


The must-have code runner for Laravel developers. Tinker with AI, autocompletion and instant feedback on local and production environments.

No Compromises logo

No Compromises

Joel and Aaron, the two seasoned devs from the No Compromises podcast, are now available to hire for your Laravel project. ⬧ Flat rate of $7500/mo. ⬧ No lengthy sales process. ⬧ No contracts. ⬧ 100% money back guarantee.

No Compromises
Kirschbaum logo


Providing innovation and stability to ensure your web application succeeds.

Shift logo


Running an old Laravel version? Instant, automated Laravel upgrades and code modernization to keep your applications fresh.

Bacancy logo


Supercharge your project with a seasoned Laravel developer with 4-6 years of experience for just $2500/month. Get 160 hours of dedicated expertise & a risk-free 15-day trial. Schedule a call now!

Lucky Media logo

Lucky Media

Get Lucky Now - the ideal choice for Laravel Development, with over a decade of experience!

Lucky Media
Lunar: Laravel E-Commerce logo

Lunar: Laravel E-Commerce

E-Commerce for Laravel. An open-source package that brings the power of modern headless e-commerce functionality to Laravel.

Lunar: Laravel E-Commerce
LaraJobs logo


The official Laravel job board

SaaSykit: Laravel SaaS Starter Kit logo

SaaSykit: Laravel SaaS Starter Kit

SaaSykit is a Laravel SaaS Starter Kit that comes with all features required to run a modern SaaS. Payments, Beautiful Checkout, Admin Panel, User dashboard, Auth, Ready Components, Stats, Blog, Docs and more.

SaaSykit: Laravel SaaS Starter Kit
Rector logo


Your partner for seamless Laravel upgrades, cutting costs, and accelerating innovation for successful companies

MongoDB logo


Enhance your PHP applications with the powerful integration of MongoDB and Laravel, empowering developers to build applications with ease and efficiency. Support transactional, search, analytics and mobile use cases while using the familiar Eloquent APIs. Discover how MongoDB's flexible, modern database can transform your Laravel applications.


The latest

View all →
Learn to master Query Scopes in Laravel image

Learn to master Query Scopes in Laravel

Read article
How to Redirect Uppercase URLs to Lowercase with Laravel Middleware image

How to Redirect Uppercase URLs to Lowercase with Laravel Middleware

Read article
Generics Added to Eloquent Builder in Laravel 11.15 image

Generics Added to Eloquent Builder in Laravel 11.15

Read article
Manage Roles and Permissions in Filament with Hex Lite image

Manage Roles and Permissions in Filament with Hex Lite

Read article
Laravel Rest Api now supports Laravel Scout image

Laravel Rest Api now supports Laravel Scout

Read article
Build Your SaaS App in Days with SaaSykit image

Build Your SaaS App in Days with SaaSykit

Read article