December 2018 was a big month of major WordPress updates. WordPress introduced its new 5.0 version in beginning of December 2018 with many bug fixes and improvements. But the most outstanding is the implementation of the new content block editor Gutenberg, please see this complete Gutenberg Editor guide for more information. Gutenberg will surely make it easier for bloggers and content creators in their process of creating and structuring content.
Yet if you did not use the default editor before due to using other content structuring tools then you might be surprise as things might suddenly not work as expected. I was forced to install and configure the official Classic Editor plugin and deactivate Gutenberg due to problems.
WordPress has made three more releases as of this writing so we stand now at version 5.0.3. Also the new WordPress version 5 has triggered an avalanche of updates by many plugin and theme creators seemingly adapting to the new environment and ironing out issues accordingly. Or trying to implement new features like for example Contact Form 7 plugin did.
Contact Form 7 plugin update and its negative side effects
Some plugin developers obviously took the opportunity to introduce new features and abandoning working ones. A quite famous and widely used plugin is the Contact Form 7. For unknown reasons they have just dismissed the use of the Google Captcha v2 and now fully support only Google Captcha v3!?
You normally would think that is a good thing as that will surely be an overall improvement. Yet there is the requirement to replace the existing with the new Google Captcha v3 keys in the Contact From 7 application. This might take around 15 minutes (if you include the logins to all required accounts), but if you have a dozen or more websites to maintain this becomes quite a work-out spending a couple of hours on this “little” change.
But now you are faced with two things a new Captcha system that has to relearn what is spam, via user interactions. So the system starts from scratch, hence you will all of a sudden get way more spam then before until it has caught up with everything, which will take longer for websites with less visitors. And secondly you have now the Google Captcha batch icon on all your website pages. Besides not looking to great it does slow down your website a bit, so what can you do!?
Luckily there have been already solutions sussed out by various users. To ovoid the move to Google Captcha v3 with its disruptive logo on all pages the best option is to get and activate the Advanced noCaptcha & invisible Captcha plugin, configure the Captcha v2 key in there and then put the shortcode [anr_nocaptcha g-recaptcha-response] on the contact form instead of the default [recaptcha].
Yet to have to install and configure another plugin and the time wasted to find and test such a solution was quite a nuisance, including to down grade to Google Captcha v2 again if you enthusiastically upgraded already. Especially at this time of the year, what were these guys thinking, to present us with such Christmas gifts!? But such is the world of programming, not all improvements are really ones.