The Notorious Word Verification and Why You Shouldn’t Use it. Plus Free Graphics!

I’m all for looking for new ways to increase traffic to my blog. Checking my stats isn’t an obsession, but I like to think of it as homework. On my last check, I noticed more than half of my visitors (60%, to be exact) were returning visitors – meaning people who have come back to my blog again.

And well, I must be doing something right if I’m getting them to come back again, right? And how about that smaller 40%? I want them to come back too.

So what’s the number 1 way to ensure they WON’T come back again?

Yeah, that’s right – Word Verification. The notorious words deserve to be capitalized. But, you say, they are there for a reason, aren’t they? They make sure spammers stay away, right?

A majority of your blog visitors are human. Ask and see. For the measly 2%, why should 98% of us suffer? As a blogger who puts time and effort into a blog, you should be able to spend the extra minute it takes to delete those spam comments at the end of the day. And before you know it, visitors will come back and actually leave comments, because it is SO EASY.

Now. For those of us who scorn Word Verification, I’ve come up with a few fun (and maybe cute?) graphics you can place in your sidebar. If you think they’re weird, and I shouldn’t have spent the time on them, just let me know, okay? It won’t break my heart.


Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.



  1. Reply

    Julia Christy

    May 7, 2012

    Awww yes. WORD VERIFICATION. Talk about the bane of blog commenting. It's seriously the most annoying thing ever. So glad you're doing this! I remember Audrey at Holes in my brain did something like this awhile back too! Always great to remind people to turn off the pesky word verification and have them just deal with some spam which happens maybe once in a blue moon. :)

    • Reply

      Marmaladelibby (aka Ange)

      May 7, 2012


  2. Reply


    May 7, 2012

    I think most people really don't even know they have it activated, which is a shame. Especially the newbies. ;(

    Great post and hah, those buttons! :D

  3. Reply


    May 7, 2012

    I have heard a few people say that they refuse to remove it because it “Does a good job” *eye roll* Before I switched from Blogger? I think I had 4 spam comments EVER. 4. (I get a ton with wordpress, but they all get caught by the spam catcher anyway…)

    Yep; I don't comment if I run into Word Verification.

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

  4. Reply

    ashelynn hetland

    May 7, 2012

    For the most part people don't know if it's activated, like Patricia said, but I've run into more people who say, “but I need it on my blog! if not the spammers ruin my blog with their disgusting comment!” okay, a) blogger has a pretty good spam filter. One spam comment has slipped through recently, and that was because the thing acted like a human AND OMG I FELL FOR IT. I did. It was lame. I marked it spam. and b) if they DO slip through? it's like one a year. seriously, I have more problems of actual human comments getting caught in the spam filter than spam comments slipping through.

    honestly, it's sooo much better to just turn it off! great post. :)

  5. Reply

    Dizneeee (Lisa)

    May 7, 2012

    Oh, yay! Thanks for the graphics. You know me…I grabbed one to use! <3

  6. Reply

    YA Book Queen

    May 7, 2012

    Word Verification!! It is evil.

    I've got to agree with Ashelynn, too, because Blogger has a good spam filter. I can't remember the last time spam actually got through into my comments. Plus, I'd rather spend an extra minute or so a week looking through that spam filter (saving any stray comments) than forcing each of my readers to type in a bunch of random letters per comment. Word Verification is a waste of time. I only put up with a few blogs that use it, and only because I enjoy their websites.

  7. Reply

    A Canadian Girl

    May 7, 2012

    Gah, I hate word verification! Half the time I can't read what it says and so I don't bother leaving comments. It's hard enough sometimes finding the time to comment to begin with so I don't want to have to spend five minutes typing and re-typing what it is I want to say when I get the word wrong the first time. Thanks for writing this post, Hafsah. Hopefully more people will turn off those captcha codes.

  8. Reply


    May 7, 2012

    I'm glad to see another person speaking out against word verification! It's horrible! Especially because a lot of us follow so many blogs. When I get a lot of e-mails about new posts from blogs I follow, I usually go on mass commenting sprees since I have a lot to say. It can be super annoying to have to fill out the verification for every single one of them! UGH!

    I do like your graphics but I won't be using one because I try to limit the images I have in my sidebar. I don't think they were a waste of time though! I am actually in the process of writing a general blogging guide thing and one of my sections is about the evils of word verification. I'd love if it I could use a graphic in that post, if that's okay?

  9. Reply

    Addie R.

    May 7, 2012

    These graphics are so cute! I'm putting one up on my blog now! And I hate word verification; it's just a waste of time and uunessary.

  10. Reply

    beth dean

    May 7, 2012

    Used one of the graphics on my blog, word verification is one of the MOST annoying things when your trying to have your say. grrrrr….

  11. Reply

    Ishita aka Fishy

    May 7, 2012

    I love this Hafsah!!

  12. Reply

    Rachel V

    May 7, 2012

    You know the other problem with them is for people with slow internet out in the country (like me) it wont always pop up the words or it will not recognize them. I know a few blogger who cant enter giveaways because of captcha and rafflecopter also because of slow internet. I have to use Wi-Fi at Mcdonalds sometimes.

  13. Reply

    Cass (Words on Paper)

    May 8, 2012

    Oh, how I LOVE this post! I made a similar post probably over a year ago (have deleted it since, I think). I think since then word verification has gotten WORSE! Not only do they ask you to write out two words, but they're not even words anymore–they're just a jumble of letters strewn together! AND, AND then they've got the weird font, such that you CAN'T EVEN TELL WHAT LETTER'S WHAT! What, I ask, is the point in that? Word verification is just pathetic.

    Why should I have to jump through hoops to leave a comment? I've moved to IntenseDebate, but even when I was just using Blogger (I used the moderation option) I never got spam comments.

  14. Reply

    Kate@Midnight Book Girl

    May 8, 2012

    If I were ever going to blatantly plagiarize a blog post, this would be the one I'd steal from! ;) But I'll content myself with tweeting about this post and taking a graphic for my site.

    I don't understand CAPTCHA or why anyone would knowingly use it, because it's not just the newbies, it's established bloggers too! It's time to spread word verification reform around the blogger community! Thank you for your most awesome post!

  15. Reply

    Kimberly @ On the Wings of Books

    May 8, 2012

    Excellent post! I hate word verification with a passion. I catch up on reading blogs on my phone and commenting with CAPTCHA is virtually impossible on my phone so I end up giving up.

    I know part of the problem is newer bloggers not realizing its on (like me) and posts like this are helpful in spreading the word, but I've run into blogs that have been around forever that use word verification. I've also run into a few that use word verification AND moderation. Overkill much? Stuff like that makes me sad. :(

  16. Reply

    Paper Dreams

    May 9, 2012

    Its because of spam robots that people's Bloggers keep getting deleted too. Blogger has its own robot to delete your blog if it even suspects a spam robot. I lost a blog design demo yesterday and when I went to discuss it on the Blogger topics in Google's chat forum SOOO many people had lots their blogs too and the only response they got was a copy and pasted reply saying how its for the better good to have blogs accidentally deleted rather than god-forbid a spam robot is present.

    I hate word verification too. I never understand the words and sometimes spend a good 5 minutes refreshing the words until I can make one out. Anybody partially sighted would have issues and wow have you listened to the audio version? Its impossible.. Like playing some cryptic clue game!

    I'll be using a button :) Thank you for sharing them.

    Please stop by and visit. I'm a new book blogger :)

    PD <3

  17. Reply

    Jasmine Rose

    May 10, 2012

    Those graphics are awesome :] I'll definitely be adding one to my blog.

  18. Reply


    May 12, 2012

    After reading your post I checked my word verification and it was on..I am new to blogging and did not even think to check. All fixed now though. :) great post.

  19. Reply


    May 13, 2012

    It's sort of amazing how much Word Verification can affect a blog. When I switched to the new Blogger interface, mine turned on for about two weeks without me noticing and I spent the whole time thinking ''WHERE have all my comments gone? What did I do wrong?!'' and then I found my CAPTCHA was on. I turned it off and the next week I was getting more visits and comments than ever!

  20. Reply


    May 20, 2012

    I'm not sure why Word Verification became such a thing. I've had my blog for years (barely used at first but still) and I don't know if I've had any spam comments slip through. I think the people reluctant to turn it off may thing their blogger is a little bigger or be the paranoid sorts.

    I'm also not sure how to correct the problem. I whine about it on twitter occasionally hoping to drop hints. But making blog posts to explain how to turn it off (like this) is probably a better tactic.

  21. Reply


    June 12, 2012

    Love this. Captcha is just wrong on so many levels. The fact that the words are always illegible and blurry really make me angry! Great post!

  22. Reply


    June 12, 2012

    I love those graphics I'm putting one up on my blog! Great post, I wish Captcha would just disappear! :P

  23. Reply


    June 16, 2012

    I am definitely coming back for for one of those buttons! I'm getting to the point that I might stop commenting if there's WV. Most of the time I have to type it in more then once cause I cant even read it.
    I don't have it. I VERY rarely get spam. It is not necassary unless you're going on vacation or something and know you wont have Internet access for a long time.
    Thanks for this! Hopefully people will listen!

  24. Reply


    August 17, 2012

    Oh my gosh yes! I abhor word verification & really I've noticed that spam on my blog isn't too bad. There's the occasional one that slips through now & then, but it doesn't take long at all to delete it & for the most part blogger's spam filter catches it. The first thing I did with my blog was turn it off because if I hate it it so much why on earth would I subject someone else to it, you know? Great post & I love the graphics! I already have the pink polka dot one on my sidebar! =)