How to add CAPTCHA protection to an Elgg site

This article describes how to add CAPTCHA protection to a web site running the Elgg social networking engine. CAPTCHAs help protect your site from spamming by bots and other malicious actors.

For general information about what CAPTCHAs are and what they do, please see this article.

Adding CAPTCHA protection

To add CAPTCHA protection to an Elgg site, follow these steps:

  1. To download the CAPTCHA plugin, use your web browser to go to
  2. Click Download 1.8.15b, and then save the file to your local computer.
  3. Transfer the file to your account using FTP.
    Transfer the file to the mod directory where you installed Elgg. For example, if you installed Elgg in the document root directory, transfer the file to the public_html/mod directory. If you installed Elgg in a subdirectory, transfer the file that directory instead. For example, if you installed Elgg in a directory named elgg, transfer the file to the public_html/elgg/mod directory.
  4. Log in to your account using SSH.
  5. Type the following command:
    cd ~/public_html/mod
    If you transferred the file to a different directory, change to that directory instead.
  6. To extract the plugin files, type the following command:

  7. Use your web browser to log in to Elgg as the administrator.
  8. On the top menu bar, click Administration.
  9. Under Configure, click Plugins.
  10. Locate the GutwaCaptcha 1.8.15b plugin, and then click Activate. Elgg activates the plugin.
  11. To modify the plugin's settings, click Settings. Select the settings that you want, and then click Save.
  12. CAPTCHAs are now activated for your site. To test this, go to the Elgg home page on your site, and then click Register or Lost password. Elgg displays a CAPTCHA.

More Information

For more information about Elgg, please visit

Get Elgg Hosting

Article Details

  • Level: Intermediate

Did you find this article helpful? Then you'll love our support. Experience the A2 Hosting difference today and get a pre-secured, pre-optimized website. Check out our web hosting plans today.

We use cookies to personalize the website for you and to analyze the use of our website. You consent to this by clicking on "I consent" or by continuing your use of this website. Further information about cookies can be found in our Privacy Policy.