4 minutes to read
Does reCaptcha slow down your website?
reCaptcha is a popular captcha solution. It’s hard to imagine anyone who hasn’t solved or seen at least one reCaptcha. It’s arguably effective against automated spam bots. There are third-party services (like 2Captcha) that can solve reCaptcha challenges for as little as 0.02 cents each. Not all spam bots use these services, so reCaptcha still works for many.
And the best part is it’s free. However, reCaptcha has drawbacks, including concerns with accessibility (only with reCaptcha v2), a slower website, and privacy .
In this post, we will focus performance aspect of it, how reCaptcha slows down your website, and what you can do about it.
How reCaptcha slows down your website?
Our testing will be on the complete contact form we built in our previous article. In that article, we integrated OOPSpam as a spam filter instead of reCaptcha. We’ll see the page performance before reCaptcha and after reCaptcha integration.
The form is quite simple with 3 fields and basic styling. We keep clear of using CMS systems like WordPress in order to see a distinct difference and less noise.
Using the Lighthouse tool, we will evaluate the performance. Lighthouse is available in every Chromium-based browser (Chrome, Brave, etc.).
The result may be different for you. Note that we are testing on a local PHP server for demonstration purposes. Fast hosting with CDN and performance optimization can improve page speed.
As soon as we integrate reCaptcha and setup it, we immediately notice a rise in network queries and data transfers.
|# of network requests||Compressed transferred data||Uncompressed transferred data||Page Loaded In|
|Before reCaptcha||5||35.6 kB||37.3 kB||285 ms|
|After reCaptcha||13||565 kB||1.3 MB||1.56 seconds|
|an increase of||160%||1487.08%||3385.25%||447.37%|
- # of network requests : The number of network requests.
- Compressed transferred data : The compressed size of all uploaded & downloaded resources.
- Uncompressed transferred data : The uncompressed size of all uploaded & downloaded resources.
The browser first downloads compressed data, then decompresses them before using them to process and display relevant details on the page.
From the above table, we can see that there is an increase of 447.37% in page load speed. In sophisticated systems like WordPress, this can considerably slow down your website.
A single-page website with a basic form loaded in 1.56 seconds. In any website, you want to keep loading time below three seconds, considering most people leave a page that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
Faster website with and without reCaptcha