Last night I was doing a final walk-through of my "User Registration" form when it occurred to me that I didn't have a CAPTCHA thingy at the bottom like SitePoint and a lot of other websites have?!

So I spent a couple hours reading up on things, and now I'm really stressed and confused?!

(I'm really trying to wrap-up my website, and it seems like every other day I stumble across another issue like this which just adds to my frustrations of being behind schedule! On one hand I want a top-notch website. On the other hand, I cannot please everyone!!! And I gotta get this thing done!!)

It appears that A LOT of people really loathe CAPTCHA from a usability and accessibility standpoint...

And there seems to be a lot of differing views on how necessary something like CAPTCHA is, and how effective anything can be against the world of *mutated spammers* that we live in?!

So, I have a few questions for all you SitePoint gurus...

1.) If I didn't have some guard against spammers on my "User Registration" form, would I be a dead duck??

2.) How evil is CAPTCHA as far as usability and accessibility?

3.) Is there something I could program myself that would be more accessible, and at least as effective as CAPTCHA?

4.) How effective are any of these alternative techniques...

- Using a Hidden Form Field that is left blank
- Using a Form Field (hidden via CSS) that must maintain some special value
- Checking Time Needed to Submit Form
- Using Logic Questions (e.g. "What color is grass?")
- Confirmation Pages

Obviously I want to prevent having a million bogus spam accounts created on my website. However I still want it to be user-friendly and not add another month of coding to my already full plate!!!

Sincerely,


Debbie