Captcha not showing in Oxwall? Possible reasons and fix

Standard Oxwall Captcha is a pre-installed security system that prevent bots from using certain forms in your Oxwall powered website. The captcha is mostly displayed on the join form, contact form, mailbox plugin and most plugins that requires human identification.

Though most people prefer to remove captcha from the join form or use Smart Captcha on the registration page, the Standard Oxwall Captcha still remains a very important function of every Oxwall website as the captcha is required in other areas of the website and often used when user sends several private message within a short period of time (“Mailbox” plugin).

Image credit: Oxwall Software Documentation
If the captcha is not showing in your own copy of Oxwall installation, here are some possible reasons and solutions.

GD Library

If you see broken image instead of Captcha, first of all make sure that you have GD library with FreeType support enabled on your server as those are required to display Captcha.

  • Open /ow_includes/config.php file on your server via FTP on Control Panel.

Find following line within config.php file:

define('OW_URL_HOME', ''); 



Overall you should have

define('OW_URL_HOME', '');
define('OW_DB_HOST', 'localhost');

After saving changes open your website’s homepage. Don’t panic. Within the long list of tables with data find “GD” section:

Image credit: Oxwall Software Documentation

GD Support should be enabled. FreeType Support should be enabled. If they are disabled, contact your hosting company and ask them to enable both for you.
Note: Don’t forget to remove php>phpinfo(); code from config.php

Third party script

If GD Library with FreeType support is enabled on your server, but you still don’t see Captcha:

  1. Open in any browser. This page will display all Captcha related errors. If you are not sure what errors mean, contact Oxwall support team for assistance.
  2. Deactivate all of your plugins one by one. Refresh join page after each deactivation.
  3. Remove all Custom HTML widgets ( especially if they contain JavaScript code)one by one as well. Check your join page after removing each widget.
  4. Remove any custom script ( especially JavaScript) added to Oxwall’s .html and .php files ( Example: code to make snow fall on your site, “Share This” code).
  5. Make sure that TTfonts are configured on your server ( contact your host).
  6. Search your server’s error logs for anything related to Captcha.

Checking Oxwall’s core files

Find original package (.zip) containing Oxwall software of the same version that is being used on your site. If your site uses 1.5.3- find original 1.5.3 package, if your site uses 1.4.2 – find original 1.4.2 package. Compare following files from original Oxwall package with the ones currently used on your site:

  • ow_system_plugins/base/controllers/join.php
  • ow_libraries/secureimage/secureimage.php
  • ow_system_plugins/base/views/controllers/join.html

If they are not identical, back up your own files and try replacing them by original ones.

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If none of this worked, try checking this forum post, also check out the original  post on the Oxwall Software Documentation page.

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