Hi, I'm Daniel Roy Greenfeld, and welcome to my blog. I write about Python, Django, and much more.

Django Class Based View: email form with CAPTCHA

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 (permalink)

Yesterday I showed how to implement a simple email form for Django using Class Based Views. Today I'm going to extend yesterday's work to use the excellent RECAPTCHA service to help reduce spam content.

This version requires pip installing the following into your virtualenv.

  • pip install django-crispy-forms so we can do Python driven layouts.
  • pip install django-floppyforms so we get HTML5 elements for free.
  • pip install django-recaptcha to do the RECAPTCHA work.

Don't forget to add the app to your INSTALLED_APPS in settings.py:


Generate your KEYs from the RECAPTCHA site and add them in settings.py:


In myapp.forms.py:

from captcha.fields import ReCaptchaField  # Only import different from yesterday
from crispy_forms.helper import FormHelper
from crispy_forms.layout import Submit
import floppyforms as forms

class ContactForm(forms.Form):

    name = forms.CharField(required=True)
    email = forms.EmailField(required=True)
    subject = forms.CharField(required=True)
    message = forms.CharField(widget=forms.Textarea)
    captcha = ReCaptchaField()  # Only field different from yesterday

    def __init__(self, *args, **kwargs):
        self.helper = FormHelper()
        self.helper.add_input(Submit('submit', 'Submit'))
        super(ContactForm, self).__init__(*args, **kwargs)

In myapp.views.py:

# Unchanged from yesterday. :-)
from django.conf import settings
from django.core.mail import send_mail
from django.views.generic import FormView

from myapp.forms import ContactForm

class ContactFormView(FormView):

    form_class = ContactForm
    template_name = "myapp/email_form.html"
    success_url = '/email-sent/'

    def form_valid(self, form):
        message = "{name} / {email} said: ".format(
        message += "\n\n{0}".format(form.cleaned_data.get('message'))
            from_email='[email protected]',
        return super(ContactFormView, self).form_valid(form)

In templates/myapp/email_form.html:

{# Also unchanged from yesterday. :-)  #}
{% extends 'base.html' %}
{% load crispy_forms_tags %}

{% block title %}Send an email{% endblock %}

{% block content %}
    <div class="row">
        <div class="span6">
            <h1>Send an email</h1>
            {% crispy form form.helper %}
{% endblock %}

{% block extrajs %}
<script src="{{ STATIC_URL }}js/jquery-1.7.1.min.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript">
$(function() {
{% endblock %}

What I did

  • Using pip I installed three packages into my Python environment.
  • Added those three packages into the INSTALLED_APPS setting.
  • Set the RECAPTCHA keys for my site.
  • Modified the forms.py file from yesterday to include the RECAPTCHA field.
  • Reduced spam content.

What I could do

  • Pin the app versions for a particular release. This is what you should be doing in normal development and in production, but for a blog entry I'm avoiding it because release numbers become quickly dated.
  • Rather than change the ContactForm from yesterday, I could have extended it via inheritance.

Want to learn more?

Check out the Django book I co-wrote, Two Scoops of Django: Best Practices for Django 1.6!


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