Email facility for website

  pajamahead 06:05 29 May 2004

I want to add a simple Email facility to my wesite so people can Email me from it
How do I do it?


  Taran 11:39 29 May 2004

Check with your web host first.

Most web hosts offer a form to email script. Some ISPs offer his on their free webspace. My ISP is BT and they offer guestbook, form to email and one or two other scripts. All you do is copy and paste the code into your own pages and they give full instructions on how to do it.

If you have FrontPage and your web hosts support FrontPage server extensions you can use FrontPage to generate the form. The server extensions are mini programs that do specific tasks, and form handling is one of them.

If you have the option of CGI on your web account you could try the popular Matt's Script Formmail click here or if you have PHP support you could use any one of a number of excellent form to email processors.

Jack's Script is a pretty good PHP email handler click here

There are also a few introductions on how to write your own PHP form handler click here

Finally, if you don't have any script support on your site to handle forms, you can pay a modest sum for a third party to host your form handler and process the submissions to your email account. One such option is click here

now if I'd known that Taran was typing at the same time I would have just shut up, I'll get my coat.

  Taran 13:34 29 May 2004

Yours was the simplest and possibly most useful solution and certainly saves configuring web forms.

However, it is worth pointing out that using such a link can lead to the email address in question being spidered by undesirable software which can reult in the email address becoming victim to all kinds of spam.

If you want to use a simple email link it's worth using a graphic as the button to launch the email client or, better yet, disguise the email address by splitting it up into component parts.

There is a really nice code generator click here which will give you the necessary copy and paste code to create an email link on your page that spam spiders cannot see, otherwise known as an Email Obfuscator.


  Gaz 25 13:42 29 May 2004

That way allows spammers to havest your e-mail address though!

  Pesala 23:43 30 May 2004
  Pesala 23:54 30 May 2004

As suggested, it is better to encrypt the address.

  Forum Editor 11:16 31 May 2004

and create a graphic of your email address if you plan to show it on the site - then make a hot-spot of it to launch the mail client. Otherwise use the obfuscator code that will be generated for you at Taran's link. I've used it many times with no ensuing problems.

  PurplePenny 13:35 31 May 2004

Ooo - that's clever ... and such a simple idea too. But wouldn't it be feasible for spammers to harvest anything that came after mailto and convert the character entities back? Would that be more trouble that they can be bothered with?


Completely off topic PS to FE ... no access to OED at home, is the "fusc" of obfuscate from the same root as "sub fusc"?

  Taran 14:20 31 May 2004

to obfuscation is that it breaks the email address into component parts that the spiders cannot see or logically read as a complete address. Some obfuscation code even converts the @ character (and all other characters) into something entirely different.

There's no rule that says an email link has to begin with mailto: either, although it can help for obvious reasons.

A simple JavaScript can do a broadly similar job, but no matter which way you go with it obfuscation works by removing the elements of the email address from immediate association with the @ character which defies the current way in which spam robots scan a page. Sometimes this involves just interrupting an email address and breaking it into several parts, while other methods convert the entire address into gobbledygook.

The following JavaScript contains an imaginary email address of myaddress @ myISP. com and displays in the page as a text hyperlink with the words Email Me:

<script type="text/javascript" language="javascript">


{ document.write(String.fromCharCode(60,97,32,104,114,101,102,61,34,109,97,105,108,116,111,58,109,121,97,100,100,114,101,115,115,64,109,121,73,83,80,46,99,111,109,34,62,69,109,97,105,108,32,77,101,60,47,97,62))




I'd like to see a spam robot scan that and get the email address out of it.

Of course if your browser does not support clever JavaScripting then that solution is no use to you at all, but it's suitably impressive until it stops working :o)

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