Pros & Cons of Email address on Website

  Charlie Babbage 23:03 15 May 2006

I'm a first time website constructor (hopefully!) and would appreciate advice on whether it is a good idea to include an email address.

On the one hand, it gives visitors a means of contacting me.

My big worry, however, is that I've heard this is a prime target for spam harvesters. The last thing I need is even more spam getting to my In box. Ok, I can set up a dedicated email address for this particular site but is there anything else I can do to minimise spam as a result of the email address being on the web?

  Forum Editor 00:14 16 May 2006

You can create the address as a graphic. Do it in Paintshop Pro, or whatever graphic software you have. That way it will appear in your site as a picture, and can't be harvested.

People who want to contact you will have to type the address themselves, but that's not a problem.

  harristweed 07:30 16 May 2006

I have my email address on my website, and as a consequence, I receive around 100 spam emails an hour. Thankfully my hosting company also supply an excellent spam blocker and only about one an hour gets through. However sometimes emails I want to receive get 'spam blocked'.

This is quite a good idea.

click here

  ajn 16:08 19 May 2006

The advice given by the Forum Editor may be applicable to some web sites but you should be careful if you wish or need to make your site compliant with expected standards for the visually impaired. Almost certainly, your graphic will be meaningless to a text reader unless you put the email address in the graphic description (ALT tag): and then you are back to square 1 as far as spam is concerned!

Has anyone got any better suggestions?

  ade.h 16:55 19 May 2006

Use a form and add this code click here to the top of the PHP file.

I must point out that, although this was recommended to me, I have not tried it as I don't know PHP.

  Forum Editor 19:44 19 May 2006

that there is no absolutely foolproof method of preventing spam robots from harvesting your address .

ajn's mention of text readers being unable to handle an address that's a graphic is valid, and you shouldn't use this method if you intend to comply with standards which enable text readers to deal with your site. You can configure a CGI script to use aliases for email addresses, but you're a newcomer to web design, and I suggest that you steer clear of that for the time being.

If you're worried about spam I suggest that you try one of the many encoders that are available. These will make it extremely difficult for spammers, and to all intents and purposes your address will be invisible to spambots.

click here to find out more.

  Charlie Babbage 15:49 20 May 2006

.. especially those given by Forum Editor.

  steve263000 11:55 22 May 2006

I usually put a 'click here' on the page, and hyperlink the email address in so that when clicked, the email address comes up. I have to say that I have noticed a increase in spam lately, so could that be causing it? I had always thought that the method was fairly safe.

  ade.h 14:43 22 May 2006

That method is far from safe because the spambots see the code, not the text on the page. They see href mailto bit and get your address from that. They are well capable of following links.

  mseb 05:57 31 May 2006

there's another one at click here that works pretty well and is free.

  jz 18:02 02 Jun 2006

I can't see how email encoders can work. All the spam bot has to do is to do what a human would do - mimic clicking - then the email address is generated.

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