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  1. #26
    SitePoint Addict palgrave's Avatar
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    I use both. The email address that is published is a forward and can be changed at short notice.

    I also have the contact form for those who prefer that method, although unscientific feedback I have received from general internet users is that they prefer an email address. They seem to think contact forms go to a big list that nobody ever looks at.

    Also, glancing at the emails from one site, I can see that most of them have the published email address in the To: field. In other words, they clicked the mailto: link.

    In a nutshell, there's no way I'll compromise customer service (aka commercial sense) because of spammers. I just have to keep an eye on things.

    As a caveat, I agree with the earlier poster who mentioned scale. Absolutely right. If I was in charge of a website that was processing thousands, if not millions of contacts every day I would standardize it with contact forms and not publish any email addresses.

  2. #27
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    Anyone use Spam Assassin? I used MailScanner which didn't do all that well, but I never get spam with SA. It does the job perfectly. At least for me.
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  3. #28
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    Yea I have used spam assassin without problems every now and then you might have to adjust the filter settings but I have found it to be pretty effective.

    John
    Great Plains Web Hosting
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  4. #29
    Resident Code Monkey Chris Corbyn's Avatar
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    I recently moved all my email addresses to use Google Apps. It means I can use Gmail + IMAP using my own domain names, and I get their awesome spam filtering. I have my email address posted all over the place in plain text and I barely got any spam. I reckon 15-20 messages per week, and they're so trivial to just delete.

    I was using SpamAssassin + DSPAM previously when running my own IMAP/MX server, and although they were quite effective they didn't come close to cutting out as much spam as google can.

    I never think twice about posting my email address plain text. I know I much prefer being able to email a company directly than to fill in a contact form on a website.

    I have a few open source projects too and my email address appears in every single source file.

  5. #30
    SitePoint Addict
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    Funny about the Google thing, because my Gmail account gets crazy spam in the spam inbox, yet, my business account uses SA & gets nothing. And I don't even post my Gmail account all over the place.
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  6. #31
    SitePoint Enthusiast Grenland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Corbyn View Post
    I recently moved all my email addresses to use Google Apps. It means I can use Gmail + IMAP using my own domain names, and I get their awesome spam filtering. I have my email address posted all over the place in plain text and I barely got any spam. I reckon 15-20 messages per week, and they're so trivial to just delete.
    I have experienced the same. Google really does filter out 99.9% of what is spam in my mailbox.

    Personally I'm not a fan of forms, allthough I see their function if running a rather big site. However, when I for instance is going to contact my ISP, bank or similar, I really, really hate it if they don't have a normal e-mail adress I can contact them through. But that's rarely the case with big companies in my experiense, most have a normal e-mail adress posted on the site.

    Reason I don't like forms? I prefer having both sent and received e-mail adresses stored for future use

  7. #32
    Function Curry'er JimmyP's Avatar
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    I have had an email address just sitting there on one of my sites for ages... If I replace it with a contact form I fear that will do no good because the damage has already been done! (Spam bots already have the address!)
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  8. #33
    SitePoint Evangelist ramone_johnny's Avatar
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    Always use a contact form with a CAPTCHA system. The best method is prevention not cure.

    RJ

  9. #34
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    I think a contact form is a good way of letting people email you... But also, there is times people just want an email address so they can email you from their own email client - so they have a copy of the message in the sent box etc. etc.

    Could you not just use an image for your email address? So on the front of it, it looks like just text displaying your email address - but it is infact an image. Most spam bots would surely not be able to pick out the text from the image? And any human can just read it.

  10. #35
    SitePoint Wizard Hammer65's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JazKillingJoke View Post
    Hi

    I am working on a little site and on my contact page I have the following:

    Is that safe? Can a spider harvest it and spam me?
    If it's not correct what shall I do?

    Thanks a lot

    Patrick
    Contact forms are fine, and I would agree, if done right, they are far more secure than a published email address. I hasten to add however, that the number of insecure, spammer bait contact form scripts posted on this board and others is staggering. I have even seen links to scripts and tutorials on scripts, that are no more secure than a published email address, and in fact are far worse because they allow header injection, and therefore a means of using the form as a spam relay to more than just the intended recipient of the form.

    Just like many other security issues with PHP, and with other web languages, not enough attention is paid to this sort of thing. Site editors are still accepting articles from writers that don't pay attention to security issues, and new scripts are being poured into web repositories from coders that read these tutorials and decide to "spread the love" so to speak.

    I have harped on this in many threads and maybe even ruffled some feathers, I know I have on other boards that I occasionally participate in over this. I have also seen the consequences of contact forms with no security. It's not pretty.

    The point is, yes use a contact form, but don't think that loading up user input into the mail function in a 10 line script (in the case of PHP) is going to be more secure than publishing your email address. It's high time that more coders realize that it's far more complex than that.

    Not directed at anyone in particular, just taking the opportunity of the discussion to make a point about what I have observed recently.

    Rant concluded.
    Last edited by Hammer65; Feb 18, 2008 at 09:59.
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  11. #36
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Always use a contact form with a CAPTCHA system.
    I can't read half the CAPTCHAs out there. Really, I can't. There's nothing wrong with my eyes. My brain often can't make heads or tails of one letter or another, because the backgrounds look like part of the letters to me. Is that a Q, or just an O with a little bit of background next to the lower-right??

    I've started using hex encoding (which is really cute), which of course wouldn't keep all the bots away, but it's also a forward so not too hard to change. We have both a contact form (for sending a specific message) AND a contact page which states our company address, telephone number, every way a customer needs to reach us. The email address is both readable and a mailto: as earlier it was only the word "contact" with a mailto which is awful. I don't use my own email program, have never opened it, and know we have plenty of customers who use the throw-away email addresses, or simply need a web-based email.

    The contact form does not have any protection on it that I know of; if our site ever starts getting really high traffic, then the main programmer here might decide to do that. By then though, it may be too late : )

  12. #37
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    how about using email as your name at( instead of @) google dot com - does this also invite the same level of spam? i use this on my sites & dont get hit by spam!

  13. #38
    chown linux:users\ /world Hartmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sha View Post
    Funny about the Google thing, because my Gmail account gets crazy spam in the spam inbox, yet, my business account uses SA & gets nothing. And I don't even post my Gmail account all over the place.
    It must be the way your SA is setup. Yeah, spam goes into a spam folder in Gmail but I only ever look in there if I'm expecting something may get filed incorrectly (rare).

    As far as the original question goes, I have my e-mail address up on my personal site but not on my company's site, though I've been thinking about it. So far, the contact form has worked as it's supposed to.

  14. #39
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Quote Originally Posted by arora View Post
    how about using email as your name at( instead of @) google dot com - does this also invite the same level of spam? i use this on my sites & dont get hit by spam!
    I have used this method and i think it probably just delays the inevitable they will find a way round it i'm sure.

  15. #40
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    one more and the most convenient for me when I'm trying to contact someone is when it is performed with mailto command

  16. #41
    SitePoint Addict palgrave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teflon View Post
    it probably just delays the inevitable they will find a way round it i'm sure.
    Same with CAPTCHAs. OCR software can read some of them. I wouldn't use "the spammers will eventually find a way round it" as a good reason not to do something, because they will always find a way round anything given time.

    Just do your best to dodge them, and if the worst happens, ditch your email address.

  17. #42
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    Excellent post.

    I prefer contact form..

  18. #43
    SitePoint Zealot cdndesignz's Avatar
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    Another quick n dirty workaround I've used occasionally in the past - make a graphic of your email address typed out, against the page's background color, and don't provide any mailto or link when inserting the graphic. Very secure - human users have to type out the email address in their email program to email you, bots see nothing but one more image they can't read...

    More work for the user, but pretty safe - on a small personal site or something like that it works.

  19. #44
    SitePoint Zealot impunjabians's Avatar
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    not displaying your email address, can keep you safe from spam emails and other viruses sent through attachments. this approach can be very good for fast processing of enquries.

  20. #45
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    No Not at all......

    Its always beneficial to ur site and ur business to show ur email ID on the site. else u can register to new mail ID only for that purpose and use ur personal ID for ur personal....

    coz as u have ur site on ur site the frequency of spam mails increases......rest thers no worry bout that....

    George Abraham
    Last edited by george56; Feb 19, 2008 at 22:44.

  21. #46
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
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    ...bots see nothing but one more image they can't read...
    So do people surfing with images off, the blind, people using text browsers... so there needs to be something else too.

  22. #47
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    In my opinion it's better using contact forms. I've started adding contact forms to all my old sites that don't have one yet.

  23. #48
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    i think i will also start using contact forms!
    Thanks for starting this thread!

  24. #49
    SitePoint Wizard mcsolas's Avatar
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    Ive had clients say they didn't care: "i will deal with the spam, put my email next to the contact form". some people use the form, some click the email... they get leads either way.

    he showed me a lot of messages from his site that started via clicks ( we set the suject line in the link ). I think that if you appear easy to contact - people are more likely to fill out the form and/or click the link to contact you. With an email posted, I feel you get a higher % of conversions on a 'contact us' page.

  25. #50
    SitePoint Zealot Jim Beam's Avatar
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    I think you can put your e-mail on your home page...It's normal...


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