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  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    Any processing that you use to try to distinguish between real people and spiders suffers from the fact that some real people will also fail the test.
    If you use an image CAPTCHA to try to distinguish then those who are visually deficient in some way may not be able to distinguish the content in the image that they need to type, just being colourblind to specific colours may be enough. Asking a "simple" question such as what is 5+8 discriminates against people with some cognitive deficiencies. Such questions are therefore NOT user friendly to all of your visitors. Perhaps providing an image, an audio file equivalent, and a question will allow real people to select one thhat they can use while computers will fail all three.
    I am unable to read some of the text on these CAPTCHA images - so i have to get my eyes tested again - getting old

  2. #77
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    well...it depends to the site ur posting or else u should know how to handle spammers.....

  3. #78
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    Concerns over using contact form on front page

    I am a SEO working on a client website and wanted to know if anyone had any input what effect they have on search engine ranking. I have added one to a secondary site here: Sell us your ride . So far its been two weeks (form was added 2/6/08) and I have not had any spam yet, but I will update this if spam becomes a problem. My client wants me to add a similar php contact form to the home page of their main Chevy Dealer website. I don't want to do this until I have found out more on how this may effect search engine rankings. I have not ever done this with any other clients, so I am concerned about doing it without some feed back from anyone who has already experienced this. Also, I currently have it set up as as php script to transfer the information. Is there a better or worse format for this (ie asp). Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Also, I don't have CAPTCHA in effect on the Sell us your ride as of now and still haven't had problems with spam. I would like to avoid this for as long as possible as it seems to be a enigma.

    Thanks,
    Chad
    Folsom Chevy Webmaster

  4. #79
    SitePoint Evangelist artcoder's Avatar
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    I use Javascript to dynamically write out my email address link to the page such as described in this tutorial.

    Spambots typically can not read the email address, but people easily can.

    I don't like contact forms, because it implies that the sender would be entering their own email address. If they mis-type, then I can never reply back to them. Worst is when they purposely put in another person email address pretending to be another person. For example, anybody can simply submits Bill Gates email address in a contact form saying something like "Hi, I would like to donate a million dollars to you" as practical joke. And you would not be able to tell if it was really Bill Gates sending it to you or whether someone pretending to be Bill Gates.

  5. #80
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    Lovin IT

    I love the idea of adding in the Javascript email and will be using it on the sites I don't care about search engine rankings. I usually try to avoid additional scripting on search optimized pages, but this is great advice for my other pages.

    Thanks again for the great tip.

    Chad
    Folsom Chevy Webmaster

  6. #81
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    As a user, I also hate only being presented with contact forms, especially when they make you choose from a small list what your issue / enquiry is about, and none of the choices are relevant. I have come across a lot of sites where I just can't get a hold of anyone who is able to deal with the issue I have, and it is intensely frustrating!

    I use both a contact form (without a captcha - I hate them!) and provide an obfuscated email address, and once in a while I get spam through my contact form, but on the whole, the system works well. Most people choose to use the contact form (since they don't have to load up their own email system), but I do occasionally get contacted via direct email by others who, like me, like to keep records of all contact.

    But I would echo the caution that nothing is foolproof - the main spam I get is to email addresses that don't exist (especially billing@mydomainname.com and orders@mydomainname.com), where the spammers are just trying different combinations of the more common choices (billing, orders, accounts, root, admin etc) for any given domain name. I just filter it straight to my trash, but it's worth keeping in mind that you don't have to publish an email address for someone to try emailing it.

  7. #82
    Web Host fcolor's Avatar
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    It is better to have a contact form, although that having an e-mail address on your contact page looks better. You know that most people place contact forms to avoid spam bots to sttel their mail addresses.
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  8. #83
    You Bet Your Life...Really lerxtjr's Avatar
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    Contact forms are the way to go for sooo many reasons. Just some of them include:

    1. If your prospective customers are more web savvy, they expect contact forms. Showing an email address with a live link just looks amateur.

    2. If your email is down, a form script can allow you to send the contents of the message to a backup datafile or database instead of losing the lead entirely.

    3. If you're managing a google adword campaign and driving people to a landing page, you will want to attach the conversion tracking code to the form and/or thank you page, depending on the application.

    4. You can give the form submitter a choice as to how they would like to be contacted (email versus phone for example).

    5. Contact forms give you the opportunity for continued business. For example, you can send submitters to a "message received" page that also announces an invitation to join your newsletter list or attend a webinar or consider a product or service special you're offering.

    The last thing you should use as a determining factor whether to use a form or email posting is spam. On a high-traffic site, you'll get plenty of spam through your contact forms too as you will be a hot target for automated form submission scripts.

    But, with a form that works, the last thing you'll be thinking about is the spam.

  9. #84
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    At least with a contact form you can change the form validation to eliminate spam. Once the spammer gets your email address from the page then all you can do is change the address.

    The main reason for choosing between a contact form and an email link would be all of the people for whom an email link is useless because it doesn't link to anything on their computer. A form always works.
    Stephen J Chapman

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    <input name="html5" type="text" required pattern="^$">

  10. #85
    SitePoint Enthusiast Grenland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lerxtjr View Post
    1. If your prospective customers are more web savvy, they expect contact forms. Showing an email address with a live link just looks amateur.
    On the contrary in my opinion. Most big companies also has an email address with a live link in my experiense.

    The rest was good and valid points though. However, as someone said earlier, the important thing is not to fight spam, but to be as user friendly as possible - only forms is not. I said earlier in this thread, and someone else also said: "I wan't to have all emails for future reference, both received and sent."

    I personally don't trust sites that neither has a telephone or an ordinary e-mail link, street and postal address.

  11. #86
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Not having a contact form denies a significant percentage of your visitors from being able to contact you by email as there are large groups of visitors who have no way to make use of an email address as they don't have an email program for it to link to.

    Not having an email address denies those who don't llike using contact forms the opportunity to contact you by email.

    In the former case the person is denied access through not having the appropriate technology available possibly by personal choice but more likely through restrictions placed on the system by the owner of the computer they are using to access the web (eg. internet cafe, library, work computer etc). In the latter case the person is denied access through personal preference.

    To make your site as user friendly as possible you should use a contact form that sends to your regular email address AND an email link to a throwaway address that redirects to your regular address. WHEN the spammers get the throwaway address you throw it away and replace it with another using a more effectve means of concealing the address (assuming that there is a more effective way remaining).

    Note that anything you do to try to delay the spammers getting the address from the email address from the link will also make the link unusable to a further group of people whose browser can't decrypt it in addition to the other groups that can't use a plain text email.

    Providing both methods of contacting you by email is the most user friendly. Providing a contact form but not a link is not as friendly but should still be usable by all. Providing a link but no form discriminates against the large fraction of visitors to whom the link is useless and is scarecly better than no contact via email at all.

    There will eventually come a time in the future when including an email link in a web page will no longer be practical as the spammers will eventually be able to decrypt addresses no matter what form of encryption you apply.
    Stephen J Chapman

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  12. #87
    SitePoint Addict BlazeMiskulin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    Not having a contact form denies a significant percentage of your visitors from being able to contact you by email as there are large groups of visitors who have no way to make use of an email address as they don't have an email program for it to link to.

    In the former case the person is denied access through not having the appropriate technology available possibly by personal choice but more likely through restrictions placed on the system by the owner of the computer they are using to access the web (eg. internet cafe, library, work computer etc).
    It's been my experience that the people who frequently use internet cafes, libraries, etc., have webmail addresses (hotmail, yahoo, gmail, etc.) and can send e-mails that way. No, they can't just click a link and have their mail automatically open, but having to type in an address isn't a huge issue--especially since they're going to be typing in an entire e-mail.
    M Blaze Miskulin
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  13. #88
    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
    Google's CAPTCHA has just been broken. The war goes on.

    http://www.websense.com/securitylabs...php?BlogID=174
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  14. #89
    SitePoint Member personinneed'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
    Any basic mail like is likely to be harvested by a spider. Thankfully most net-based mail clients have decent spam filters. All you need to do is check it a couple of times to make sure it didn't block something potentially important.

    Using the form method is also effective, but I've known some people who balk at the form, thinking it's like a forum rather than an email solution, and thus less likely to be addressed. Y'know, like in the way some folks regard automated call robots when contacting tech support.

    In the end I think it'll depend on your size and willingness to deal with spam.

  15. #90
    SitePoint Wizard Hammer65's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by personinneed View Post
    Any basic mail like is likely to be harvested by a spider. Thankfully most net-based mail clients have decent spam filters. All you need to do is check it a couple of times to make sure it didn't block something potentially important.

    Using the form method is also effective, but I've known some people who balk at the form, thinking it's like a forum rather than an email solution, and thus less likely to be addressed. Y'know, like in the way some folks regard automated call robots when contacting tech support.

    In the end I think it'll depend on your size and willingness to deal with spam.
    I would disagree with any strategy that says "go ahead and post your email and let your spam filter take care of the problem.". I really feel, that as developers, we need to responsible in the kind of network traffic we create intentionally or otherwise. It may not affect us directly, but everyone has to deal with the congestion and strain that the increasing amount of spam creates for all of us.
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  16. #91
    SitePoint Zealot theawristocrat's Avatar
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    I tried putting my email on my blog and then I started receiving lots of those lottery spam emails

  17. #92
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    I did it for one site and got lots of spam.

  18. #93
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    one of my domains is getting over 4000 emails/day (spam), the other 150+ are a bit "better" between 200 and 2000! That's from posting an email on the website...

    Contact form, support center, live help, instant messenger (Y!, MSN, Skype, ICQ, etc.) are much better options.

  19. #94
    Headed Home! KM Richards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JazKillingJoke View Post
    Is it safe to write your email in your website?
    No, it is not safe!

    All you gotta do is temporaily put it on your webpage as text and get it where it looks nice and you are slappy with it. Also, make sure you're jiggy with it too!

    Then, while viewing it on your webpage, do a screen capture (hit "Print Screen on yer keyboard and paste that into Paint") so you can make it into a graphic image (preferrably a .GIF image so it looks nice)

    Once you've done that, simply replace the email text with the graphic image and you're all done.

    It won't be a clickable link, it'll look normal on your webpage, and people can still see what your email address is and you won't have to worry about the spam bots eating your brain in the rain when you visit Spain!

    Even when doing this, you will probably get the occasional spam by people who see this on your site and try to sell you stuff to make yer ying yang go longer, but it won't be anything like it would be if you put an email text link (or even simple text) on your site.

  20. #95
    SitePoint Addict BlazeMiskulin's Avatar
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    Yeah.. that'll work great. It'll look perfectly normal....if everybody who looks at your site is using exactly the same screen resolution as you with exactly the same font settings as you in exactly the same browser as you.

    It's really quite simple; this is the world we live in:

    If people can contact you, bots can, too.
    To lock out the bots, you have to lock out people.
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  21. #96
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KM Richards View Post
    No, it is not safe!

    Then, while viewing it on your webpage, do a screen capture (hit "Print Screen on yer keyboard and paste that into Paint") so you can make it into a graphic image (preferrably a .GIF image so it looks nice)

    Once you've done that, simply replace the email text with the graphic image and you're all done.

    I really hope you're joking. First of all, it's hard to believe that any business is still using paint for any type of web graphics. That said...

    Posting images without explanatory alt text makes your site inaccessible to the vision impaired and many others who disable images in their browsers for a number of good reasons.... slow dial-up connections in rural areas and older, slower computer processors among them. So how do these visitors contact you? If you use alt text, then of course the proper alt text would be your email address.

    There are contact scripts that include captcha images and some excellent php scripts that keep a good majority of the spammers out. It's never 100% safe to do anything... even get out of bed.
    Linda Jenkinson
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  22. #97
    Headed Home! KM Richards's Avatar
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    OK, use the graphics editor of your choice...but making a graphic image of your email address is a good way to have your email address on your webpage without actually putting a link on your page.

    And, if this were for a business site, they'be using an email form so surely this guy is needing this for a personal site, or a fun site of some sort.

    I got the idea from a friend of mine's website where he did this on his
    contact page at: http://www.bobbyraylive.com/contact.html

    So, why is this so wrong??? It looks just fine to me and it
    accomplishes having an email address on a webpage without
    making it an email link for the spambots to pickup.
    Last edited by KM Richards; Mar 8, 2008 at 15:35.

  23. #98
    Headed Home! KM Richards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazeMiskulin View Post
    If people can contact you, bots can, too.
    To lock out the bots, you have to lock out people.
    Sounds good to me...
    One is just as bad as the other.

    People are basically evil so you
    have to be careful who you let
    in lest you get screwed!



    Quote Originally Posted by Shyflower View Post
    Posting images without explanatory alt text makes your site inaccessible to the vision impaired and many others who disable images in their browsers for a number of good reasons.... slow dial-up connections in rural areas and older, slower computer processors among them. So how do these visitors contact you?
    If you're that worried about that, put your cell phone number in as the alt text.

    Something like: "Call us at 555-555-1234" and use an alternate phone number, not your home number (if this is considering the guy's site is not a business site)

  24. #99
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    It is always good to include an email as most people would not prefer a form...Use [at] instead of @....I think that should help


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