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  1. #1
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    Avoiding spam with email on site!?

    I would like to put my email on my website, but I know I can recieve spam because of putting it on my page. What would be the best way to display my email on my site so I won't get spammed?

  2. #2
    SitePoint Evangelist ferrari_chris's Avatar
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    A lot of people write out the @ part of the message. Such as:

    ferrari_chris [at] sitepoint.com

    assuming real users will be intelligent enough to replace the [at] with @. Sometimes there's a note near the email address instructing the user to do that.

    I think if you create a mailto: link on that email though, you've defeated the purpose so it might be best to leave the text unlinked?

    Or, another, less popular method is to put some text in the address:

    ferrari_[remove]chris@sitepoint.com

    That might do the trick too. However, I've never used either of these techniques en mass, so can't quote definitive success. I always use a Contact form through PHP, but that can still get spam anyway...

  3. #3
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    yea ive seen the [at] part.. hopefully there is a solution to actually link the email/

    thx 4 the reply tho have one solution if there is no way to link

  4. #4
    SitePoint Evangelist altyfc's Avatar
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    Other methods you might like to consider:

    1) a contact form

    2) displaying the text as an image, rather than text

  5. #5
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    designed to go with the [at] solution! thx 4 the help

  6. #6
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    Another method would be to use javascript to hide the address from bots. There's some example code at http://www.data-backup-and-storage.com/stop-spam.html that you could use.

    The flaw is that if javascript is not enabled then this would not work, however the method above will display an image containing the e-mail address in this instance.

  7. #7
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    Put that in the way admin [at] yourwebsite (dot) com

  8. #8
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    thx! ill check out these other ways later today

  9. #9
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    The best way is to make a submit form, but if you really want to print your e-mail address, I always convert the text to character entities. That way it appears as jibberish on the code, but prints out nicely on the screen.

    I used to just search the internet until I find a javascript code that does it (there are plenty out there), but now I just saved one on my website: http://www.backupbus.com/fixemail.html
    http://www.colehosting.com - Custom Web Development
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccole View Post
    The best way is to make a submit form, but if you really want to print your e-mail address, I always convert the text to character entities. That way it appears as jibberish on the code, but prints out nicely on the screen.

    I used to just search the internet until I find a javascript code that does it (there are plenty out there), but now I just saved one on my website: http://www.backupbus.com/fixemail.html
    seems like the best way actually..bots dont look at the site at all? just the code?

  11. #11
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    To be honest, I'm not 100% sure, but it makes me feel safer and kinda sneaky, so it works for me.
    http://www.colehosting.com - Custom Web Development
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  12. #12
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    If the email address can be extracted from the web page content then the spammers will get it eventually and once they get it nothing you can do will stop them sending you spam.

    The only way to stop them getting it is to not put it in the page in any form whatever but to instead use a contact form and add the address after the form is submitted. That way all the emails must go through the form and you can change the form to block spam again when the spammer finds a way past your existing form security measures.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    If the email address can be extracted from the web page content then the spammers will get it eventually and once they get it nothing you can do will stop them sending you spam.
    Hear hear. Everything you think of doing to obfuscate an email address can be circumvented. I recently got bored one day and decided to write a regular expression to find hidden/obfuscated email addresses on websites, and quite quickly you can match the common fred [at] bar (dot) com etc.

    Best way is to create a contact form, or have a form where the other user can enter their email address, and your server then emails them with your email as the reply-to address, so all they have to do is reply to that email.

  14. #14
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    As others have suggested, a contact form is the way to go... you'll still get spammers hitting it and sending you form spam but its better than having your email address out there in the wild... its fairly easy to stop the form spam.

  15. #15
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    The thing with a contact form is that if the email address is added after the form is submitted then even once the spammers manage to find a way to automate filling out your contact form they still don't know your email address and so you can change the way the form works to block them out again.

    If you obfuscate your address in the page itself then once the spammer manages to decode it then all you can do is delete that address and start over. Bad luck for everyone you wanted to use that address.
    Stephen J Chapman

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

  16. #16
    www.logoraman.com electroskan.com's Avatar
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    I think a contact form best serves the purpose.
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  17. #17
    Smart programmer silver trophy M.Zeb Khan's Avatar
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    I would use a form instead. But, honestly I never give any importance to write email on a webpage this way or that way, I just simply write it like normal text without images. and thanks to gmail spam protection it do the job for me.

  18. #18
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    A contact form is the ideal way for people to contact you, in that it does protect your email - although contact forms can be bombarded with spam as well. But not everybody likes to use contact forms - some people like to know who they are emailing (maybe they want to put a 'read receipt' on it), and some people like to have a copy of the message in their Sent Items as a record of what they have sent. And then you have the problem (or at least I do, on my website) that some people fill in their email address incorrectly so I have no way of replying to them.

    I don't like the idea of obfuscating the email address in a way that requires the user to take action. It poses all sorts of accessibility and usability problems. I believe that using &#064; instead of @ (if that doesn't work, what I typed first was 'ampersand hash zero six four semi-colon') will keep the volume of spam low, although I'm not convinced that it will stop it altogether.

    Another option that will work for most of the time is to use a dedicated adderss for the website and include ?subject=[relevant words] in the mailto:, then you can filter out anything to that address that doesn't include the required words in the subject line. This also has problems when people delete the words, or copy and paste the address into their email client/webmail page without copying the subject across. I've not come across a harvester that picks up on the Subject though.

  19. #19
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Contact Forms works and will allow you to pre-sort using categories and possibly enter them in a ticket system to track response times.

    It is always more elegant to show email addresses, for that purpose I use reCAPTCHA Mailhide which allows to hide parts of the email address, forcing the using to answer a CAPTCHA before seeing the entire address.
    D.: Web Developer | Designer | Management Consultant
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    (insightful and helpful. not some know-it-all SEO site with spam text)

  20. #20
    Trash Boat mkoenig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaymeNYC View Post
    I would like to put my email on my website, but I know I can recieve spam because of putting it on my page. What would be the best way to display my email on my site so I won't get spammed?
    I would make an image of my email like this

    test [at] domain.com

    as some bots can read images, and some can figure out that [@] or [at] trick as the [at] trick is now old.

    The best way... is to just not put it on and have a submit form

  21. #21
    SitePoint Guru
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    I have used the Dynamic Drive Email Riddler on my sites for quite some time with good results... http://www.dynamicdrive.com/emailriddler/

    Anyone have comments on using that method?

    -Josh

  22. #22
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    Screw the spammers, what about your users?? Are you going to have a professional website where your contact e-mail is "help[remove_this] at sitepoint dot com"?? Not only does that look amateur, but it's a pain in the *** for a customer. If you inject something odd in to your e-mail address and make it into a mailto: link, it sucks trying to make changes in your e-mail program like Outlook, and I guarantee that would become a point of failure. If you don't link it, it's possible to get overlooked and leave your customer scratching their head. You should make it as easy as possible for your users to e-mail you, and never make them jump through hoops. If you have a spam problem, install some anti-spam software (Spam Guardian is server side and works great!)
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  23. #23
    SitePoint Guru rageh's Avatar
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    Why not have the email in an image form and display it anywhere on your website. The automated spam generators cannot read an image.
    ------------------

  24. #24
    SitePoint Zealot Rexibit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rageh View Post
    Why not have the email in an image form and display it anywhere on your website. The automated spam generators cannot read an image.
    The basic ones can not read an image, but as with making bots to macro in online games, there are a number of advanced spam scripts which can read images. This is why Capicha programs are constantly being advanced.

    If you want to have people contact you, use a Contact form with a Capicha. there is a nice article on the main Sitepoint site for one that helps translate books while it is in use on your site.
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  25. #25
    SitePoint Guru rageh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rexibit View Post
    If you want to have people contact you, use a Contact form with a Capicha.
    But even CAPTCHA makes use of images.
    ------------------


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