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Email address on the webpage pro/contra
Thread poster: Natalia Elo

Natalia Elo  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:04
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
Oct 19, 2005

Dear colleagues,

I would like to hear your opinion on the following matter.

My web designer asked me to decide whether I want to have the feature: a visitor can by clicking on the email address, which is actually a picture, automatically start his email programm, which has possibility to be scanned by spammers or alternatively the client has to write it himself, which, because a picture can not be copy'n'pasted, is not nice.

Actually I thought to have only sort of contact form similar to that here at ProZ, and not to state email address at all.

What do you think?


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Aliseo Japan  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 02:04
Member
Italian to Japanese
+ ...
Use a Contact Form Oct 20, 2005

Natalia Elo wrote:

Actually I thought to have only sort of contact form similar to that here at ProZ, and not to state email address at all.

What do you think?


You might want to consider using a contact form in your website (cgi or php); depending on the actual form used, doing this your email address would be hidden from spammers, and furthermore by providing your visitors with a complete set of fields (including drop-down lists) your site will appear more professional.

Kind regards


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 20:04
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
First name . name @ yourdomain.com Oct 20, 2005

You can avoid spammers by using your address in a way that only humans can compose it. If you state your name and after that tell the visitor, how to reach you by putting together those three parts you are quite safe. Also the address as a picture is ok. In a form the adress is hidden in the page code, but can easily be found by automats.
After all the spam problem is not so serious anymore, my Thunderbird handels most of the spam mails automatically.
Regards
Heinrich


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Aliseo Japan  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 02:04
Member
Italian to Japanese
+ ...
Selecting the appropriate type of contact form Oct 20, 2005

Heinrich Pesch wrote:
In a form the adress is hidden in the page code, but can easily be found by automats.
Heinrich


It all depends on the form used. In mine, and in many others that have been developped to avoid spammers' abuse, it doesn't appear.

Regards


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Natalia Elo  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:04
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Further questions Oct 20, 2005

Hi,

Thanks for the replies.

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

You can avoid spammers by using your address in a way that only humans can compose it. If you state your name and after that tell the visitor, how to reach you by putting together those three parts you are quite safe. Also the address as a picture is ok.


As he explained to me, if I have it as a picture or written in some protected way, anyway it could be scanned, when the email programm is starting.


In a form the adress is hidden in the page code, but can easily be found by automats.


Really? I mean, I 'm not an expert in that. I thought that contact form is protecting against spam for 99%.


After all the spam problem is not so serious anymore, my Thunderbird handels most of the spam mails automatically.
Regards
Heinrich


Aha, I'm also planning to use Thunderbird:) Is it possible to use it when you are not home? What exactly this webmail means? As long as I understand, I use now webmail of University of Joensuu, could I do that with my new email addressas well?

Best regards
Natalia


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Sara Freitas
France
Local time: 19:04
French to English
My e-mail address is right out there for all to see Oct 20, 2005

...and I don't have any major problems with SPAM.

I also have a CGI mail form...not sure why I have both, I guess that doesn't really make sense.

I get a few "pharmaceutical" SPAM mails (if you know what I mean!!) per week, but that seems to be it.

I seem to get more nuisance calls/e-mails via the Yellow Pages than from any other source.

Good luck!

Sara


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Hynek Palatin  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 19:04
English to Czech
+ ...
Forms Oct 20, 2005

Heinrich Pesch wrote:
In a form the adress is hidden in the page code, but can easily be found by automats.


Not exactly. The address is part of a server-side script and cannot be seen.


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Michele Johnson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:04
German to English
+ ...
Professional business image : email instead of form Oct 20, 2005

Hi Natalia,

I agree with Sara. You will get a certain amount of spam if your email is out in the open, but think of the tradeoff in terms of professional business image. If I'm looking for a translator (or even a partner for outsourcing), and I'm considering 2 well-qualified prospects, and one makes it easy for me to contact them by including email, phone, address, etc. and the other hides behind a contact form, I'm definitely going to choose the one with the email. This is simply part of vetting business contacts: detailed contact info is (to me) one sign of professionality.

So my recommendations for you, in descending order of preference, would be:
1) a jpeg/gif of your email address that is clickable (this is what I do; however spambots can read the HTML code behind this and cull your address)
2) a jpeg/gif of your email that is not clickable, i.e. your customer would have to type the address by hand.
3) as a last resort, a contact form. This might make more sense if you are expecting hundreds of messages a day, so people can pre-choose the subject (like Collaboration, Job-related, etc.)

Sounds like your webmaster is pretty much on top of things but here is some more information about protecting email addresses: http://www.devwebpro.com/2002/1004.html
They suggest some other options, like embedding your email in a Javascript script, which apparently bots often have problems reading.

I'm running Spam Assassin (there are of course tons of other programs) which works really well at filtering out the junk. It goes to a separate address that I check periodically to make sure no real mail ended up there by accident. So I would recommend option 1 above and a good spam filter.

[Edited at 2005-10-20 10:35]


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Michele Johnson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:04
German to English
+ ...
Form + Javascript mailto: Oct 20, 2005

Mario Cerutti wrote:

It all depends on the form used. In mine, and in many others that have been developped to avoid spammers' abuse, it doesn't appear.

Regards


But you also provide a clickable "mailto:" link on your webpage, however cleverly embedded in Javascript I see. My point being: I don't think *just* a form is enough; as a potential client, I want to know your email address (and as much other information about you as possible). Looks like you've found a good solution.


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Aliseo Japan  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 02:04
Member
Italian to Japanese
+ ...
Contact Form vs E-mail Oct 20, 2005

Michele Johnson wrote:
.. and the other hides behind a contact form, I'm definitely going to choose the one with the email. This is simply part of vetting business contacts: detailed contact info is (to me) one sign of professionality.


Using a contact form insted of the standard e-mail does not necessarily mean hiding behind the form (many people hide behind their yahoo or google e-mail address...), if in your web site your name, postal address and telephone number are clearly stated. Once a business contact has been established, giving the e-mail address for all subsequent contacts is standard practice and, in my opinion, anybody would understand this simple precaution.

Mario Cerutti


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webguru
Local time: 03:04
Slovak to English
+ ...
Disguise of email address Oct 20, 2005

Michele Johnson wrote:

But you also provide a clickable "mailto:" link on your webpage, however cleverly embedded in Javascript...


I've used this way for over 10 years now, and it prevents SPAM by automated programs. Real people can still read your email in their browsers, and it is also clickable and opens the email package automatically. The best of both worlds. However, since I needed something more flexible I have also started using an email form, and that works well too.


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Natalia Elo  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:04
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Oct 20, 2005

Thank you all,

I need some time to work over the information.

Any further comments are welcomed.

Natalia


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Michele Johnson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:04
German to English
+ ...
Cross-platform capability, program-/browser independence? Oct 20, 2005

webguru wrote:

Michele Johnson wrote:

But you also provide a clickable "mailto:" link on your webpage, however cleverly embedded in Javascript...


I've used this way for over 10 years now, and it prevents SPAM by automated programs. Real people can still read your email in their browsers, and it is also clickable and opens the email package automatically. The best of both worlds. However, since I needed something more flexible I have also started using an email form, and that works well too.



Well this sounds like a brilliant approach. If I have understood you correctly, your email is embedded in a Javascript script. My only concern is: what about those people who don't have Javascript activated? I know, welcome to the 21st century and all. But even I often turn off Javascript for security reasons (like for online banking). Somehow my vision is a website that works for everyone, regardless of Java/Javascript, XML, browser, operating system, etc.


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Hynek Palatin  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 19:04
English to Czech
+ ...
Obfuscating E-mail Addresses Oct 21, 2005

I won't go into the techical details, but you can refer your webmaster to the following link:
http://smarty.php.net/manual/en/tips.obfuscating.email.php

Smarty is a PHP template engine and it contains a plugin for encoding e-mail addresses into a Javascript code.

[Edited at 2005-10-21 08:37]


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Natalia Elo  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:04
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Oct 21, 2005

Dear Hynek,
Hynek Palatin wrote:



I will, eventhough I think he knows that, becuase, when we were choosing hosting for me, amongst other things, he mentioned php as a necessity. BTW, he said that what ProZ is offering is very good.

Natalia


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