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Do you agree that it is generally bad practice to include mail to links and emails in websites because of spam and the various malicious agents that search and use emails?

If so how could I explain this to someone that has a website but doesn't know how to use their own cms?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Nov 23 '10 at 6:44

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

    
I always forget about the 100 other SO sites –  Sam Nov 22 '10 at 15:04
    
Hmmm, yesterday all day spent explaining it. Today will continue –  Gennady Vanin Novosibirsk Jan 25 '11 at 9:25

3 Answers 3

I the mail server the client user have a good SPAM filter it should not be a problem. The SPAM will just go into the junk.

If you still think that you have to make him remove his email tell him that people will love a simple contact form instead of email. Or lie to him that exposing his address to public makes it vulnerable to hacker attacks.

And the most important, no matter what you choose to tell him make it looks like it is his idea)))

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+1 for the last sentence. –  Marco Demaio Nov 23 '10 at 13:15
    
Seems a bit deceptive. I think most people are intelligent enough to make this kind of decision on their own, and if they're not computer savvy, they'll likely just defer to your judgment, so there's no need to manipulate and lie. Just my $0.02. –  Lèse majesté Nov 23 '10 at 15:03
    
The last one was a joke(or half joke). Clients are idiots. Not all but most of them. Most of them don know their business, their needs, their options. Some of them may understand you or trust your professional opinion but most of them just "know it better". On second thought maybe the best decision is just to tell the client for all options and which one you recommend but leave the choice to him. –  Ilian Iliev Nov 23 '10 at 16:06

You could use MailHide from Recaptcha

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Excellent link, but I think it will even more hard to covince a customer to use this type of stuff on their website. –  Marco Demaio Nov 23 '10 at 13:19

As Ilian Iliev mentioned, a good spam filter is more than capable of dealing with public email addresses. If your network admin or email host isn't competent enough to install a good spam filter, then there's always Gmail Hosted (Google Apps). We use this on all of our domains, and I recommend it to all my clients. It's fast, free, reliable, and integrates with other Google Apps (like Google Calendar). And if you have greater email needs, you can upgrade to their paid service.

Whether you put your email up or not should depend on whether you want to be directly contacted by email or via other means. If you're just another customer service rep in a large company, then it might make sense to just have a contact form that will direct emails to a customer support system and open a support ticket.

But if you're, say, a freelance web developer, a real estate agent, or a sales rep at a small company, then it makes sense to have your work email on your website. It looks more professional and also adds a personal touch as opposed to having an anonymous web form.

In most cases, for companies big or small, it's necessary to have at least one or two published e-mail addresses on your website. It could be something as simple as info@yourdomain.com. It's sort of like having a phone/fax number or mailing address. You won't be taken seriously without one.

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