I have a website I'm administering for a volunteer organization that has a big staff turn over (annually - the team working in 2014 is almost completely different from the team for 2013 as the team for 2012, etc.).

Is it worth while appending a year to the e-mail address, or should I just reassign the same e-mail address each year?

Previous admins have used a pattern of [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] for each year's webmaster.

I'm thinking of changing the pattern to just [email protected], and reassigning the account to the new chair and resetting the password. It seems this is the way government works (where there's an election every few years and ministers and geographical representatives will change, but the position stays).

The positive I see to appending the year, is that once one year's account gets added to spam list, the next year's is spam free until it gets collected again. The negative I see to appending the year, when the departments are handed over to the new team, they've got no history and any late e-mail coming into [email protected]

With the undated e-mail address, the only negative I can see is the continued spam, but I think that is inevitable. Have I missed anything else?

  • One key consideration is what email address is listed in the registrant contact information for your domain. It's required by most registries and registrars that this be current, and you might miss periodic WHOIS registrant notices to confirm this, which could jeopardize your domain. Webmasters can also use the spam they receive for setting filters for other email accounts (i.e., it can provide clues as to what's getting through).
    – dan
    Feb 26, 2014 at 18:55

3 Answers 3


It is best to use just [email protected]. This way, webmasters every year will have a record of, and will easily be able to refer to, historical mails if needed. Volunteer organizations, more often than not, need to keep records, and changing the email ID every year is unthinkable!

If you want to attribute the work of each webmaster to them as and when they change, you can simply send out a mail to your subscribers or whoever saying "Hi, I'm the new webmaster and my name is _" every time the change happens.

As for spam, if webmasters won't deal with it, who will?

Go for it!

  • It's more than just webmasters that are changing - there's about 15 other positions who aren't as adept at handling spam. But I think I can train them.
    – BIBD
    Feb 26, 2014 at 18:05
  • CodeSlave One way to deal with spam is to munge the e-mail address on the site. I have a munge that is excellent. Google mungemaster email and you will find it okay. I invite you to use this free tool to help with spam. Otherwise, I would not date the e-mail addresses, but I might create aliases and provide the alias publicly. It might be best to create an alias for the function and not the name. You can provide named e-mail addresses after contact has been made and on business cards.
    – closetnoc
    Feb 26, 2014 at 18:54

My experience has been to use a "generic"alias for position-based email (e.g. webmaster, admin, sales, etc.) and send it to the address of whomever has those duties at the time. You can often add more than one address to the alias list, so if you need to keep records of all incoming messages you can send them to an additional box that you maintain control over.

This is helpful when you have volunteers who use email outside your domain and you want to provide them with an "official" email access, or if you have a high turnover rate and don't necessarily need to tell everyone that there's someone new in that position.


Having an address like [email protected] has so many wrong sides, that just reading it makes me feel bad. Feels like clerk1, secretary13, assistan8, just_passing_guy17.

One of the main problems is that the user feels, everyday that he is just temporary there, which adds up to not relating to the office/jog he has to do. It also lowers the self-esteem, it feels like a number on the organization, not a person.

From the outside part, it feels like you are dealing with just a temporary intern, who doesn't know much and is there just for short time, that means lees respect to him, less patience and worst results at the end of the day. Plus if somebody has to deal with that [email protected] on december, what do you think is the feeling? What happens if I don't solve the problem before he leaves? Am' I going to have to explain everything again?

Of course that kind of situation is not just related to solve problems, it affects almost any kind of interaction.

Use specific addresses for each person. If the position is relevant, have them use things like [email protected], but if they can use [email protected], do that, it always has much better feeling for everybody.

You can also use alias, have permanent account like webmaster, admin a,d so on, and each year, change the redirections. If you use this method, you can have copies of the redirected mails, so for the permanent accounts, you may have all the emails stored, doesn't matter who used it.

About spam, use spam protection software, well configured should really help you. On the account where I have spamassasin, I almost don't get any spam.

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