From Contact Forms to Email Obfuscation

In the process of building this web site, as well as others, one of the first thing I try to do is to get some method of contact available immediately. With over a million installations, Contact Form 7 was an obvious choice.

But I had real problems with Contact form 7 on this site. I tried installing an SMTP plugin WP SMTP, thinking that by bypassing the basic PHP mail() function, it would fix the problem… It didn’t.

So what do I do..? I can’t just put a mailto: link out there. Spambots would go nuts, and I’d start seeing spam messages in minutes… well, days. Then I started to learn about obfuscation.

Email address obfuscation is the ability to scramble the email address presented in your underlying HTML code, while still making the mailto: link usable by a visitor to your site.

There are methods of email address obfuscation that range from complex PHP methods that require detailed code changes, to presenting your email address in a non-clickable form. Presenting your email address as me [at] example [dot] com gets the point across, but makes it impossible for your visitor to click to send an email.

The Perishable Press website has a great writeup of obfuscation methods as does Stack Overflow.

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