Posts Tagged ‘spam’

Stop email spam from your web site

October 2nd, 2009

I personaly think that email addresses should be on web sites and if this means that you get some spam then you just have to put up with it (I get loads). However there are things you can do to help reduce/stop the problem.

1. Don’t use obvious names like webmaster@ or info@ for email addresses and only allow names that you set up (e.g. don’t use a system that sends all email to your web address to you – commonly known as a catch all). Spammers get your address and stick the obvious names on the front and then test to see if they can get a response.

2. Use an image instead of text. I don’t really like this but at least your address is visible to those who can see it.

3. Use spam filtering software. I use stuff that sits on my server as well as one on my computer. The only trouble with this is that you occasionally get a genuine email that gets stuck. Make sure you train your systems well and this will not be much of a problem.

4. Hide your email address using Javascript. Here is a link to a system that works quite well. 
The problem with doing this is that only those with Javascript on will be able to use the link – however you can write your address in a clever way that anyone with a bit of brain could work out (e.g chris AT webchristian 0 org 0 uk) so that spam bots can’t see it – if youu use something that is a little odd then just add a description to it.

5. Use a form – I really hate this way of getting around the problem. I like to use my email system because it keeps a record of what I’m doing and who I’ve sent messages to and when. Some spammers also use forms to send their spam anyway so it doesn’t stop the problem.

I’d also like to add a personal note that you can’t assume that the email address spam comes from is actually the spammer. I have a very good url for my business and spammers are forever using my address to send their spam – this really ticks me off but I can’t stop it. It then is upsetting when I get messages from people who are angry at me because they think I’ve sent them spam – I understand their position but it wasn’t me that sent it. Even worse I then get blacklisted on spam systems and my emails sometimes get blocked. I really don’t like spam but I still think it is better for a Christian site to turn the other cheek and take the spammers abuse for the sake of being available to those who who need your response. I know what they send is often offensive but sometimes we just have to live with that for the sake of the gospel – there said my peace, sorry if you disagree.

web building ,

Turn the other cheek on your website

September 11th, 2009

15614272I have a lot of times that I have to contact churches and so see a great number (in the hundreds) of websites on a regular basis. I’m always surprised by the number of churches that hide their email address or even don’t have one.

It’s always seemed to me that the most important part of any church website is the contact page. People come to your site,  not to look at pictures of your new pew refurbish, but to find out how to contact you or when something is happening.

Now you might be getting all hot under the dog collar (if you are a clergy person – read just collar if you are not) thinking that the issue is all about spam.

“We don’t want to have our email boxes blocked up with offers of herbal wonder drugs and we certainly don’t want to have to read emails about someone called Doris who wants to make contact and so has attached a picture of herself”.

However I think this is one of those times that Christians have to turn the other cheek for the sake of being available.

No-one wants to get spam (I bet even spammers moan about it when they get it from others) and some of it is pretty crude if not downright offensive but sometimes we have to put up with the filth so we can allow those who need us to reach us.

Some sites use forms in an effort to get around spam but if you have a contact form you will know that you get spam from the form anyway – or at least you do if your site is getting reasonable traffic (and if it isn’t then the spammers probably won’t be bothered with you anyway).

All the research I read says that people like to use their own email system instead of a form. People like to have a record of the email they sent and a record of the email address they sent it to.

So let me make an appeal to Christian webmaster – put your email address on your website.

If you are a timid person who is scared stiff that a spammer might get to you then use a spam filter. If you have a little technical ability you can use a javascript that will stop spammers but allow others to email you. If you are still really nervous then use an image with a funny font.

But for my part I think Christians just have to take it on the chin, turn the other cheek, get thicker skinned about the world to give the lost sheep a way to find their way home.

online ministry ,