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Protecting Source Code
Help required

 4:35 pm on Oct 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

With Internet Explorer there is a View - Source tool that enables visitors to view the coding of a site, including the keywords. However, I have noticed that on some sites this is not possible.

I spend a lot of time and effort researching keywords for my site's pages, and I don't want to leave myself wide open to the competition copying them for their sites.

Can I add a line of html that will block anyone from viewing my source code? If so, can anyone tell me what it is?


"A friend called Five"


Lord Majestic

 4:44 pm on Oct 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

If you want to protect your HTML source code then don't publish it on open websites, its as simple as this.


 4:46 pm on Oct 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

What's an open website?

What's a closed website for that matter?


Lord Majestic

 5:31 pm on Oct 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Open website is a website that is accessible by public -- in other words it is part of the Internet.

A close website is a website that only accessible to internal user, ie on Intranet.


 5:35 pm on Oct 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

What they are saying, is, that whatever you do to make it a little more diffiuclt, there is nothing you can do to totally stop someone from looking at the source code.
Once the page appears on a screen it is in the cache of the computer and open to investigation.


 5:39 pm on Oct 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Basically he means don't publish it where the public can view it. Which probably defeats the purpose of the site.

Your keywords can be viewed by anyone who's reading your site, unless you are obfuscating (which can get you expelled from the search engines), so hiding the source code would only protect the design of the page. Anyone who is into SEO deep enough to be looking at specific page design techniques is more than capable of getting the source code from your site, regardless of how you mask it.

I would be more concerned about people stealing your content than about your delivery of said content. Sadly, the best preventative measure for this is a stern written warning on your site. Then actively pursue thieves by searching for snippets of your own text, and send them DMCA notices.


 5:44 pm on Oct 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Anything that can be viewed in a browser can be copied.

you could try cloaking your website so a visitor gets one version and a search engine spider receives another therefore the visitor or competition would not see your keywords etc

but be warned this approach is frowned upon by the search engines


 6:04 pm on Oct 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

What you want to do is impossible. The reason is this:

1) A visitor goes to your website

2) Your server sends the code to the visitors web browser.

3) The visitors web browser intreprets the code (and, as you will find, there are many different interpretations - but that is another issue) and displays the web page.

4) If you want the visitor to see your web page, then by defualt he has to have your code on his machine.

5) Since he has your code on his machine, he can find a way to view this code no matter what you do.

6) So, There is no way around it. Visitors to your website have access to the code of the web pages you make public.


 8:12 pm on Oct 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

My placing a page online you really have very little control over what a user can and can't view within the page.

What you are reall doing is uploading a file fill of code that the users browser will then render into a webpage.

There are things you can do to make it slightly more difficult to view your cource code, but there is really nothign you can do to totaly prevent people lookng through your code.



 10:39 pm on Oct 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Gary_Numan said:
I spend a lot of time and effort researching keywords for my site's pages, and I don't want to leave myself wide open to the competition copying them for their sites.

If it makes you feel any better, the search engines don't use the keywords anyway. So even if a competitor "stole" the words, as long as you have a better-quality site with better nagivation and fresher, more relevant, more accurate content, you've got nothing to worry about, since the search engines will be ranking you according to the quality of your content and the resulting quality of your in-links.



 3:26 pm on Oct 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks for all the great tips.

One thing still puzzles me though:

On some sites I can click view - source, and a notepad page pops up with all the code on it, yet on certain sites I can click view - source and nothing happens, no notepad or anything.

It's as if the function is turned off for certain sites.



 3:37 pm on Oct 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

There are Javascript snippets that can turn off right-click stuff in IE. Try one of those sites in, say, Mozilla, and you'll likely find that you can now view the source code.


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