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Mailto versus sendmail: request for opinion

Is one BLATANTLY better for a very small website?

     
11:24 pm on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



My client has a VERY small website (2 pages aside from a possible "contact me" page) but wants to enable his customers to contact. I suggested a simple icon with "mailto:..." plus my client's email. He also likes a fancified form I have elsewhere that uses asp/sendmail. Is there a security or other reason that makes it a good idea to avoid use of mailto?
11:33 pm on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



spam would probably be more likely with the mailto:
11:59 pm on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



If your client's e-mail address is visible in the HTML coding (because of the "mailto:" link), then spam-bots can harvest it.

It's fairly standard to use form-handlers instead, especially since up-to-date browsers may choke on or panic due to a naked mailto: link. Besides, a form looks more professional.

Does your client's server host not provide a standard form-handler script? There are plenty of free ones and/or secure ones. It shouldn't be any trouble to set your client up with a proper contact form.

Eliz.

2:25 pm on Mar 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I have no problem at all with the "howto" (I've done it more than once and it's not that hard) or with the host's ability to handle (I have a few on this host). It's just the "whether to". So I see you're saying "spam likelihood" plus "professionionial look" both mean "whether" means "yes".
6:01 pm on Mar 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rocknbil is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Additionally, a form can prompt for the right questions to be answered, so that the recipient can make an informed reply.
6:25 pm on Mar 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



IMHO forms are the way to go. Not many people would login into their email to contact you if it's not super important. They'll just procrastinate and eventually forget.

I'd estimate that over 95% of all contact I get from my website comes via the form, not direct email. Both are published and visible on the same page.

Form is just so much easier to fill in and send.

11:27 pm on Mar 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I recommend using Hiveware Enkoder, which offers a free online form to create an encoded javascript email link that should protect you against most spambots. More discussion here...

Protecting Email Addresses From Harvesters
[webmasterworld.com...]

2:38 am on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Am I then to conclude from all these spambot concerns that no character string containing the (my) client's email address should be available on the website area (as it might in a simple mailto:)? As for "informed decision..." I get tied up in my own mind about whether to be "stylish" or "simple" (in this client's case, all the potential client will need to decide is "what do you want to tell me?" and "how should I get back in touch? [email, phone, snail mail...etc.]) Not much else for my client's website. He just wants "web presence" and a chance for folks to say "howdy" to his store.
8:58 am on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Am I then to conclude from all these spambot concerns that no character string containing the (my) client's email address should be available on the website area...

That's been my conclusion....

9:25 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Would not a "bot" of some sort be able to "deduce" or speculate e.g., anything@myclient.com?
9:58 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



albo asked:
Would not a "bot" of some sort be able to "deduce" or speculate e.g., anything@myclient.com?

Yes, which is why you should use other than "standard" account names; for instance, use "tech_dude@mydomain.com" rather than "support@domain.com", or "salute_when_you_say_that@domain.com" rather that "admin@domain.com". And you should set your "default" e-mail address to ":blackhole:", so mail directed at invalid account names doesn't get through.

As for worries about mis-labelled but legitimate mail being "lost" (because no "bounce" message is sent), this is what the contact form is for: If somebody loses your address (or doesn't have it in the first place), the form provides a goof-proof method of contacting you.

Eliz.

 

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