Simple Contact

Posted on 03.02.10 7 Comments

Internet. I’m angry.

After reading the List of Web Design Mistakes You Should Avoid on netjelly. I came across point 34:

“Don’t place your email address on your website – Email addresses on your website or blog are no secret to spam robots. It’s always a good idea for you and even better for your visitors if you provide a feedback form so they can easily get in contact with you. Another solution is to remove the text version of your email address and add an image of it instead.”

I couldn’t disagree with that previous statement more.

It’s pretty common for me to see a designer following this advice. An email address either displayed as a graphic, typed in a cryptic manner like hello[at]chopeh[dot]com, or having no visible email address at all. Now I understand the reasoning behind this, “It’s to stop me getting spam!” I hear people cry. But as a visitor to your site; why do I care that you’re trying to prevent spam?

The whole point of most websites is to get some kind of contact, a conversion. This needs to be done as easy as possible. Having a contact form is fine but you’d be suprised at how many people don’t like using them (me included). I like to send things from my email client where I can look up the time I sent the message, what I wrote… And have a spell checker to keep an eye on me.

It annoyed me that this kind of info is still being spread, it’s 2010!

The spam I receive is my problem and I deal with it using spam filters. I don’t want a visitor mis-typing my email into their client, copying and pasting, or filling out awkward CAPTCHA on forms.

Don’t agree? Email me


  1. Agreed!

    I never really thought about it before, but I guess it makes total sense – us designers always trying to make life easier for ourselves. I know I’ve been guilty of using [at] in the past.

  2. Thanks for reading the article.

    I did reply to your comment on my site.

  3. I agree with you, Pete!
    But I use this PHP-hide-email-thingy!
    Supposedly it hides your e-mail address from evil bots/spiders, but looks normal to the user.

  4. Looks like quite a good idea Bill!

  5. This article was very useful for a paper I am writing for my thesis.


    Bernice Franklin

  6. I agree it’s essential to display a link for your e-mail as an alternative to contact forms, but can’t agree on using anything with scripting… I create a lot of content for smartphones, and as much as its scripting support has gotten better over the years, there’s still plenty to be done.

    Instead, i’m using character entities to replace the ascii characters, not as safe, but works in most of cases.


  7. I’m going to have to agree with you there Fernando, the script is a neat trick for some solutions, but not all.

    I came across the ascii trick a number of years ago and have used it in a few cases, but like you say its not as safe and is gotten around quite easy.

    I guess the fight is still on against spam.