Email SPAM: Are You Actually Inviting It?

May 28, 2015 | Experience Shared

Email SPAM is a real and present pain in the butt, to put it mildly. But, did you know that displaying your email address on your website is like sending an engraved invitation to the spammers of the world, inviting them to come fill your inbox with crap?

You might not know this, but there are such things as “bots”…automated programs that crawl the web looking for and collecting email addresses. This is known as email address harvesting. The email addresses they find are then sold to or given to various entities as “leads” for all kinds of products and services. Nice, huh?

We all want potential customers and clients to be able to reach us through our websites, but there’s a much better way to facilitate it that doesn’t expose our email addresses to increased email spam:

Prevent Email SPAM with a Contact Form

There are 1000+ form plugins in the WordPress plugin repository, so you’ve got lots and lots of free choices.

If all you need is a simple contact form, ContactBuddy by iThemes is simple to install, easy to configure and works in pages, posts and widgets. ContactBuddy forms contain the following fields: name, email, subject, message, and a reCaptcha validation option. Form submission subject line and destination email location can be edited in the Settings area by the Admin. Data entered through the forms are sent to the email address specified by the admin.

If you need something a little more robust, Fast Secure Contact Form by Mike Challis is a good choice, and it’s also free. It features easy form editing, multiple forms, confirmation emails, and an option to redirect visitors to any URL after the message is sent. It includes CAPTCHA and Akismet support to block spammers, and the ability to add extra fields of any type: text, textarea, checkbox, checkbox-multiple, radio, select, select-multiple, attachment, date, time, hidden, password, and fieldset.

Because I always have an eye on how many plugins I’m using, I prefer to use GravityForms, because it not only creates great forms (which can be exported and reused) but it also keeps every entry in a little database within your site, so even if email fails you, the information collected by your form is available to you. I could regale you with all of GravityForms’ wonderfulness, but instead, just click that link and take a look.

No matter which contact form plugin you choose to use, using a contact form is always a better choice than displaying your email address on your site. There are many captcha options to prevent those bots from spamming the form, itself. Do yourself and your inbox a favor and replace that email address with a contact form today!

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