No Need to Hide Your Email

It’s very likely that spammers already have it!

This topic comes up from time to time while developing websites.  Oftentimes clients will ask to obfuscate their email address on their contact page.  While this was previously a very good piece of advise, it is no longer necessary for a multitude of reasons.

If you’re a business, you want people to contact you.  Of course you don’t want spammers but as I said they very likely have your e-mail address anyway.  While web scraping for email addresses is still done, the value of an email address to a spammer is a lot less than it used to be.

Comment and form spam is far more prevalent, so if you hide your email behind a form without taking a set of very specific precautions, you’re more likely to be spammed through the form than via a harvested email address.  Contact forms can break or be compromised, so unless you’re storing your comments in a database, you could lose important contacts.

Javascript obfuscation of an e-mail address might seem effective but a smart web bot can see right through it.  And even if it was completely effective, you run the risk of people who use ad and script blocking software visitors not able to retrieve your address. Additionally, some mobile browsers may have issues with this, especially if Adobe Flash is used in the process.

Of course you may want to omit your email address entirely if you are trying to stay anonymous on your site, but for business purposes this would be counter productive. You’re far more likely to be spammed via other means, so there is little reason to hide your email address on your website if you want people to contact you.


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