Email Address Cloaking


A long time ago I left my email in an online forum. I got so much spam I could have joined Monty Python.

A constant problem that we face is to be able to give our clients our contact details so that they can use them and at the same time make it hard for any passing spambot to view the email from the page.

Why bother if you have a contact page script running?

Well I’ve responded to a few messages left in these scripts and I loose quite a few. It could be that would be clients are just not liking what I send back to them, or it could be that when I send out that email response that it’s being dropped straight in to the spam bin. Whereas if the person making contact had sent the email from their inbox then their mail system would be more likely to let it in as legitimate mail.

There are a couple of techniques to protect email in the form of mailto links and text javascript, I have done it in the past by hand coding. While using WordPress it’s not always that simple, unless you can find a plugin. And guess what! there are a few.

The one that I chose to use is:

Email Encoder Bundle – Protect Email Address

Your email link appears as a mailto link in code that looks like this:

<a href=””>Click Here</a> to email me.

If you’ve never seen that before it’s an internet link that will load the email program and set up to send an email to the address in the link when the user clicks on the words Click Here.

This plugin automatically protects mailto links without any input from me. There are quite a few configuration options if you want to lay with them.

It also provides short codes to encrypt other information like a phone number:

[eeb_content]0777 484 0831[/eeb_content]

This will make it more awkward for automated software to access the information.

If you haven’t seen a shortcode before, the words with the square brackets are how shortcodes are written. ¬†For example:

[shortcode]Text to apply the short code to[/shortcode]

They use the same name but the one at the end starts with a / character.

That’s about it. You can protect content with this plugin, it’s not ultra secure but it’s not bad for starters.

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