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Adding contact information

 

There are several ways to add an email link so people can contact you. There is also controversy on the best way to do this. It used to be that a simple mailto link in this format in your code:

<a href="mailto:you@youraddress.com">you@youraddress.com</a>

was the best way to add a contact link. This code adds a simple clickable link to your page that would look like this:

When the link is clicked, the viewer's email program opens already addressed to you. Let's look at adding this info.

 

Adding an email link in GoLive

 

To add your link in your page, click where you want to add the link and type in the text you want to be linked:

 

you@youraddress.com

 

Adding a link is the same as adding a text link. With the text highlighted, look at the inspector and type in your email address:

 

email address

 

When you press enter, the mailto: is automatically entered for you:

 

mailto

 

And the link on your page looks like this:

Note: By default, GoLive treats URLs containing the @ symbol as e-mail addresses and adds "mailto:" to the URL text box in the Inspector. To avoid this, deselect the option Auto Add "Mailto:" To Addresses in the Site Settings or Preferences dialog box.

  

 

Fighting SPAM

  

Because of the increase in SPAM the last few years, directly adding your email address to the web page as described above is not always the best approach. Robots and spiders crawl the web looking for email addresses. These can be sold to spammers who will then pass your address all over creation and you suddenly have an inbox full of people wanting to increase the size of your body parts, find you dates, sell you illegal software, cheap prescription drugs, or worse. So what can you do?

Masking Emails: There are extensions that allow you to mask your email address using javascript. Robots and spiders are programmed smarter all the time and may outwit these eventually. These are above the scope of this tutorial but I want you to be aware they are out there.  Drawback: If people do not have javascript enabled they may not be able to contact you.

Using an image file: You can also use your favorite image editor to make a file that says you@youraddress.com and save it. Insert it as you would any image. Just make sure NOT to use the address in your source code or the robots will see it anyway. Drawback: Anyone wanting to email you will have to open their email program and type in the address. This is not an ideal solution either, as some may decide just not to bother to take the trouble.

Use a throwaway address: Keep an address for web site and newsgroup use. This can be a free address, like the ones you get from Yahoo or Hotmail, or if you have your own domain and have access to changing your email address regularly you can set up a special spam address to use. This one only has one drawback that I can think of: you have to remember to check the yahoo or hotmail accounts regularly to see if you do have legitimate mail from your web site visitors.

Type it out: Do not make a mail link at all and type the address as "you at youraddress dot com". The robots and spiders will not interpret this as an email address. Drawback: Unfortunately people new to the net might not understand how to use this for a valid email, so it has drawbacks. Another factor is people don't want to have to think too hard. It is much easier just to click.

Add a spam-stopper phrase to your address like youREMOVETHIS@youraddress.com so that people have to delete the extra phrase to send you email. Drawback: The address is clickable so many people will not notice the REMOVETHIS in the address, dash off their message and hit SEND. And of course it will bounce since it's not really your address.

Only you can decide how you want to handle this. Personally, I have opted to provide my email in my web pages so they are clickable links, and I have two SPAM fighters at work for me: I pay $1.50 a month extra to my ISP for Postini, that checks and quarantines suspicious mail and anything with a virus. These emails are not sent to me, but placed in Quarantine safely on the server until I can go through them and either accept delivery to my inbox, or delete them permanently. After 14 days they are automatically deleted by the server. If your ISP doesn't offer Postini, it is a good idea to ask about it.

I also use Mailwasher Pro. This is a program that looks on the server at my mail, lets me see the first 20 lines, and I can decide if I want to delete or download. You can also elect to bounce spam emails.  Sometimes spam is sent by automated programs. When an email bounces, it is removed from the "good address" list. I have cut the spam getting to my inbox by 90% using these two methods. Mailwasher has a free and a paid version.

Go to the next page to look at adding copyright info to your pages.

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