Ban the Spam!
31 Aug 2022
I’ve had long-term problems with spam after publishing my email address on my contact page. So I’ve taken steps to Ban the Spam.
I’ve had the same email address on display in my contact page for a few years now, and because it’s been listed publicly for so long, I get a metric tonne of spam to that address.
Luckily the spam filter on my mail host catches a lot of it, but it’s still annoying for me to deal with. So I started to think about what I can do to have both an email address published on my site, yet minimise spam.
Here’s what I came up with…
Change the email
Groundbreaking solution, hey? I know, I know. I’ve outdone myself here.
I’m sure you’ve heard of DuckDuckGo’s Email Protection service, or Apple’s Hide My Email, right? Well, I kinda rolled my own.
What I did was register yet another domain (I like to do that), and setup a simple redirect to my actual mailbox. Sure, I could have used one of my existing domains, but wheres the fun in that?
The email is totally random and currently set to
email@example.com. When I start to see a marked increase in spam to that address (which will probably be in a few days knowing the Internet), I’ll simply change it to another random address and delete the old one.
But Kev, what if people try to email you on the old address??
I know, dear reader. I’ve already thought of that. You see, if you email me using that random address, and I reply, I’ll do so from my actual email address, which won’t change.
That way, folks who I want to converse with will have my legit email address and can still contact me. But the spam bots won’t. Win/win.
The old email
So what about
firstname.lastname@example.org, the old email address? Lots of people have that and use it to email me. That’s a problem.
I setup an auto responder on that address; so if someone tries to email me at that address, they will receive this message:
Hi, Thanks for your email, but this address (email@example.com) is no longer in use or monitored. Instead, please use the email address listed on my contact page to send me an email. /contact Apologies for any headaches, but you know, I gotta stop the spam. :-) Thanks, Kev
This way people can still get in touch with me and I won’t lose any emails…hopefully.
I also had to update the address that I use on my reply by email button. That isn’t ideal, as I’d prefer to set the email address in a single place and have it replicated to both my contact page and my button.
I’ll have to think about how best to do that – I’m sure there will be a way for me to that within
functions.php or something. If you’re a WordPress ninja and have any ideas, I’m all ears.
In the meantime, I’ll just keep changing the email address in those 2 places every few months or so. In the grand scheme of things it’s a small price to pay to ban the spam!