Web authoring

  • May 15, 2007

    Publishing an email address on a web page invites more spam. Protect your address by masking it from the email harvesters (spambots) used by spammers. This article tests 50 masking methods against 23 harvesters to see which methods work to stop spammers, and which do not.

  • November 10, 2007

    A typical web page bar chart uses an image from a presentation or spreadsheet application. The network latency cost for the image is high, slowing down the web site. Instead, create bars using rows of Unicode block characters: █. The characters are much faster to download and they scale well as the font size is changed.

  • November 24, 2007

    CSS defines only three bullet shapes: disc, circle, and square. To get custom bullets, web designers use small bullet images. The network latency cost for these images is high, slowing down the web site. Instead, avoid bullet images and use Unicode symbol characters as bullets. Unicode bullets require nothing extra to download and provide thousands of bullet shapes to choose from.

  • October 27, 2007

    A typical web page color gradient uses a thin GIF or PNG image repeated for the width of the page. However, the network latency cost for the image is high, slowing down the site. Instead, skip the image and draw the gradient with a table and thin rows of varying background colors. The table is much faster to download and looks the same.

  • December 8, 2007

    JavaScript can expand hierarchical menus in place, without a page reload, but often these scripts are too fancy for their own good. Large scripts and lots of pretty icon images slow down page loads while trying to make fast menus. The result is a net loss and a slower web site. The main problem is network latency, which slows down loading external icon image and JavaScript files. Instead, use Unicode symbol characters to replace custom image icons, then minimize and embed the JavaScript on the page. The result is smaller, it has no external files adding latency delays, and it enables web pages to load much faster.

  • May 7, 2007

    Spammers use email harvesters (spambots) to scan the text of your web pages looking for email addresses. Protect those addresses by replacing the text address with an image or Flash animation that draws the email address. None of the harvesters tested in this article could read addresses drawn with images or Flash.

  • May 1, 2007

    A plain email address on a web page is easily found by the email harvesters (spambots) used by spammers. To make it harder to find, split the address into pieces. Separate the pieces with HTML tags or spaces, insert the word “nospam”, replace the “@” with “at”, or put the pieces on separate lines or in separate table cells. The harvester tests reported in this article show that many of these methods work well to stop harvesters.

  • May 4, 2007

    Email harvesters (spambots) scan your web pages for email addresses to add to spam mailing lists. Keep your address away from them by using JavaScript or CSS to insert your address after the web page has loaded into a visitor’s web browser. The harvester tests reported in this article show that harvesters do not run JavaScript or handle CSS styling, so they won’t find your address.

  • May 2, 2007

    The email harvesters (spambots) used by spammers scan your web pages looking for email addresses to add to their spam mailing lists. Obfuscating an address obscures or scrambles its characters, making it harder for a harvester to recognize. The most common method replaces characters with their numeric ASCII character code equivalents. Browsers automatically unobfuscate the address so that site visitors can read it. While this is a popular method to protect an email address, the harvester tests reported in this article show that newer harvesters now recognize many of these addresses.

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Nadeau software consulting
Nadeau software consulting