Articles

  • May 12, 2007

    Instead of publishing your email address to a web page, where it can be harvested by spammers, provide a contact form. Filling out the form sends you email without showing your email address to the site visitor (or spammer). To block automated programs from filling out the form, add a CAPTCHA challenge to detect human visitors. Site visitors will still be able to contact you, but spammers will be blocked.

  • May 10, 2007

    Legitimate web site visitors are there to read your content, but spammers only visit to run email harvesters (spambots) that scan your web pages for email addresses. To protect your addresses, and avoid wasting network bandwidth talking to spammers, change your web server configuration to block spammer access. Blacklist spammer IP addresses, block access from known harvester spiders, or require visitors to log in. Some of the methods tested in this article were successful at blocking email harvesters.

  • May 8, 2007

    A spammer’s email harvester is a web spider that crawls through the pages of your site looking for email addresses. To protect your addresses, hide the pages that contain them. Use a robots.txt file or <meta> tags to stop well-behaved harvesters (are there any?), and hidden links, redirects, forms, and frames to try to stop the rest. The email harvesters tested in this article were stopped by some of these tricks, but not by others.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • March 25, 2007

    An initial installation of the Drupal content management system can be slow. You can speed up your web site substantially by making a few essential adjustments to your site's web server, database, PHP, and Drupal configurations. This article introduces a series of articles on the steps to take and why.

  • March 23, 2007

    A Drupal theme controls the look of a web site by setting text colors, fonts, and decorative images. Speed up a web site by selecting a theme that has fewer and smaller images and CSS files. This will make your web pages smaller, faster to send to your site's visitors, and easier for their web browsers to draw. This article benchmarks 23 common themes and concludes with a few guidelines on what to watch out for when selecting a theme.

  • March 12, 2007

    Removing HTML white-space (spaces, tabs, blank lines, and comments) makes a file slightly smaller and faster to send to a site visitor. The improvement you get depends upon how verbose your HTML is to start with. This article uses the HTML Tidy optimizer and measures the improvement for a sample web site and 22 different standard themes or page templates. Each theme generates different HTML and shows a different level of improvement from HTML optimization. Unfortunately, in all cases the improvement is tiny and probably not worth the effort.

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Nadeau software consulting
Nadeau software consulting