Q: Why are there no e-mail links on any of the sites you design?
A: In years past, web developers put links to email addresses on web sites because there were very few reliable ways to provide an electronic contact link. That link would tell the browsers computer to open the mail program they use (like Outlook, Outlook Express or Eudora) and start an e-mail to the person indicated in the link.
Times have drastically changed. There are two very important reasons we no longer encourage this and have not encouraged it for over a decade! (as of 2015)
First and foremost, more and more people are using web based email systems like gMail, Yahoo!, Microsoft and other such free services. The links that we used to use (back in the 90s) do not work with these web mail systems in general so the link becomes pointless.
Now for the important reason!
SPAM is all the unwanted email everyone receives every day that range from mundane subjects to down right vulgar! The people that send SPAM use many tricks-of-the-trade to harvest email addresses. One of the most common ways is with programs that troll web sites on the Internet for openly published email addresses.
Using these programs they can harvest email addresses from millions of sites in a single day! This is added to the lists that are used to send out their SPAM!
About ten years ago we took over a web site with such an openly published email address. The business owner complained of receiving over 80,000 SPAM email a DAY!! Not a mis-type! Eighty THOUSAND SPAM a DAY! Even after nearly ten years of NOT publishing that email address we only managed to get that count down below 2,000 a day.
In response to this, many web masters have turned to form-to-mail forms. Forms that are sent to the site owners e-mail address. This ensures that ANYONE that needs to contact the site owner can do so with a simple click. There is very little that can stop it.
There are many of these form-to-mail scripts available, but many still publish the e-mail address in the HTML that may be hidden from the casual browser, but can still be harvested by web savvy SPAMmers.
Sand Dollar Digital Design has develped their own script that not only keeps your e-mail address from SPAMmers and harvesters, but also provides a stable place for any of your potential visitors to contact you, no matter what type of e-mail system they may use.
Despite these measures, SPAMmers still use automated systems that use web based forms to send out their garbage! As a result, our forms also incorporate heavy duty filters that prevent such attempts. Unfortunately, these SPAMmers find ways to circumvent the built in filters so continual updating of the filters is required. This is why we ask our web site owners to always let us know when they find the web site's contact form being abused. We can update the filters easily and do so between one and four times a week...sometimes even more!