Email

Selecting your email address

Selecting the email address(es) for your business or organization is one of the more important things you will do regarding your website. The main idea is making it as easy as possible for your customers or associates to contact you, while maintaining as much security as email allows (which isn't much).

Here are some possibilities:

yourname@example.com

If your website’s domain name is example.com, then you can’t get more prestige and identifiability than yourname@example.com. That could be your actual name, or info@example.com. The disadvantage is that it is also pretty easy for a spammer to guess, so you would probably want #spam_protection spam protection (see below).

You could also use #forwarding email forwarding so that anyone who used yourname@example.com could be automatically forwarded to, say, examplebz@gmail.com. The disadvantage of that is that when someone sends you an email to yourname@example.com, that will usually put yourname@example.com in their email address book. So when you reply to them, their email program will know it isn't spam. But if their reply actually comes from examplebz@gmail.com, they may not recognize the address, or their email program may put it in a junk mail folder.

example@gmail.com

Anyone can get a gmail address for free. And it does a pretty good job. So if your domain name is example.com, one good possiblity for an email address would be example@gmail.com. If that one isn't available, maybe examplebelize@gmail.com is. Or something else that is easy for your clients to remember. You could also use one of the other common email domains, like yahoo.com or hotmail.com, but gmail.com seems a little higher class.

somethingunrelated@yahoo.com

We see a lot of folks who use their own personal email address, like juaninbelize1429@yahoo.com, or their school nickname, or something even worse, for their business or organization. In our opinion, this casts doubt on the professionalism or seriousness of your business or endeavor. Choose one of the options above if you can.

no email address at all

We have even seen websites where they gave no email address at all. Maybe they have used email before and gotten overwhelmed with spam. But this limits one method of contact that millions of people prefer. We would recommend giving an email address, along one of the methods to control spam, such as using a service like gmail.com, or your own domain with an email service like GoDaddy. On our websites, we also use a helpful technique known as #obfuscation obfuscation (below).

Obfuscation

Email is wonderful, but spammers have made it much less pleasant to use. The problem is that there was almost no thought to security when the email protocols were adopted, and now it is so universal that it is hard for anybody to do much about it.

Anytime you place an email address on a website, it won't be long before dozens of spammers' web bots harvest those email addresses to send out huge amounts of spam emails.

Our obfuscation makes it much more difficult for these bots to get your email address. The visitor can click on your email and may be able to launch their email program with your email address already filled in. Even if they have JavaScript turned off on their browser, humans should be able to read your email address from the screen, while spam bots probably won't.

Here is an example of obfuscated email:

Email

If you were to look at what your browser (or a spam bot) sees, it would not really look like an email address, so few, if any, bots could harvest it.

Forwarding

Most of our clients already have email accounts. They may be using gmail, hotmail, yahoo mail, or something similar. These email services have so many users that you may have had to get an address something like this:

The main problem with that email address is that it is awfully difficult for someone to remember. We can help by activating an email forwarder for your domain, so that if we are doing your website example.com, we can set it up so that if anyone sends email to Email then it will be forwarded to your actual email address. Then when you send them a reply (using your actual email address) it should be saved in their address book and then your email address is not a major problem. For Websitos, we can usually offer a forwarding address like Email.

Also, if you later change your email account, we can simply change the forwarding, so that any email for info@example.com will go to your new email account instead.

By the way, nobody has the domain example.com (by design), so we are not giving the spammers an email address they can use. Also, we put the gmail email address above in as an image, just in case there really is someone with that gmail address.

Spam protection

Whoever manages your domain name can probably set you up with some spam protection. This means that there is a server somewhere that handles a lot of email, and so can identify and reject almost all of it. The major email handlers, like gmail.com, hotmail.com, yahoo.com, and others do this automatically. If you want your own domain to do it, you need to sign up with a service, like GoDaddy, that provides some advanced email features. It isn’t cheap … GoDaddy charges about US$72 a year for 5 email addresses with up to 2 gigabytes of storage. That would allow you to have, e.g, yourname@example.com, info@example.com, booking@example.com and a couple more.

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