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Plugin Reviews

Obfuscate E-mail

Version: 3.2 Obfuscate e-mail addresses to deter e-mail harvesting spammers, while retaining the appearance and functionality of hyperlinks.

1 review
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4 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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1 star
Bad by default, configurable to downright evil
By , for WP 3.5.2

I apologize to the author as this plugin has an elegant UI, is nicely coded and looks useful. But I believe there are some misguided and naïve approaches here that will hurt Web users at large, while not delivering the privacy that site owners expect.

  • The "Obfuscate entire email address" option is useless. Email scrappers can decode HTML entities just fine. Most scripting languages can do that in one line of code.
  • The CSS text direction technique is evil. Will break email addresses for blind people using screen readers, reading in reverse. (Section 508 compliance anyone?) Also breaks copy/paste.
  • Text direction is not only evil, it's also useless, as the mailto: in the link includes the normal email address anyway.
  • The john [at] doe [dot] com approach to email obfuscation is a pain for end users, who actually want to contact you. A JS overlay (as actually suggested in this plugin's source comments) would be preferred from an usability POV. Non-JS users can still get the "at/dot" text and deal with it.

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