Support » Plugins » [Plugin: emObA – Email Obfuscator Advanced] Beware obfuscation by images

  • This plug-in works just fine (unlike many others I have tried). But I have serious issues with obfuscating email addresses by using images.

    First of all, I had to spend 20 minutes revamping the images for “@” and “.” to adjust the color, font and baseline alignment so they matched the links in my template. Luckily all my links are the same color, and don’t have a different hover-color, because these images inserted by plug-in are used for all email addresses. Not exactly the most flexible solution.

    Also, the images are one fixed size–according to the CSS, 10px tall. They stay this size regardless of what font-size your links may be, so they may easily look too big or too small. The images themselves are actually 2-color aliased GIFs images that are quite a bit bigger than 10px, so they’re being scaled down, probably with the goal of anti-aliased edges. Unfortunately, most browsers don’t do a good job of this anti-aliasing on their own. The following CSS code somewhat fixes this and sizes the images relative to the surrounding text.

    .emoba-glyph {
    height: .75em;

    Other problems include: the images also don’t print well. You can’t copy-and-paste the addresses correctly. Any styles applied to images as a whole (in my template, I have a border and box-shadow automatically applied to all images in posts) have to be removed for these images, and you won’t get some of the styles applied to the surrounding text (like text-shadow).

    All in all, a workable solution, but hardly ideal.

    More info on anti-aliasing:

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • kirkpatrick


    One of the fun things about publishing plugins is discovering how different we all are.

    I don’t have a single visible email address on any site of mine. They are always in link form, the visible part being the contact’s name. I can’t imagine a use for a raw email-address link on a page. But this isn’t the first complaint that has come from someone who wishes to exhibit raw email addresses themselves — live and learn.

    I put in the glyph obfuscation technique merely to take care of such cases as a post by a visitor who carelessly types in a raw email (much more likely — it’s easier than creating a link, so in a comment or post, that’s expected). But I’m not particularly concerned about the visual beauty of this safety net solution.

    It should be easy to modify the code to change from one color glyph to another on hover (famous last words — maybe it’s a bear of a problem). I like your way of sizing the glyph — I’ll steal it for a future (if any) version. Thanks.

    And it’s always possible (the switch is built in and commented in the FAQ) to get rid of glyphs and return to text — the usual spelled-out “at” (or, as I prefer, a copyright character) and “dot” (or a comma). Not as secure, but better than nothing.

    So, sorry, capnhairdo, this plugin is aimed at a different problem than the one you want to solve.

    Moderator Samuel Wood (Otto)

    (@otto42) Admin

    Or you can do what I do and not bother obfuscating your address. The whole point of having an email address is for people to be able to contact me. Hiding it or making it more difficult seems silly.

    But then that’s just me. 🙂




    @ Otto —

    Yes, you’re right, you’re right. Everybody listen to him, he’s right!

    The Spammers

    Moderator Samuel Wood (Otto)

    (@otto42) Admin

    The right way to solve spam problems is with quality filtering. Look at Gmail. They’ve done it right.



    @otto: “quality filtering” is vague and can mean anything without a qualifying statement.

    What does “quality filtering” mean and how does it actually apply to Gmail.

    Finally, how does it all specifically apply to a plugin for use in WordPress and publishing email addresses?



    Oh, this is so off-point it’s getting funny. Maybe a little analogy would help:

    There’s safe sex, and there’s AZT. Neither is perfect. What is an appropriate overall strategy? The AZT-only strategy (that’s you, Otto) not only is less successful, it carries an ethical burden — damage to the community.

    And Otto: It seems you haven’t grokked obfuscation. Obfuscating an email address does NOT make it hard for people to see it; does NOT make it hard for them to contact you. Hovering makes it visible to humans (but not robots) in the status bar; clicking it makes email contact as always (and the address is visible and copyable in the email edit window!).

    Would it be somehow useful to have the unobfuscated email appear in a popup when hovering? (Like “Click to email” does now) I’ll think about that.

    To do: Look at description of emObA, focus it on correct application, avoid misleading others (such as initial poster here) as to what it is supposed to do.

    @capnhairdo: I’ve taken your excellent suggestion regarding css. It is in the development version, which will be released as stable 1.6 in a few days. Thanks.

    I’m still working on improving the description of this plugin, to make it clearer what it’s good for and what it’s not.

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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