by Tom Snyder on Oct 10, 2006


While meeting with a prospective client about re-designing their Web site a few weeks ago, we got to talking about a few of those "devilish details" we often refer to.

One of the links in their site was to a company directory, an area that displayed the name, position, direct phone number and email address of every employee in their company.

We asked why that was in their site, and they said they told their Web developer that they thought it should be there, and the Web developer agreed. So, in it went.

We asked them if they were aware of the fact that Spammers have harvesting "bots" that scour the Web looking for sites that display valid email addresses, grab the addresses, and make them available to Spammers to use and sell to other Spammers.

We also asked them if they were aware that there are several other and better ways to enable email contact with those employees on the Web site and still hide the email addresses from the bots.

They didn't know that, but they realized the cause of their Spam problem was their Web developer.

We also asked them if putting that contact info on their site was wise because it not only gave competitors looking for qualified employees a directory of potential job candidates , but it also provided them with direct phone and email contact information.

They hadn't thought about that, but they realized that they may very well have been raided and lost a couple good employees because their Web developer didn't warn them about this.

Finally we asked them if this was likely to be the only area of their site where their previous Web developer's lack of experience, knowledge and common sense may have hurt them. And if not, how much other stuff the developer may have done wrong with their site.

They hadn't thought about that either.

But, if they're serious about doing their Web site correctly, they're thinking about it now.