Design Oahu

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WordPress Plugin – Obfuscate

What does obfuscate mean?

According to dictionary.com:

ob•fus•cate

  1. to confuse, bewilder, or stupefy.
  2. to make obscure or unclear: to obfuscate a problem with extraneous information.

What is it used for?

Obfuscate is a WordPress Plugin that obfuscates email addresses in your posts and pages reducing the chance of your email address getting picked up by an evil web crawler or bot and used as a spam target.

What will the email address look like?

Readers of your WordPress blog will not notice that anything has been changed. If the email is a link, it will still open up your reader’s mail client.

How does it work?

Each character in the email address is converted to its ASCII equivalent. For example the letter ‘j’ is converted into ‘j ‘. If you take a look at the source of this page in your browser you will see the difference which looks quite normal on the screen, but is in fact much different in the source.

Is this 100% effective?

No. Obfuscation as the definition states, just makes it more confusing. If an evil spammer was willing to invest the energy into checking all ASCII characters for an email address, then they would be able to get the one you added. However, with the ease of collecting the non-obfuscated email addresses, the vast majority of spam bots will likely not bother. To put everything into perspective, think of the obfuscate plugin as a condom, perhaps not 100% effective against the spread of STDs and unplanned pregnancy, but much safer than unprotected sex.

How do I install Obfuscate?

Download the Obfuscate Version 1.2 ZIP file, unzip it, then upload the obfuscate folder into you wp-content/plugins directory. Now login to your blog and Select Plugins, find Obfuscate and click Activate. WordPress makes it pretty simple.

What if I still have questions?

If you have any question send me an email at jeremy@designoahu.com or just add a comment below.

Update:
Obfuscate Version 1.2 is now available. If you are using an older version, please upgrade. Upgrading is simple, just unzip and overwrite the obfuscate.php file.

Change Log:
Version 1.2 created a str_split function for compatibility with PHP4.
Version 1.1 has added a higher priority which should solve some compatibility issues when using obfuscate with other plugins. Obfuscate Version 1.1 now obfuscates email address in the content, excerpt, comments, and rss feeds.

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25 Comments

  1. Comment by Jeff A on November 21, 2007

    Just so you know. When I highlight the email on here and select view partial source then it shows the email as normal. I am sure that these guys don’t go to that much effort when going out to obtain email addresses but if they figure out a way to exploit that somehow. Just a thought!
    Oh I was using firefox 2.008 on win 2k

  2. Comment by O on November 21, 2007

    How would this plugin compare to Email Imunizer R1?

  3. Comment by Kevin on November 23, 2007

    There’s also this plugin

  4. Comment by Jeremy on November 24, 2007

    @Jeff A. I believe the most common form of harvesting emails is by crawling through websites with a bot and collecting any email addresses it comes across. Most likely there is no browser involved as that would not be an automated way and would take much to long to collect email addresses.

    @O and Kevin. I never realized how many email obfuscater plugins are available. I have looked at the code of most of them, and have noticed that they can be classified by whether it uses Javascript or not. I recommend that when you make a decision you avoid a Javascript implementation as a web crawler will not have Javascript enabled. I will work on benchmarking the different implementations of the Non-Javascript obfuscaters, and create a new post with the results.

  5. Comment by Kimmono on November 25, 2007

    @O: I found nothing when I googled Email Imunizer. Could you point us to that plugin?

  6. Comment by Bill Gram-Reefer on November 26, 2007

    obfuscate bumps into tables created by event calendar3 on wp2.3.1 and they definitely did not get along

    Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by (output started at /home/bonnie/public_html/wp-content/plugins/fd180/fd180.php:42) in /home/bonnie/public_html/wp-includes/pluggable.php on line 391

  7. Comment by Kimmono on November 28, 2007

    Would you make an update to fix that, Jeremy? Btw, fantastic plugin that was very much needed! :D

  8. Comment by Jeremy on November 29, 2007

    @Bill Gram-Reefer: Please try the latest Version 1.1; it should solve your issue.

  9. Comment by Kimmono on November 29, 2007

    I got this error:

    Fatal error: Call to undefined function: str_split() in

  10. Comment by Jeremy on November 29, 2007

    @Kimmono: Thank you for posting your issue. The str_split function is only available with PHP5. I have changed the obfuscate plugin to be compatible with PHP4, so please update.

  11. Comment by Klaus & Cakes on February 28, 2008

    Hi,

    Just wanted to thankyou for the plugin it works brilliantly and it also keeps our page markup validated!

    cheers
    K & C

  12. Comment by Austin on March 3, 2008

    I am mailing in to find out if there is a possibility of buying ad space on your website http://designoahu.com.
    We would primarily be interested in buying a text link for our site buytemplates.net from your homepage, Preferably intext. If that is possible, please let us know an yearly rate.

  13. Comment by Scyfox on April 1, 2008

    Hello

    Any chance to update the plugin for Wordpress 2.5??

    Thanks in advance

    Silla!

  14. Comment by Jeremy on May 6, 2008

    Version 1.2 has been tested successfully on Wordpress 2.5.1

  15. Comment by mersin web tasarim on May 18, 2008

    thanks

  16. Comment by Kimmono on September 17, 2008

    It works fine with all newer versions of Wordpress – including WP 2.6.2.

  17. Comment by sixK on October 26, 2008

    Thanks for this plugin – just what I was looking for! Worked right out of the box in WP 2.6.2.

  18. Comment by bolkerix on November 5, 2008

    Excellent essay and site. I put a link to your compassion essay on my website. Good work.

  19. Comment by fanshiro on November 12, 2008

    Hmmm, I am tempted to try this.

  20. Comment by Prtyz on November 17, 2008

    Thanks for this – great idea.

  21. Comment by zcerkg_20 on November 23, 2008

    Thanks for the post,

  22. Comment by Capone on January 20, 2009

    Как бы мы все не старались все равно будет так, как задумала вселенная. Пока я читала мой мозг умер.

  23. Comment by Amerisoft on March 7, 2009

    It did the trick for my site.

  24. Comment by вконтакте on April 10, 2009

    Блог о социальных сетях, очень интересно пишете и актуально молодцы!!!

  25. Comment by om on May 21, 2009

    oh
    This is not good thin Frode man

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