Some of the first articles I wrote for this blog showed you how to build a website using WordPress. As I’ve found out over the last year, many people have followed those articles and are now running successful blogs of their own. In fact, I just received an email from a reader that used the information I provided in those articles to create her own blog. She also followed another article of mine that listed some of the WordPress plugins I’m using on this site. One of the plugins she chose to use is a plugin called “Contact Form 7” which provides you with a simple feedback form for your contact page.
Providing your visitors with an easy to use feedback form is a double-edged sword. Not only does it provide an easy way for your site visitors to contact you, it also makes it easy for bots (automated programs) to fill your inbox full of spam as the reader above recently found out. Over the weekend, she received over 500 emails from her site, all of which turned out to be junk mail and she wanted a way to keep this from happening again. So, she sent me an email explaining the situation and asked if I had any tricks that could help her. Lucky for her, I’ve already ran into this problem before and had a solution; a solution I’m going to share with you now.
Last night I was talking with one of my business partners about a web project we currently have going on. During that conversation, he made a comment about something that most non-web developers never think about. The comment my friend made goes as follows, “when I ask to have a simple field added to one of our page forms, I don’t ‘know’ what all is involved to make that happen”. After thinking about it for a minute, I realized that most non-web developers don’t realize or understand all of the complexities that go into something we all take for granted on a day-to-day basis such as form fields on a website. So, I want to take a few minutes to address this for my friend and for everyone else that have never had to build a product such as a fully-functional website.
A while back I had mentioned a project that I wrote for a marketing firm that used eye tracking to determine what parts of their customers’ websites a study group viewed the most. Equipped with this information, the firm was able to tweak their customers’ websites so that advertisements were correctly positioned for maximum pay-out and conversions. After posting that article, I have received several emails asking for both the eye tracking software and the software that displayed heatmaps over a website. I’ve already shared with you code that does eye tracking using OpenCV and C# here. It isn’t the exact same code as I designed for the marketing firm, but it does do the same thing and produces the same results.