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On my various websites I get hundreds of Spam messages every day; it gets very annoying! I’ve tried several methods and in this post I will outline three. Soemtimes they works, sometimes they don’t. Some are more effective than others.


CAPTCHAs (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) are a random strings of text and numbers that a user must enter to be classed as non-spam. The letters and numbers are displayed as an image and usually over a pattern and are distorted to prevent bots from easily reading them.

Hidden text fields

Create a text field in your form and hide it via your CSS (using display: none). When processing the form if the field has been filled out it is Spam.

Ask a question

Ask a question that doesn’t have the answer in the question. A popular one could be a maths question (e.g. what is 1 + 5). Even more effective would be What colour is the sky?

Tim Bennett is a Leeds-based web designer from Yorkshire. He has a First Class Honours degree in Computing from Leeds Metropolitan University and currently runs his own one-man web design company, Texelate.