Bit of a weird one...temporarily disable website?

Need a bit of advice/thoughts. Did a website for a friend…electrician…but most of his work is still contract…and he is getting a hassled with ‘fake’ emails from people asking about work plus other businesses that want to connect with him etc.
So he wants to quit his website temporarily…
My thought was to take off all contact information and just leave it as an info website for genuine enquiries.
He wants to keep his domain name etc and likely go all in again when the world is in a better place.
Thoughts anyone? can you make a website dormant? What would you put in its place?
Thanks for any input

Our Site is basically an all “information” site with the only contact entries being one to the “novitiate” and “phone numbers” to each of the convents. Welcome - St. John's Congregation And then you don’t even need to add those. We did it for similar reasons. Delete those contacts and you have what I think you are after. You wouldn’t need to make the website “dormant” or do anything else to it otherwise. All the information is still there less the contacts.
Not sure whether that was the information you were looking for.

That’s really unfortunate. I hope this helps a bit.

I would leave the site published with working contact features. If you remove contact information from the website, you’ll likely hurt SEO. When people visit the site, there will be a lot of conversation friction, since contacting the business will be hard. They’ll leave the site and won’t return. The site won’t deliver any value.

To mitigate or eliminate the problem, you can put the website behind Cloudflare.

Given the business is a local/regional electrician, you can probably block entire countries, including the Tor network.

You can put a put a JavaScript challenge on the contact page. It’ll be temporarily annoying for valid users, but you’ll see the IPs hitting the form. Then you can block them.

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Hi Bret
Thanks for those thoughts but actually the contacts are local and real - just a great nuisance (eg idiot colleagues, pranking and trolling!!) + local businesses wanting him to sign up to something…so not ‘bots’ or general spam

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Is the spam purely email, or are they calling him too? (Is there a contact number on the site?).

I do quite a few “trades” sites and I find that most never bother to check emails, so it was proving pointless having forms, not to mention generating bad reviews for “not getting back to me”. So on many I just pulled the email addresses and forms and just left a phone number.

I have had a few requests like this before. In every case the expectation of the site owner was that as soon as the website was “taken down” that the emails would stop and of course they kept coming.

He really needs to investigate where the email is coming from if possible. As a test you could change the contact email address to see if the spam after the change is using the new email address.

Does he have an email on a Facebook page?

Does he have something like written on the back of his Transit van, by any chance? Always makes me chuckle when I see this, but it is all too common.

How would enquires be filleted as genuine?

So I would say it is important to get hime to limit the exposure of his email address and then point out his mistakes otherwise you may get blamed with his spam infestation.

Hi Gary
Thanks…he actually knows a couple of them - playing pranks etc and they are likely passing on the website address to other ‘friends’ to also make a nuisance!!
It’s not a lot of fun as he is a conscientous guy and spends time replying etc!!!
But thanks for the thoughts

Then he needs to change his email address. Shutting down the web site won’t stop them sending emails to his current email address if they know the email.

Many tradesmen leave a trail of their contact details all over the place on Facebook, Twitter, Yell, etc., and also RateMyTrade type of free sites.

Also if he knows specificaly what the senders email addresses are, he may be able to block them via his host or at least use a spam system to hide them.

Hi gary
Thanks…good thought about the email change

Another thought, maybe avoid the whole form thing altogether, use an obfuscated but human readable email link that launches direct from the visitors device?

Less chance of spoof email addresses from pranksters (unless they can be bothered creating new email accounts all the time) and the right obfuscation should keep it away from most bots.

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