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Web Dev + WordPress + Security

WordPress Plugin: Blackhole for Bad Bots

[ Blackhole for Bad Bots ]
Image Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech.
Update: Pro version now available! Check out Blackhole Pro »

Finally translated my Blackhole Spider Trap into a FREE WordPress plugin. It’s fun, fast, flexible, and works silently behind the scenes to protect your WordPress-powered site from malicious bots. Here are some of the features:

  • Easy to set up
  • Squeaky clean code
  • Built with the WordPress API
  • Easy to reset the list of bad bots
  • Easy to delete any bot from the list
  • Works silently behind the scenes to protect your site
  • Optionally receive an email alert with WHOIS lookup for blocked bots
  • All major search engine bots are whitelisted so they will never get blocked
  • Customize the message displayed to bad bots ;)

Here’s how it works: Blackhole for Bad Bots includes a hidden link to your pages. You then add a line to your robots.txt file that forbids bots from following the hidden link. Bots that ignore or disobey your robots rules will crawl the link and fall into the trap. Once trapped, bad bots are denied further access to your WordPress-powered website. The Blackhole only affects bad bots: human users never see the hidden link, and good bots obey the robots rules in the first place. Bad bots see this when they fall into the trap:

[ Blackhole Warning ]
Initial warning message for bad bots

By default, all major search engines are whitelisted and will never be blocked from your site. Even if they flagrantly disobey your explicit robots.txt rules, they always will have full access in all situations. More information about this available in the plugin documentation.

Blackhole is a super fun way of trapping bad bots and protecting your site against email harvesters, rogue spiders, and other disobedient automatons.

Download

You can learn more and download Blackhole for Bad Bots at the WordPress.org Plugin Directory:

Jeff Starr
About the Author
Jeff Starr = Web Developer. Book Author. Secretly Important.
GA Pro: Add Google Analytics to WordPress like a pro.
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Perishable Press is operated by Jeff Starr, a professional web developer and book author with two decades of experience. Here you will find posts about web development, WordPress, security, and more »
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