Announcing my latest plugin, Blackhole for Bad Bots! This is the long-awaited plugin version of my standalone Blackhole spider trap. It’s designed to trap disobedient bots and spiders and stop them from accessing your site.
How it works
Install the plugin and add a line to your site’s robots.txt file that forbids access to the Blackhole URL. The Blackhole is the “honeypot” that bad bots and other rogue agents will want to go check out. Thus, only good bots that check and respect your robots.txt rules will avoid the Blackhole. Bots that disobey robots.txt and visit the Blackhole will be denied access to your site.
To be safe, major search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo!, et al never will be blocked, even if they visit the Blackhole. And for human visitors, the link to the Blackhole URL is completely hidden, so there’s no risk of regular folk accidentally getting blocked. These safety precautions are built-in to ensure that only bad bots are tested and trapped.
To help make things super easy, Blackhole for Bad Bots provides its own settings page where you can customize the following:
- Email alerts – enable/disable, set email address
- Bad bot message – customize the message displayed to bad bots
- Whitelisted bots – customize the list of bots that always are allowed access (e.g., search engines)
Further, the plugin provides a bot-management screen, where you can view all blocked bots and remove any/all bots with the click of a button. You have full control :)
Here are some of the plugin’s best features:
- Easy to set up
- Squeaky clean code
- Built with the WordPress API
- Lightweight, fast and flexible
- Easy to reset the list of bad bots
- Easy to delete any bot from the list
- Plugin options configurable via settings screen
- 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 ;)
- One-click restore plugin default options
The Blackhole plugin is a fun way to keep bad bots and other cretins away from your site, which saves your precious server resources like memory and bandwidth for legit bots and human visitors. Win-win!