Blackhole Pro is a WordPress security plugin that detects and traps bad bots in a virtual blackhole, where they are denied access to your entire site. You can customize Blackhole Pro via the Blackhole Settings, and you can manage blocked bots via the Bad Bots Log.
Bye bye bad bots..
Bad bots are the worst. They do all sorts of nasty stuff and waste server resources. Blackhole Pro helps to stop bad bots and save precious resources for legit visitors. It’s time to say goodbye to bad bots, spammers, scanners, scrapers, and other automated threats.
How does it work?
First the plugin adds a hidden trigger link to the footer of your pages. You then add a line to your robots.txt file that forbids all bots from following the hidden link. Bots that then 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 entire site.
I call it the “one-strike” rule: bots have one chance to obey your site’s robots.txt rules. Failure to comply results in immediate banishment. And if that seems too harsh, you can adjust the number of allowed “strikes” via the plugin’s Threshold setting.
What about human visitors?
Wait.. what about human visitors? What if they visit the blackhole link? Will they get banned from the site? Nope. The blackhole link is completely hidden from normal visitors. The only way to discover the link is to snoop around in the page markup. And even if someone does happen to find the link, it clearly warns against following it. So there is virtually zero chance of false positives. If you are concerned about any code-inspecting visitors who might find the hidden link, you can adjust the Threshold setting to allow for a few “mistakes”.
Blackhole Pro is completely customizable. After installing the plugin, you can relax knowing that the default settings are working out of the box to protect your site against bad bots. At any time you can visit the plugin Settings and customize just about every aspect of Blackhole Pro. For example, you can control the number of “warnings” a bot receives before it is banned from your site. You can also customize things like the warning and blocked messages, the blackhole trigger link, and even the email alerts are fully customizable.
Fast, flexible, secure
Blackhole Pro is built with the WordPress API and OOP-based PHP, so it’s fast, flexible, and secure. The Blackhole core is designed for optimized loading and a minimal footprint, so it won’t bog down page loads or gobble up gallons of server juice. It’s just an awesome, lightweight security plugin that helps to keep WordPress sites free from bad bots, spammers, and other automated threats.
Here is a summary of Blackhole Pro’s best features:
- Logs detailed bot information for analysis
- Option to disable Blackhole for logged-in users
- Control the warning threshold before blocking bots
- Custom email alerts with shortcodes for bot data
- Custom warning and blocked messages for bad bots
- Custom blackhole trigger link and URL keyword
- Custom redirects and status codes for blocked bots
- Exclude the blackhole trigger on any WP Post or Page
- Whitelist bots by IP and/or user agent
- Custom redirects for whitelisted bots
- Robust, full-featured Bad Bots Log
- Manually add bots to the Blackhole
- Complete inline documentation via the Help tab
The Bad Bots Log is especially sweet. You can search and sort bots by any field (e.g., IP, user agent, request URI, et al). Each bot also includes Geo/IP location lookup with a country/flag icon to help with bot management. Plus, selected bots are easily deleted from the Bad Bots Log, individually or en masse — with a click.
Documentation & Help
Blackhole Pro includes complete inline documentation, such that each plugin screen provides contextual help via the “Help” button in the upper-right corner of the screen. At any time you can click the Help button for additional information on Blackhole settings, the Bad Bots Log, License screen, and more.
In addition to the plugin’s inline docs, some Blackhole documentation is available here at Plugin Planet. You can find further information in the following locations:
- Blackhole Tutorials
- Blackhole Documentation
- Blackhole Support Forum
- Blackhole News
- Blackhole readme.txt
Note that the Blackhole Docs are a work in progress; check back soon or grab the Blackhole Pro Feed to stay current.