Boom! Just launched the Pro version of my WordPress security plugin, Blackhole for Bad Bots. Like the free version, Blackhole Pro protects your site against bad bots, spammers, scrapers, scanners, and other automated threats. This increases site security and saves precious server resources for your legit visitors. Blackhole Pro includes all features of the free version, plus settings to give you full control over virtually everything. It’s time to say “bye bye” to bad bots.

How does it work?

Blackhole Pro adds a hidden link to your pages. You add a rule to your robots.txt that instructs bots to stay away. Good bots will obey the rule, but bad bots will ignore it and follow the link.. right into the blackhole trap. Once trapped, bad bots are blocked and denied further access to your entire site.

The main benefits of Blackhole Pro include:

  • Stops leeches, scanners, and spammers
  • Saves server resources for humans and good bots
  • Improves traffic quality and overall site security

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.

The best part is that the Blackhole only affects bad bots: human users never see the hidden link, and good bots obey the robots rules in the first place. Win-win! :)

Pro Features

Blackhole Pro includes all features of the free version, plus settings to give you full control over virtually everything. Pro version features include:

  • Customize Blackhole Warning message
  • Choose a custom blocked message for bad bots
  • Disable Blackhole for logged in users
  • Logs number of blocked hits for each bot
  • Set the number of hits before a bot is banned
  • Exclude Blackhole trigger link on specific posts/pages
  • Customize the trigger link with any text-markup
  • Optionally redirect all blocked bots
  • Optionally redirect all whitelisted bots
  • Choose a custom HTTP Status Code for blocked bots
  • Includes new email alert templates
  • Customize your own email alerts with shortcodes
  • Plus all of the features of the free version!

So you can customize just about all aspects of the plugin. Blackhole Pro also features complete documentation and tips via the Help tab of any plugin screen. And of course, you get one-click restore of the default plugin settings and Bad Bots Log.

Bad Bots Log

To make the Pro version extra awesome, Blackhole Pro includes a robust, full-featured Bad Bots Log, where you can view and manage all of your blocked bots. The Bad Bots Log is extra deluxe with the following features:

  • Geo/IP location lookups for every blocked bot
  • Field-refined search, custom sorting, and paged results
  • One-click forward/reverse and DNS lookups for each bot
  • Add bots manually, directly via the Bad Bots screen
  • Delete any bot or multiple bots with a click

Blackhole Pro is by far the coolest plugin I’ve developed so far. I’m really excited about it, and hope that it benefits WordPress users who take their site’s security, reputation, and performance seriously. Plus it’s just a lot of fun to trap and block bad bots :)


Full-size screenshots of Blackhole Pro:

The beauty of Blackhole Pro is that it’s all 100% transparent: visitors will never know that you are hard at work, automatically trapping and blocking bad bots behind the scenes.

Learn more and get Blackhole Pro »

Awesome Space Image Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech.