Country Blocking allows you to block visitors from certain countries. Those countries can then not visit your website.
[Press server]99% of all visits from abroad are from bots, these are not real visitors… it costs the server a lot of capacity to process the requests from bots. That’s why I recommend blocking large countries, provided you are sure you don’t have customers or visitors sitting there of course.[close-press-server].
When do you use Country blocking?
If your target audience, i.e. your potential customers are all from the Netherlands, it is advisable to block other countries.
Example: Someone from India or Russia will not become a customer just like that. But the number of hackers and bots harassing your website or testing for WordPress leaks is huge in those big countries.
Technical: How does the Country blocker work?
The Country blocker works with a database of IP descendants equivalent to a country. When the visitor meets a certain IP address, he will receive a notification that the website is not accessible, or if you have set up a redirect, the visitor will be redirected.
Because the database of IP addresses must be updated regularly (dynamically) this will not be done via the Htacces but will be processed by the relevant security plugin (wordfence) when your website is requested.
What is the disadvantage of Country blocking?
- If your target audience or one of your customers is located in one of the blocked countries, they will not be able to reach your website.
- Country Blocking works based on the IP address of a visitor/attacker, many individuals use a VPN – Proxy allowing them to trick security by pretending to be from another country.
- Some services (Crawlers, Cloud services, Backup & monitoring tools) run on servers in other countries. Therefore, those cannot access your website for good purposes.
Which security plugin offers Country Blocking?
- iThemes Security
My experience with Country Blocking
I have only used Country blocking 3 times in the past 10 years. That was because a certain hacker group had set its sights on a customer’s webshop. It was necessary to block that country and several surrounding countries. This was necessary not only to stop them but especially to stop the auto-bots that were flooding the server with requests.