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Referrer Bouncer Plugin

Overview

A Plugin to bounce back referrer spam attempts; requires no upfront configuration, no mod-rewrite. It is like the strong silent bouncer at your favorite club. Tested on all versions of WordPress.

It does one job and does it well. Enough said.

Background

We were trying to block referrer spammer???s from our blog sites. We saw few scripts, never a real WordPress Plugin which does the job without requiring you to configure anything or without requiring manual modification of core files. Also we want to manage the list of referrer domains without having to modify the source code. We were uncomfortable with Plugins, which requires modification of core WordPress code, because it forces you through painful upgrade procedures.

So we created Referrer Bouncer Plugin for WordPress 1.5x with the following simple requirements:

  1. It should be simple to use.
  2. It should be simple to install.
  3. It should come pre-configured.
  4. It should allow changing referrer information.
  5. It should embed security measures against outsider modifications
  6. It should require no manual intervention for day-to-day operations.

Referrer Bouncer Plugin is of the class of upload-activate-and-forget Plugins (like WordPress 1.5 Plugin to disable nofollow from comments), Plugins that simply work.

Note: If you find this plugin useful, please consider contributing to ensure development of more such plugins and maintenance.

Configuration

The Plugin doesn???t require any manual configuration to operate as it comes pre-configured with known list of referrer domains and sub-domains.

However if you feel that you still need to add/modify additional domains/sub-domains/words etc. you can do so from the links provided in the Plugin page. It documents all the procedure with appropriate links. Remember to first create the referer.txt file.

Notes:

  1. After creating the referer.txt file you may want to fill it first with the default list. Creating your own referer.txt disables the default list. So if you do not fill it up with the default list or a list of your own, then no referrer blocking will be done.
  2. Any changes are reflected in real-time.
  3. After creating a default list you should disable the links to create/delete pages (again link provided in Plugin page).
  4. The links to create/delete/disable does the job silently without providing any information whatsoever. If you want to verify their action, you can check in the wp-content directory. The create link creates referer.txt. The delete link deletes the file. The disable link creates a marker file (nrsetup.txt) which disables the create and delete link functions.
  5. After disabling you can still modify the file, provided you have created it before.
  6. You can re-enable creating and deleting functionality by manually deleting the nrsetup.txt file. This security is required to prevent any unauthorized person from tampering your referrer settings.

Download

You can specify your own domains, sub-domains in the list. You can also specify single words like poker. We advise against it because it would exclude valid referrer???s who may have poker as part of the URL like http://blog.example.com/why-poker-is-bad.

Do not leave any empty line in the file or empty spaces anywhere. We do not trim and do not check for empty lines because we just want the Plugin to be as fast as possible.Referrer Bouncer Plugin

Installation

  1. Upload or move the Plugin file (noreferer.php) to your wp-content/Plugins directory.
  2. Click Plugins from the main menu.
  3. Scroll to find the name of the Plugin - Referrer Bouncer, and click Activate.

Uninstallation

  1. Log in to WordPress.
  2. Click Plugins from the main menu.
  3. Scroll to find the name of the Plugin - Referrer Bouncer, and click Deactivate.

This disables the Plugin. You can also delete the noreferer.php file from wp-content/plugins directory and referer.txt (if created) from the wp-content directory for permanent removal.

Update: This plugin may not work effectively with wp-cache as it doesn???t allow any plugins to execute if caching is enabled, except for the first time. If you want to use wp-cache then you should use .htaccess to block your referrer spammers. However be very careful as you can very easily create site-wide problems. Be sure to test very very well if you decide to go .htaccess way.

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