I'm about to do something horrible and it's really hard on me. This article is just reflection. It does not contain any advice, review or anything like that.
My coaching blog (https://blog.aurorasa-coaching.com) has more and more and more problems with spam, hackers, scrapers and other negative occurrences.
News like this are not news anymore. It happens every day: https://www.wordfence.com/blog/2017/04/home-routers-attacking-wordpress/
The problem can be pinpointed (80% of attacks) to several countries (and proxies.) It's a few countries where I have no subscribers, no social interaction and no buyers.
On one hand, I would love to offer my content to everyone who might benefit from it - no matter if they would or could ever buy my services and products.
On the other hand, I have no interest in lessening the experience of honest readers and buyers because the site is slower than it would be and the log-in process is way too complicated. I also have no interest in wasting my resources, have more of my content stolen than necessary and being forced to think about negative things like that.
After all, it's my responsibility to take care that my visitors are not being served malware (or whatever else all the people trying to hack our sites have in mind.)
Some buyers have had trouble downloading their content recently. Time to make a change.
Imagine you want to visit a site and can't because you're from a certain country. That's horrible. I despise the very idea of it.
I feel especially bad because it's mostly poor countries. Then again, if you have internet access and the knowledge to run bots and do harmful things - couldn't you use these skills for honest work on the internet?
Blocking countries from your website by IP
At first, I tried a paid plugin from Code Canyon. It was bad. I am testing "IP GEO BLOCK" right now, a plugin that comes in a free and premium version.
From the first look, I recommend it - even though I am not an expert in this field. The free version only recognizes public proxies so that you might want to get the commercial version (one-time fee of $49) after successful testing. As mentioned, you can use the free version unlimited, the difference of GEO accuracy is about 2 %.
It allows you to block/allow via white-/blacklist and also keep proxies from your front- or backend or both (public in the free and VPN in the commercial.)
Join the dark side of GEO blockers HERE
I'm all for privacy so that I dislike the idea of blocking proxies. Then again, sadly, many users hide their identity for negative reasons and I am sure my buyers will understand why they'll have to turn it off to log in.
So ... with a sad heart - at least for now - I will start to block countries responsible for a lot of problems.
I also think that it's time that laws start to treat crime on the internet just like in real life. The problem is as big as it is because, currently, the internet is more or less a lawless space.
While corporations hire teams of IT- and security people, the situation for freelancers, online- and small business is a bit more tricky.
Well, I think I spend much more time empathizing with people who try to harm me than the other way around. I pay the fine if there is malware on my site, it's slow ... or even if it's something as small as that my analytics are trash or take a lot of work from all of the spambots.
But I am really sad that this is necessary ):