There’s just no telling what I’ll be working on from day to day. Today’s project? Keep some of those pesky bots off my sites and in the immortal words of John Boy and Billy‘s Mad Max – QUIT RUININ’ MY LIFE. I’ve had several of my sites just get beat to death with traffic – and from looking at the stats, a whole lot of it is the bots. I’ve also had a few sites completely shut down from overuse of server resources again likely due to bots. If it wasn’t the bots specifically, it was the results of being listed in all those foreign search engines that Chinese and Russian hackers use to find sites. While it IS a nice feeling knowing that someone loves you and wants to know what you have to say, it will be an even BETTER feeling seeing those sites load up lickety split.
When I first started working on sites, I felt it better to get those sites found – and that included making sure they were in every index possible. Now, I’m realizing that really is NOT the best strategy. The only people that will really be bringing 99.5% (I do have one site that needs international traffic) of my business are right here in the local area. And having my site indexed in Yandex or Baidu? Probably only really helpful to Russian and Chinese hackers.
Enter Spyder Spanker. It offers the capability of hiding your site from prying bots. I am already a big fan of WordFence for my WordPress sites, but that doesn’t offer the general capability that Spyder Spanker does of blocking the bots so effectively. The only thing that it does require which was an annoyance when I went to install it – IonCube. This apparently is NOT installed on the servers that I use by default. Probably not on a lot of servers by default. Regardless, to make SpyderSpanker work, you’re going to need some IonCube.
So my end goal: Stop bots from sucking up my resources (and other SEO related reasons)
Steps to get there (WORKING BACKWARDS):
- Enjoy more free resources, faster response, and a little better “security through obscurity” goodness.
- Configure Spyder Spanker
- Activate Spyder Spanker – enter your license code
- Upload the Spyder Spanker plugin
- Enable Late Init on WP Super Cache – Spanker does NOT play well with W3 Total cache, will probably try it out with QuickCache (another favorite)
- After you run the script below, your SSH window will show progress and eventually
- Install IonCube loader on the server via SSH – in this case ix Cloud Hosting servers –
/scripts/phpextensionmgr install IonCubeLoader
- Connect to VPS via PuTTY – login as root*
- Launch PuTTY – all you need is the IP – no major configuration. Launch the executable that you downloaded and rock.
- Download PuTTY SSH client for my Windows 7 workstation to access my VPS
- Download SpyderSpanker
* I am installing this on a VPS and root has access to the “whole” server – so it is a single install for all of the websites that reside on that VPS. However, I have other servers that are not entire VPS setups (read “shared hosting”), I will likely need to install those in “Jailed SSH” mode individually for each site where I can. If I can’t install myself, will likely need to contact support for install on the appropriate servers.
More Robot Bandwidth Sucking Prevention Moves
I have long used a major list of RPC servers in my basic setup. That will now be curtailed immensely. We’ll just get back to the basic bots that I WANT on my site. No use pinging all those bots only to block them later – a waste of resources both in the original ping and then having to fend them off later! So in regards to my big list of RPC Servers – feel free to use it, but I won’t be using it any more…