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I realize that I need to lookup each visitor's IP address to see what country they are from. I can do this using a few options from various software providers (ie: a local database lookup with a database that needs constant updating OR using a web service where the database is stored and updated by the softare provider). I'd prefer to use the web service option.
My question: Can either option be done from within my .htaccess file? This way, I can avoid having to edit every page on the site (100+) to add a snippet of PHP code to do the IP lookup and 301 accordingly.
I think what I'm asking is - can the contents of the .htaccess file be updated dynamically (since the IP addresses/ranges of the blocked countries are constantly changing)?
They have free and commercial versions of their database, but you will have to keep a local copy. Better that way anyway - you wouldn't want to be doing an external request for every page hit.