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Block access to website by country?

7:41 pm on Apr 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Does anyone know of a good way to block access to a website, depending on what country the user is accessing it from? E.g. I only want to allow UK visitors access and block the rest of the world, and redirect them to a page.

I've had quite an extensive Google search and so far can only find this: [countryipblocks.net...] which lets you block whole regions via IP address, but you have to do it by individual IP addresses, which you put in your htaccess file - once done, the htaccess file was 3mb! Wayyy to big

And.. I've seen the HTML5 geo-location but it's only supported by new browsers.

Any ideas?

10:07 pm on Apr 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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Did you mean that literally? Allow one country, deny all (or just a few) others? In that case it seems like you'd be better off switching to "Deny,Allow" followed by "Deny from all" and then just a few lines for the ones you do want to let in.
10:25 pm on Apr 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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The IP address method in the .htaccess file is the most efficient.

Be aware that blocking non-UK access will also remove your site from Google's index as they access from US-allocated IPs.

What about UK citizens abroad, on holiday, ex-pats, military, etc. Do you want to block all of them too?
4:21 pm on Apr 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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the .htaccess method is quite cumbersome and not that accurate. The most accurate and up to date database is the maxmind.com paid geoip database. They also have a free version that is only 95% accurate.

If you use this, it's better to whitelist things than blacklist them. When you blacklist then when new IPs come (e.g. in a country you want to block), they won't be blocked until you update the database.

If you are implementing such a database with PHP or some scripting language, you could also choose to allow user-agent= googlebot to access your site. That would leave a backdoor for some guys who go around surfing as google bot, but there are some tradeoffs.

Another method would be to have a page somewhere that is not linked to anywhere on your site, and also not geo-blocked, then get it indexed by google, and then google bot can crawl your site via that url.