Country Blocking

Country Blocking allows you to block access to your site from certain countries.

When you enable Country Blocking, you need to decide whether you want to block certain countries from accessing your whole site, or just login page.

Advanced Country Blocking Options are located under Firewall > Blocking > Blocking Options.

Selecting which pages to block access to

Block access to the login form

Using country blocking to block access to your login form is an effective way to immediately stop brute force login attacks from a specific country. Login attempts via XML-RPC or through login plugins will also be blocked with this option. We recommend that you enable this for all countries you or your fellow WordPress users do not expect to log in from.

Block access to the rest of the site (outside the login form)

If you enable this feature, you’ll block access for the selected countries to all parts of your site except the login form. Please note that if you are using Google AdWords on your site, you may get penalties for blocking access to your site. If you are using Google AdWords, we recommend you only use Country Blocking to block access to the login form.

You can also choose to “Block countries even if they are logged in.” Usually you will want to leave this option unselected, unless you have someone who has already created a user account and is signed in who you now want to block. If you use country blocking on your whole site, including the login form, it will no longer be possible for someone to sign in or register a new account, and therefore you won’t need to worry about logged-in users from your blocked countries accessing your site anymore.

Selecting countries to block

As a general philosophy, we recommend you try to minimize the number of countries you are blocking. We do have a few customers who run tightly secured websites and who only allow a single country to access their site. But for most websites, we suggest that you only block problem countries who are regularly creating failed logins, a large number of page-not-found errors, and/or are clearly engaging in malicious activity. We also recommend you reevaluate your blocks from time to time.

Be careful about blocking countries in North America and Europe, because there are friendly web crawlers like Google’s Googlebot that are located in those areas and you may harm your search engine rankings if you block those countries because you will prevent Google, Bing and other search and aggregation services from crawling your site.

Advanced Country Blocking Options

These options are located under Firewall > Blocking > Blocking Options.

What to do when we block someone

You can either select the option to show a standard “Your access has been temporarily limited” message, or you can redirect the blocked user to a custom page on your website or an external website.

URL to redirect blocked users to

If you have selected to redirect users when they are blocked via Country Blocking, you can enter the URL they should be redirected to here. Whether you choose to redirect the user to an internal or external website, you must enter the URL as a fully qualified URL that starts with ‘http://’ or ‘https://’.

Access to the URL you are redirecting your users to will not be blocked using country blocking, because this would result in a loop where a blocked user is redirected to a URL where they are blocked and redirected to the same URL, and so on.

Block countries even if they are logged in

Usually you will want to leave this option unselected, unless you have someone who has already created a user account and is signed in who you now want to block. If you use country blocking on your whole site, including the login form, it’s not possible for someone to sign-in or register a new account and therefore you won’t need to worry about logged-in users from your blocked countries accessing your site.

First method to bypass country blocking using advanced options

The first method deals with someone who is currently in a blocked country but to whom you want to give access to your site. You can create a page and use it as a special hidden URL, so that when visitors access that URL, they will be redirected to another URL on your website that you define and Wordfence will set a special cookie that lets them bypass country-blocking. To set this up, simply fill in the two fields shown that define what the hidden URL is and where the user should be redirected to after Wordfence has set the special bypass cookie on your visitor’s machine.

If user hits the URL: "Fill in the special URL here and make it relative e.g. /countryblockingbypass"

…then redirect that user to: “You might want to make this your home page or some other starting point for the user once they have their special cookie set. This URL is also relative e.g. /”

This second method is a way to ensure that someone who CURRENTLY has access to your website is not blocked in the future by country blocking.

Next to the field that is titled “If user who is allowed to access the site views the URL….” Enter a hidden URL e.g. /bypassInFutureCountryBlocking

If any of your visitors hits that URL, they will receive a special cookie that will allow them to bypass country blocking in the future in case they get blocked. You can use this feature if you have a traveling team member who is visiting a blocked country and who needs access to your site. They can visit the special URL you define here before they leave the country. Then once they’re outside the country, country-blocking won’t block them from accessing your site.

Please note that the URL does not have to exist on the server. You can make up any URL you want.