WordPress 2.0 / 1.5.x Plugin: Referrer Bouncer - A Plugin to bounce referrer spammer bots (and humans)

By Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Saturday, March 19, 2005

A Plugin to bounce back referrer spam attempts; requires no upfront configuration, no mod-rewrite. It is like the strong silent bouncer at your favorite club. Tested on WordPress 1.5.x and 2.0. It should work with earlier versions too.

It does one job and does it well. Enough said.


  • A new version of the plugin is available with some enhancements. Please read the details here. The download link below provides the latest version.
  • This plugin does not collect any information on the amount of work it does or spammer bots it bounces back. This is because I want it to be as fast as possible. So some people may want to know how to verify if the plugin actually works. To answer that I have written an article on how to ensure your site is protected by referrer bouncer plugin.
  • Anyone who have downloaded the plugin before May 4th, 2005 are strongly requested to re-download the plugin again. A fix was made for non-default behavior of the plugin following a bug report by Gustavo. Thanks Gustavo!
  • If your WP installation hangs intermittently after installing the plugin then chmod your wp-content directory to 777. If you are logged in and in WP home directory then the exact command on linux/unix systems would be:

    chmod 777 wp-content

    Thanks to Richard Silverstein for this fix.

I was trying to block referrer spammer’s from my blog sites. I saw few scripts, never a real WordPress Plugin which does the job without requiring you to configure anything or without requiring manual modification of core files. Also I want to manage the list of referrer domains without having to modify the source code.
I am uncomfortable with Plugins, which requires modification of core WordPress code, because it forces you through painful upgrade procedures.

So I created Referrer Bouncer Plugin for WordPress 1.5 with the following simple requirements:

  1. It should be simple to use.
  2. It should be simple to install.
  3. It should come pre-configured.
  4. It should allow changing referrer information.
  5. It should embed security measures against outsider modifications
  6. It should require no manual intervention for day-to-day operations.

Referrer Bouncer Plugin for WordPress 1.5 is of the class of upload-activate-and-forget Plugins (like WordPress 1.5 Plugin to disable nofollow from comments), Plugins that simply work.

Note: If you find this plugin useful, please consider contributing to ensure development of more such plugins and maintenance.

November 25, 2010: 11:02 am

Great plugin. thank you so much

August 5, 2010: 4:39 am

Authetic air max series,
Authetic shox shoes,

July 2, 2010: 9:13 pm

oh, maybe I am to late, but is this update until now, I want to use on Wordpress 3

March 7, 2010: 6:44 am

You describe this post in lovely writing style. I enjoy reading your review about wordpress plugin. Hope I can visit your blog again. Thanks for sharing

January 26, 2010: 10:56 pm

Great information, Thank you so much… keep up the great work.

October 6, 2009: 1:54 pm

Great plugin. Can the design be modified to fit the look of the blog?

October 17, 2008: 1:00 pm

This plugin is compatible with all recent versions of WordPress.

October 17, 2008: 8:30 am

Is thsi plugin compatible with WP v2.6.1 and v 2.6.2?

Will it be compatible with WP v2.7? or incorporated in v2.7?

August 31, 2008: 6:30 pm

[...] Referrer Bouncer [...]

August 21, 2008: 3:05 pm

[...] Referrer Bouncer Eklentiyi buradan indirebilirsiniz. [...]

December 21, 2007: 12:10 pm

Great plugin..Ths a lot

August 31, 2007: 3:11 am

thanks a lot for this plugin. i saw that you made a lot of useful plugins:) thank you!

April 23, 2007: 2:30 am

Thanks a ton.

April 22, 2007: 10:15 am

hi there, just would like you to know that your plugin appears on my “most-wanted” list ;-)


January 16, 2007: 3:53 am

[...] I too provide an anti-spam plugin - Referrer Bouncer. Unlike its counterparts Referer Bouncer doesn’t normally give false positives. However it requires active management of the list for best performance which may not be possible for average joe bloggers. Also Referrer Bouncer tackles only one class of spams - referrer spams or spams with a referrer payload. While it is an important category of spam, a lot of spams these days doesn’t come with referrer payload. [...]

January 9, 2007: 6:59 am

[...] Niente da fare la soluzione che postato qualche giorno fà non sono riuscito a loccare niente, ho trovato la soluzione installando un paio di plugin’s per WP, questi: 1) Angsuman’s Referrer Bouncer [...]

December 13, 2006: 10:33 am

[...] Autres solutions à essayer : Referer Karma, Referrer Bouncer, AutoBanReferer ou encore SpamForceField [...]

September 24, 2006: 11:08 pm

[...] Angsuman’s Referrer Bouncer, Trackback Validator, Spam Karma 2, Bad Behavior: It’s hard to tell which of these is doing the lion’s share of the work, but I rarely ever have to see any comment or trackback spam on my blog. Obvious honorable mention to Akismet. I don’t know how this stuff works, but it gets the job done. [...]

August 30, 2006: 6:57 am

[...] Check this post to get an idea on how the plugin works. WordPress in recent versions (1.5 and above) does not provide any visible buttons to support multiple pages even though it supports the functionality internally. This plugins enables you to easily break your WordPress article into multiple pages. It works for both WYSIWYG as well as text mode. [...]

July 24, 2006: 10:30 am

[...] You can easily and effectively use your .htaccess file to easily and effectively block comment and referrer spammers targeting your blog(s). If you are using WordPress you can also use my Referrer Bouncer plugin, which is much simpler, to block referrer spammers. For the rest here is a sample .htaccess file you can start with. [...]

May 29, 2006: 10:06 am

[...] Angsuman’s Referrer Bouncer…リストされた変なリファラを持つアクセスを拒否 [...]

May 5, 2006: 5:26 am

[...] WordPress 2.x (and above) plugin to create multi-paged article. I have been asked several times how I create articles with multiple pages (like this or this). WordPress in recent versions (1.5 and above) does not provide any visible buttons to support multiple pages even though it supports the functionality internally. This plugins enables you to easily break your WordPress article into multiple pages. It works for both WYSIWYG as well as text mode. Compatibility Works on 2.x codebase. It hasn’t been tested on 1.5.x codebase and not supported. [...]

April 9, 2006: 1:01 pm

Thanks for looking into it. Still boggles my mind what people will do just to try to get their URL somewhere it shouldn’t be…

April 9, 2006: 7:53 am

That is definitely not an error with Referrer Bouncer plugin.
Have you checked (in WordPress options) the options to blacklist open proxies?
That might be causing this error. Your office IP has been blacklisted by powers that be.

Referrer bouncer doesn’t selectively ban based on IP addresses.

April 9, 2006: 6:16 am

Bug Report!

Found myself banned by my own site. That is, when I came through my ISP. When I came through my site’s server I got through.

The ability to whitelist certain numbers would be a useful feature.

April 8, 2006: 8:17 pm

The url simply translates a page to non-English language. If you click on the flags in the top right corner of this page then you get a translated version of this page in your language of choice.

It seems someone is misusing the service and using it to hide their nefarious activities.

Give me a day or two. I will fix it.

April 8, 2006: 4:37 pm

Last night my blog received 2036 hits from the URL “http://blog.taragana.com/wp-content/plugins/translator.php”, as displayed in AWstats. I don’t use Wordpress, I use b2evolution - and though I’m always looking for solutions to referrer spam, I’ve never seen this page before.

It looks like I’ve been referrer-spammed by a referrer-spam-blocker. Could someone offer any insight as to what might have happened here?

March 27, 2006: 4:06 pm

thanks so much! really helpful!

March 21, 2006: 4:40 pm

[...] Estava (aliás, estou) aqui a fazer uns ajustes para poder abranger a raiz do domínio com a protecção anti-referer-spam do Referer Bouncer (plugin do blogue), e fiquei espantado com a velocidade com que surgiam novos spammers nas estatísticas: menos de um minuto entre cada hit (se calhar isto até é uma quantidade levezinha, mas a verdade é que ao blogue não chega nada disto, é só mesmo na raiz do domínio, onde eu, já por causa disso, até nem tinha o BBClone a “cheirar” visitas). [...]

January 16, 2006: 1:18 pm

[...] 1:18 pm - Activated “Angsuman’s Referrer Bouncer” plugin and verified that it was functioning correctly. Filed under: general by Shane | [...]

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