Thoughts on teaching, technology, learning and life in an era of change.

Archive for April, 2007

iWeb experiment
April 17th, 2007

Well, I thought i would give iWeb a go but I have changed my mind. The site created by iWeb takes ages to download. An equivelant looking site created in dreamweaver downloads much more quickly.

I am going to see if I can create a blogger template that looks something like the new web site. The old home page is going to stay the same for a while longer.

Long time no activity
April 16th, 2007

I shall try and get back into this. I have not been active on this blog and the Prisoner of War site for a year now. I added a ‘htaccess’ file to the directory to block referrer spam. The referrer spam was also affecting my home page. I will have to keep an eye on both sites.

Referrer Spam
April 15th, 2007

My home page has been plagued by referrer spam. I have done research on the net and came up with a few sites that provided useful ideas:

Referrer spam
Using .htaccess to block referrer spam
How to combat referrer spam
htaccess tutorial

Following some research and advice from the excellent support of my hosting provider I have done the following.

1. Protected the stats files generated by my hosting provider for each domain and sub domain. The referrer spam would be listed on those files. Now they cannot be viewed or accessed unless authorised. They are invisible to the web so to speak.
2. I know this is redundant but I also created a robots.txt file for each domain and sub domain so that access to the stats directory was denied to any robot.
2. Created htaccess files for each domain and sub domain. These list the urls of the sites that I wish to deny access. This is a tedious process. I have updated these htaccess files a few times. I suspect it will take some time to settle down.
3. I updated my sitemaps.xml file and resubmitted to Google so it no longer includes the references to the stats files.

The htaccess code advised by my provider looks like this:

setenvifnocase Referer “^http://(www\.)?” spam_ref=1

Order Allow,Deny
Allow from all
Deny from env=spam_ref

I protected the htaccess file by setting permissions for the to 644 or RW-R–R–.

The sources of the spam are the usual suspects (porn, medicines, finance, etc). They are using sites to promote themselves. It will add unwanted traffic to your site and in fact your site could be filtered or blocked by educational institutions if the words used in the urls are suspect.