Spammers Stole My Bandwidth

This is a guest post from 2020Media customer Andy C. He writes:

The other morning I had an automated email from 2020media advising I was nearing my bandwidth quota. So I went over to google analytics to see if there had been a sudden surge of interest in the site. There was no real change so I knew I’d need to investigate further.

I also had a look at my spam numbers as spammers had previously been a bandwidth cause. However, there were only a handful of comments needing approval and the numbers that had been sent directly to spam were quite small too.

Rex from 2020media recommended looking at the webalizer web stats provided by the site, these are driven directly from the Apache server and are used by the bandwidth monitor. The numbers here are hence a more accurate reflection of bandwidth use. I logged into the FTP server and downloaded the logs to analyse off-line.

The monthly summary did not give any clues so I drilled into the details for March. The problem was highlighted both in the form of the graph and big numbers that had been pulled in over the weekend of 11th and 12th.

Looking further down the report I could see that the big numbers were for the home page (not much of a surprise) and for the comment subscription page which is the landing page when people save a comment.

Comment subscription page

Further down the report I could see the culprits, a couple of IP addresses that were pulling a lot of Kbytes.

IP addresses that were pulling a lot of Kbytes.

I’ve added those to my blacklist so that should keep them at bay. I’ll also be pro-actively monitoring my Bandwidth Gem to make sure they’ve not come back.

Many thanks Andy.

Starting From Scratch: How to Generate Traffic For a New Site

Starting a new site is equal parts exciting and dreadful. The latter is because making a site successful takes a lot of effort and you can’t always be sure it will get there.

After all, building an audience is not done overnight. At the same time, it’s also not rocket science but something that has been done countless times.

Read More: Starting From Scratch: How to Generate Traffic For a New WordPress Site

How to Customize the Free Twenty Seventeen WordPress Theme for Business – WPMU DEV

Twenty Seventeen ships as the new default theme with WordPress 4.7. This business-oriented theme marks a noteworthy departure from the blog-centric default themes of the past and reflects WordPress’ broader transition from a blogging platform into a platform well-suited to creating all sorts of websites. If you plan to try out Twenty Seventeen you’ll figure something out quickly: this theme is nothing like its predecessors. Past default themes have required only minimal setup and were designed to be functional blog themes right out of the box. This is not the case with Twenty Seventeen.

Source: How to Customize the Free Twenty Seventeen WordPress Theme for Business – WPMU DEV

How to quickly verify your WordPress site with Google Webmaster Tools

The usual way to verify a website with Google Webmaster tools (now known as Google Search Console) is to download a small file from Google and then upload it to your website, or to make a change to the DNS records.

As FTP is becoming less and less used these days, and often the DNS management is done by someone different to the person responsible for the website, there are better ways!

Here’s a quick guide on how to verify your WordPress site with Google Webmaster Tools using just your web browser, no FTP or DNS, and a free plugin.

3 Steps to Verify your WordPress Site

  1. Install this plugin in your WordPress site: Verify Google Webmaster Tools – https://wordpress.org/plugins/verify-google-webmaster-tools/
  2. Add the site in Google Webmaster tools, and select the Alternate methods and then HTML tag (Add a meta tag to your site’s home page) option.

    select the Alternate methods and then HTML tag
    Select the Alternate methods and then HTML tag
  3. Then in WordPress, install and activate the plugin, go to Settings -> Google Webmaster Tools and paste in the HTML tag that Google is showing you. Save Changes and go back to Google and click Verify.
paste in the HTML tag that Google is showing you
Paste in the HTML tag that Google is showing you

 

What is Google Webmaster tools?

Google Search Console (previously Google Webmaster Tools) is a no-charge web service by Google for webmasters. It allows webmasters to check indexing status and optimize visibility of their websites. As of May 20, 2015, Google rebranded Google Webmaster Tools as Google Search Console.