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This page has been moved to: /2013/12/iq-block-country-wordpress-plugin-blocks-countries/

iQ Block Country is a wordpress plugin that allows you to block visitors based on from which country they are from.

This plugin is tested with WordPress 3.7.1, this is also the version which was first used to test it so no guarantees it will work on prior versions.

Latest version: 1.1


If you want to block people from certain (obscure) countries that have no business visiting your blog and perhaps only leave spam comments or other harmful actions than this is the plugin for you.

Choose which countries you want to ban from visiting your blog. Any visitors from that country get a HTTP/403 error with the standard message “Forbidden – Users from your country are not permitted to browse this site.” The message is customizable.

They will not be able to do harmful things to your blog like post comment spam.

This plugin uses the GeoLite database from Maxmind. It has a 99.5% accuracy so that is pretty good.

Once you setup this plugin it will try to download the GeoIP database from Maxmind so you will always have a recent version of the database when installing this plugin.


1. Unzip the archive and put the `iq-block-country` folder into your plugins folder (/wp-content/plugins/).

2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress

3. Go to the settings page and choose which countries you want to ban. Use the ctrl key to select multiple countries

4. Check if it downloaded the GeoIP database from MaxMind otherwise follow instructions on screen.

Frequently Asked Questions

= How come that I still see visitors from countries that I blocked in Statpress or other statistics software? =

It’s true that you might see hits from countries that you have blocked in your statistics software.  That is the way it works, certain plugins may be run before iQ Block Country is run so it may log visitors to pages.  This however does not mean this plugin does not work, it just means somebody tried to access a certain page or pages and that that fact is logged.

If you are worried this plugin does not work you could try to block your own country or your own ip address and afterwards visit your frontend website and see if it actually works. Also if you have access to the logfiles of the webserver that hosts your website  you can see that these visitors are actually denied with a HTTP error 403.

= This plugin does not work, I blocked a country and still see visitors! =

Well, this plugin does in fact work but is limited to the data MaxMind provides. Also in your statistics software or logfiles you probably will see log entries from countries that you have blocked. See the “How come I still see visitors…”
FAQ for that.

If you think you have a visitor from a country you have blocked lookup that specific IP address on the MaxMind website ) and see which country MaxMind thinks it is. If this is not the same country
you may wish to block the country that MaxMind thinks it is.

= Whoops I made a whoops and blocked my own country from visiting the backend. Now I cannot login… HELP! =

I am afraid this can only be solved by editing your MySQL database,directly editing the rows in the wp_options table. You can use a tool like PHPMyAdmin for that.

If you don’t know how to do this please ask your hosting provider if they can help, or ask me if I can help you out!

= Why do you not make something that can override that it blocks my country from the backend. =

Well, if you can use a manual override so can the people that want to ‘visit’ your backend.

This plugin is meant to keep people out. Perhaps you keep a key to your house somewhere hidden in your garden but this plugin does not have a key somewhere hidden… So if you locked yourself out you need to call a locksmith (or pick the lock
yourself of course!)

= How can I style the banned message? =

You can style the message by using CSS in the textbox. You are also able to include images, so you could visualize that people are banned from your site.

You can also provide a link to another page explaining why they might be banned. Only culprit is that it cannot be a page on the same domainname as people would be banned from that page as well.

= Does this plugin also work with IPv6? =

Since v1.0.7 this plugin supports IPv6. But as IPv6 is still scarce it may not work as well as IPv4.  Some IPv6 blocks may not be in the right country in the MaxMind database.

There are no guarantees blocking IPv6 works but as far as I was able to test IPv6 blocking it works just fine.

If you want IPv6 support be sure to press the “Download new GeoIP IPv6 database” button. At this time the IPv6 database is not downloaded automatically.

= Does this plugin work with caching? =

In some circumstances: No

The plugin does it best to prevent caching of the “You are blocked” message. However most caching software can be forced to cache anyway. You may or may not be able to control the behavior of the caching method.

The plugin does it bests to avoid caching but under circumstances the message does get cached. Either change the behavior of your caching software or disable the plugin.

= How can I select multiple countries at once? =

You can press the CTRL key and select several countries.

Perhaps also a handy function is that you can type in a part of the name of the country!

= How can I get a new version of the GeoIP database? =

Since v1.0.9 every time you login to the backend of your website the plugin checks if the current databases are over a month old. If they are they will be automaticly updated to the current version of Maxmind.

If this is not soon enough for you you can also press the two buttons “Download new GeoIP database”  on the bottom of the options page. This will download them instantly. However you do not need to download  the databases more than once a month since the lite database is only updated once a month.

You can also remove the file GeoIP.dat from the plugin directory and after removal go to the settings page of this plugin. When it sees the GeoIP database is missing it will try to download it for you.

However you can also download the GeoIP database yourself from Maxmind and overwrite the existing database.

Maxmind updates the GeoLite database every month.

= Help it gives some error about not being able to download the GeoIP database? =

Follow the instructions on screen. It will probably tell you that you have to manually download the GeoIP database from Maxmind from the following url:

If you also need IPv6 you can download the IPv6 database on the following url:

It will also give you the location it expects the GeoIP.dat file. So go ahead and download  it and unzip the file. Afterwards upload it to this specific location with for instance FTP,SFTP or FTPS.

= Why does downloading the GeoIP.dat.gz fail? =

For instance Maxmind limits the number of downloads per day. They do this by IP address so if you or somebody else who has a website at the same server your site is running on already downloaded the new database you may be blocked for 24 hours by MaxMind. If you are blocked because of too many requests this plugin tries to detect it and display an error message that you should try again later. So no worries try a day later again.

Other possible faults are your webhosting company not allowing downloads on HTTP port 80.

If your download fails try to download it from home or work and upload it via FTP,sFTP or FTPS to the location that is displayed.

= I get “Cannot modify header information – headers already sent” errors =

This is possible if another plugin or your template sends out header information before this plugin does. You can deactivate and reactivate this plugin, it will try to load as the first plugin upon activation.
If this does not help you out deselect “Send headers when user is blocked”. This will no longer send headers but only display the block message. This however will mess up your website if you use caching software for your website.



  • * The block message size box is now larger so there is more room for styling the message.
  • * Whitelist of IPvX IP addresses for the frontend. Use a semicolon to separate IP addresses.
  • * Blacklist of IPvX IP addresses for the frontend. Use a semicolon to separate IP addresses.


  • You are now able to lookup which country belongs to an ip address in the backend. If the IP address is from a country that is banned this will be displayed.
  • New way of selecting countries you wish to block upon multiple request. The selection box is now in sort of facebook style.
  • Choose if you want to sent out headers or not. For people who get “Cannot modify header information – headers already sent” errors.
  • Counter added for how many visitors where blocked from frontend and backend website.
  • Code cleanup


  • You can select different countries to block from your frontend website and your backend website.
  • Made it more visible what IP you are logged in from, which country it is from and that you should not block your own country from your backend
  • Minor changes to the settings page.
  • A bit of code cleanup for future improvements.


  • Bugfix release. The backend was not blocked in multi-site (network) setup.


  • Automaticly download new GeoIP updates from Maxmind. This is checked each time you login on the WordPress admin site (williewonka)
  • Also block login attempts to the wp-admin site (williewonka)
  • Send no cache headers with the output.


  • The plugin now detects if your IP address is blocked by MaxMind when downloading the GeoIP database and if so has an adjusted error message.
  • New option: New checkbox to allow you to not block users that are logged in despite if they come from a blocked country. Use wisely 🙂
  • First version of IPv6 support.
  • New Download IPv6 database button. Press “Download new GeoIP IPv6 database” if you need IPv6 support.


  • Corrected php opening tags (Reported by Phil from
  • Sorted list of countries (As suggested by Phil from
  • You can now customize the message that users get when they are blocked.
  • We moved from to /. Please update your links 🙂


  • Added a button to download the new GeoIP database.


  • Updated the FAQ
  • Try to make sure this plugin is loaded first to avoid “headers already sent” trouble.


  • PHP 5.2 or higher required
  • Fixed an include bug when other plugins also use the MaxMind database. Thanks to Marcus from LunaWorX for finding this bug.


  • Included the necessary file


  • Initial release

Upgrade Noticev


None. If you wish to fill up the blacklist or whitelist option fill those boxes.


No upgrade notices, see changelog for changes


When upgrading from v1.0.8 or v1.0.9 the current value of your block list is copied to the block list of your backend site.


See upgrade notice from 1.0.8 if you upgrade from a release prior to 1.0.8.

This plugin adds some new checkbox settings so you can choose if you want to block users from your frontend website, your backend website or both. By default only the frontend site is blocked. If you wish to alter this behaviour go to your settings page.


You can now use the “Do not block users who are logged in” checkbox if you like. Also if you need IPv6 support you need to press the “Download new GeoIP IPv6 database”.


This baby should just upgrade fine. You may want to deactivate and reactivate this plugin to make (pretty) sure this
plugin is loaded first. This especially recommended if you have problems with ‘headers already sent’ notices.


PHP 5.2 or higher is now required.

Just upgrade if you have PHP 5.2 or higher.


You can just upgrade. Actually we urge you to as else this plugin won’t work. 🙂


Initial release


You can download this plugin from the WordPress Plugin site:

Planned features

  • Instead of blocking a visitor redirect to another url on an other site
  • Blocking only specific pages

Feature requests

If you miss a certain feature or if you would like to see something else changed or added please let me know. I am open to any suggestion that may improve this plugin.


Please leave a (positive or negative) review at the  WordPress plugin site this will not only be able to help me but also other users deciding if this is plugin is something for their wordpress site.

Only thing I ask you to do when you leave a negative review is first read the Frequently Asked Questions.