Printer friendly websites allow their users to print your content without the ads on your webpage. This means, if you also offer a “No-ads” PDF or eBook alongside your online content, you won’t sell many.
Of course, these Print Friendly websites display their own ads on their webpages, making sure they get paid.
This guide will show you how to block them. I will show you how to use Wordfence to stop Print Friendly websites from being able to load your domain in the first place, therefore, stopping their users from being able to print your content without ads.
How To Stop Printer Friendly Websites With Wordfence
Step 1. Install Wordfence
Wordfence is a WordPress security plugin. It has many functions, including the ability to block access to your website.
You can find the Wordfence security plugin by searching the WordPress plugin directory (found on your WordPress dashboard Plugins page).
Step 2. Set Up Wordfence, and Optimize The Firewall
Wordfence is a versatile tool, and so can take a bit of time to set up. The Plugin will walk you through the options and explain what it all means.
The important part is to complete a process called, OPTIMIZE THE WORDFENCE FIREWALL. You can find this option by following these steps:
Once installed, Hover over the Wordfence icon on your WordPress dashboard. Then, select Firewall from the menu available.
Under the tab, Web Application Firewall, which provides a score, click the link called Manage WAF.
On the new page, click OPTIMIZE THE WORDFENCE FIREWALL.
A new box will appear, explaining the process and asking you to download a copy of your website’s .HTACCESS file. Complete the process.
Note: Access to your .HTACCESS file is required to add the blocking code. For more information about how Wordfence uses access to this file, please refer to their website explanation.
Step 3. Block The Print Friendly URL (Web Address)
Let’s block those “printer friendly” websites.
First, select ‘firewall’ from the Wordfence menu (as above, on your WordPress dashboard). At the top of the new page, click Blocking, to view the second tab.
Next, in the Create a Blocking Rule tab, choose Custom Pattern.
Now, add the website URL you would like to block into the Hostname bar, as I have done below (the * means that any variation before or after will not stop the blocking effect):
Replace www.yourprintfriendlywebsite.com, with the website you would like to block.
Finally, hit ‘BLOCK VISITORS MATCHING THIS PATTERN‘.
If you scroll down, you’ll now see a new blocking rule.
And, it will count every time it blocks someone from that site, so you can measure its performance.
Did It Work?
When you’re finished, simply pop over to the website you’ve blocked, and try to view your website in their browser.
If you were successful, you should get a message explaining that, “YOUR ACCESS TO THIS SITE HAS BEEN LIMITED BY THE SITE OWNER“.
If you’re having trouble setting this up, I can help.