Accessible HTML Tables

<table> elements are often maligned by the web standards savvy developer who equates them with the bad old days of table based layout. {{large_square_google_ad}} This has the unintended consequence that such a developer won’t know how to... Read More

Getting the budget out of a client

37signals has published some great tips about Getting the budget out of a client. Basically regardless of how polite you want to be, being blunt is more likely to work eg: Try this: When they tell you they don�t have a number say, “Oh, ok. So a... Read More Wins Webdesign Award

The quality of designed websites has been recognised by Australian, who chose a website designed, developed and managed by as Site of the Day on 25th December 2004. The perfect Christmas present... Read More

A Smarter Way To Block Referer Spam

Referer Spam is the bane of anyone whose site has become popular, and been noticed by spam robots.

“When you click a hyperlink on one web site, your browser passes to the next site the address of the page where you clicked the link. This is logged by the server hosting the next web site.

The referer information can be faked very easily. Some unscrupulous web site owners will arrange to have several computers access a particular web site with a referer that lists their own web site address. There are a number of ways to accomplish this […] but the result is that the web server logs of the targeted site will contain hundreds or possibly thousands of entries with the fake referer information. This is known as “referer spamming” – SpywareInfo

A lot of people attempt to block referer spam by using mod_rewrite rules in their .htaccess file to stop specific cases like :

  • A particular REFERER eg:
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^ [NC]
    RewriteRule .* – [F,L]
  • or a specific HOST eg:
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST}$ [NC]
    RewriteRule .* – [F,L]

This is fine, but means that each time a new REFERER or HOST decides to spam your site, you have to manually add a new rule to your .htaccess file, which is not at all practical.

A better way is to try and see patterns in the information left behind by referer spammers, and create a rule that matches and blocks visitors to your site who fit that pattern.
Continue reading “A Smarter Way To Block Referer Spam”

Solving Common CSS problems

The following Web Standards Articles are written by some of the best designers/coders in the business and are sure to help all web designers whether new to CSS/XHTML or quite experienced with problems commonly faced when using CSS: Bullet-Proof... Read More

Make WordPress More Links Accessible

While the wordpress blogging package does an admirable job publishing valid XHTML/CSS with good semantic code there is one feature which fails accessibility guidlelines. This is the (more�) feature, which allows the bloggers to display the first part... Read More

Web Essentials 2004 – Day 1 Summary

Amit has beaten me to posting a summary of events for WE04 Day 1 with several entries at I personally found the 3 D’s of CSS most useful :-) Dan Cederholm – whose book I won in a promotion run by John Allsopp for early WE04... Read More

Copyscape-Website Plagiarism Detector

Copyscape – Website Plagiarism Detector is an interesting free service which utilises Google Alert technology to finds copies of your content on the Web. You can use Copyscape to identify sites that have copied your content without permission or... Read More