Excluding Users From Specific Countries

The internet is a global place, but your website might not be directed at everyone in the world. 

Let's say you are a US-based company that operates only in America. You might not have a website that complies with global regulations, like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that's mandatory in the European Union. And why would you? The EU is not part of your target audience. So how can you ensure that users from European countries don't land on your website?

Excluding Users From Specific Countries
Source: Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

Well, good news: there's an easy solution to this problem: excluding users from specific countries from your site.

The reasons for excluding users are countless. Maybe you're only targeting users in a specific region, or you only have a limited number of products that can be shipped to certain countries. Whatever the reason, excluding users from particular countries is a reasonably straightforward process.

You might be thinking, "how do I do that?" or even "what does that mean?" Don't worry. We've got you covered. In this article, we'll explain why you might want to exclude users from your website and how to do it.

Why exclude users

If you're running a website that's targeted at a specific country or region, there are several reasons why you might want to exclude users from other countries. You might be selling products that can only be shipped to certain countries or targeting a specific market with your content. 

It's not uncommon for website operators to want to exclude users from certain countries. Maybe they're only interested in serving a specific market, or they may be required to comply with local laws and regulations. 

There are countless reasons for excluding users from your site. Here are the most common ones: 

  • To comply with laws and regulations that differ from country to country. (i.e., GDPR, selling products that aren't legal in every country like alcohol, etc.)
  • To avoid overwhelming your server with traffic from countries where you don't have a significant user base.
  • To improve the user experience by providing content tailored to the user's location.
  • To ensure you can ship your products or provide your service at the user's location. 
  • To help improve performance by reducing the amount of traffic. 

Whatever the reason, there are a few different ways to exclude users from your site based on their country of origin. Here's how it works.

How to Exclude Users from Certain Countries

Depending on your needs, there are a few different ways to exclude users from your website. Whichever method you choose, excluding users from certain countries from accessing your site is a relatively simple process.

Proxy Server

You can create a list of IP addresses that are not allowed to view your website. The best way to do this is with a proxy server software.

Using a proxy server, you can block IP addresses from accessing specific sites while letting others through. You can also use it to block certain types of traffic or even particular websites, such as those containing adult-themed content.

IP Tracking

The most common method is IP tracking to block users from specific countries. This can be done either manually or by using an IP API. 

An IP API is a service that allows you to look up the location of an IP address. This information can block traffic from certain countries or redirect users to a different site based on their location.

There are a number of IP API providers out there. Make sure the API you choose is easy to use and well-documented.

WordPress Plugin

If you want to exclude country-specific users from your sites, you can also do so by using WordPress Plugins.

Countless Plugins allow you to exclude certain countries. Simply go to your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Plugins and click on Add New to search for a Plugin of your liking. Depending on the plugin you choose, the setup process will vary. Make sure you pick a plugin that is well documented and offers onboarding instructions. 

The best way to block users from certain countries will depend on your specific needs. Whatever method you choose, there are a few things to keep in mind. Be aware that IP-based methods are not 100% accurate, so some users may still be able to access your site even if you're trying to. However, using an IP API is the most reliable way.

Conclusion

There are various reasons why you might want to exclude users from specific countries. One reason is to ensure that the site complies with local regulations. For example, if you are operating a site in the European Union, you must conform to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). By excluding users from countries where you are not compliant, you can avoid penalties. Additionally, excluding users can help improve site performance by reducing traffic from irrelevant segments. 

When you choose how to exclude users from your website, make sure to go with one that fits your needs. A Plugin is a fast and easy way to filter out IP data if you are a WordPress user. For reliable IP data, you might want to look into Geolocation APIs, or maybe a Proxy server is the right choice for you. 



Previous Post Next Post

Sharing is caring!