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I'm managing a WordPress site for a small business auto dealership and am encountering an unusual issue. One of the inventory pages, specifically listing an old Ford truck, is receiving an extremely high volume of requests. This traffic originates primarily from various IPs in an overseas country, involving a few hundred different IP addresses.

The sheer number of requests was significant enough to crash our server. To stabilize the situation, I've blocked most of these IPs, and the server is now functioning normally. However, I'm puzzled about the nature of this traffic:

Traffic Nature: The requests are not login attempts; they are simply visits to the truck's listing page.

Possible Causes: What could be the potential reasons for this kind of traffic pattern? Is it likely to be a bot or a specific kind of attack?

Best Practices for Handling: What are the best practices for handling such scenarios in WordPress? Are there specific plugins or configurations that can help manage or analyze this traffic effectively?

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  • The request for plugin recommendations will likely be considered off-topic here, but will definitely be on-topic on Software Recommendations SE: softwarerecs.stackexchange.com Dec 24, 2023 at 3:18
  • If a caching plugin will take theoad, that might help - otherwise create a static vetsion of the page and use a server level redirect to show that page. Then look at the log files for patterns (like browset string, IP and referer)
    – davidgo
    Dec 24, 2023 at 7:41
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    Another way to handle heavy (and possibly DoS) traffic is to put the site behind cloudflare or similar.
    – davidgo
    Dec 24, 2023 at 7:43
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    Is there a referrer on these requests? Maybe it was linked from a somewhere popular. A news story or an influencer, for example. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slashdot_effect Dec 24, 2023 at 8:49
  • I would suggest a firewall plugin that not only allows for blocking by IP and/or country, but also blocks known attacks attacks. Being on WP, it might have been a SQL injection attack. You should be able to see that either in your logs, or via a firewall plugin. If you want to limit your plugins, davidgo suggestion to use Cloudflare will also help. I personally use both and plugin and Cloudflare as each has benefits.
    – Trebor
    Dec 24, 2023 at 15:41

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