How to Create a Proxy Server Using WordPress

562
Proxy server illustration

WordPress is one of the most popular CRM platforms where you can create your website. It offers extensive functionalities like e-commerce, content automation, themes, and plugins that you can customize. 

What most WordPress users don’t know is that it also supports the creation of proxy through plugins. But, before that, let’s understand what a proxy is and how proxies work. 

What Is a Proxy Server

A proxy server is a valuable layer of security that uses a system of routers to forward your web requests to the websites that you are trying to access. It does a plethora of things, but mostly it ensures that the user doesn’t get tracked by their IP address. 

Although most proxy servers are designed for privacy, you can choose between different ones to make use of improved security and to access blocked content. In addition to accessing block content, you can also prevent access to websites for your employees by using proxies designed for that. 

Proxies are also important if you are yet to scale up your servers but need something that can handle the growing traffic for the time being. 

Residential proxies – that use physical servers to direct your request – are considered best for any business due to privacy concerns; but can be expensive. 

Types of Proxy Servers

There are several types of proxy servers that you can choose from.

Reverse Proxy

Reverse proxies generally represent the servers that forward the client request to the websites. It’s called reverse proxy because it works with the users and not the websites. Reverse proxies also keep your audience from accessing sensitive website data. 

Datacenter Proxy

Datacenter proxies are shared by many users and are generally much cheaper than other dedicated proxy servers. The best datacenter proxies are the ones that rotate their IP addresses after a certain predefined period and keep your connections safe from other users. 

Free Proxies

If content is being prohibited based on your geolocation, a free proxy list is one of several options for getting around the limitations. They hide your real location by routing your traffic through a server in another nation.

Web Server Proxy

Only the URL is passed instead of the path in the case of web server proxies. Web server proxies forward the HTTPS requests. Apache, HAPProxy are examples of such proxies.

Anonymous Proxy

Anonymous Proxies try to conceal the activities of the users from malicious hackers. 

Transparent Proxy

Transparent proxies only hide your IP address from those who you choose to. These kinds of proxies are typically used by companies that don’t want to let the employees know that they are using one. 

Distorting Proxy

The WordPress proxy that we discussed in this article can be categorized into distorting proxies. Because these kinds of proxies change your IP address depending on the website you are visiting. 

Forward Proxy

Forward proxies are generally used between a group of employees or companies that use an internal network for their operations. The proxy servers assess the data following predefined policies to forward or form a complex connection. 

Why Do You Need Your Own Proxy

A proxy is quite important for any online business that needs privacy and data scraping. But if you aren’t unwilling to pay a hefty monthly fee for proxies that don’t cater to your particular needs, or utilize free proxies that sell your data to show ads, the only option you’re left with is making your own. 

The benefits of using a proxy designed with WordPress are:

  • Total control over the actions the proxy server
  • Incorporating firewalls for your and your employees’ security
  • Storing website cache to load content faster for your audience
  • Ensuring that email campaigns don’t end up in the spam folder

Using WordPress to Create a Proxy Server

It’s not very difficult to set up a proxy server using WordPress. All you need is:

  • A website that’s running WordPress.org software
  • Free plugins that support proxy creation, like RePress

If you’ve all the prerequisites covered, let’s start. 

Step 1:

Enable permalink for your WordPress installation. 

Step 2:

Choose the permalink format according to your choice from the WordPress dashboard and go through settings → Permalinks.

Step 3:

Now go to the plugin from the same dashboard and search for RePress within the repository and install the same. 

Step 4: 

Go to the settings of RePress and choose the sites that you want to be redirected through your website. Add them to the whitelist.

Step 5: 

Try visiting the websites that you whitelisted and see if they work. You can access the websites through your new proxy website by using:

“http://yourdomain.com/proxy/website_you_want_to_visit.com”

It’s wise to keep your main website separate from the proxy server website that you created as it can put more weight on your website due to proxy requests. 

As RePress installed pages are forwarded with NoFollow and NoIndex, it’s unlikely for search engines to notice them.

Benefits of Using a Proxy Server

Protecting Personal Data

Even if your company policy enforces using strong passwords, you can’t stop data stealing from their personal devices if their IP is hacked. To prevent that, proxy servers are used to hide your IP address from cybercriminals. 

User Filtration 

It’s possible that you might need to block some users from accessing your website for the sake of keeping your website data safe. 

Suppose you have uploaded an article that still hasn’t been indexed yet. If your competitor steals that and uploads the content from their website, and by chance, if that gets through before your one did, you’ll be penalized for violating DMCA policies by search engines.

Website Caching

The most critical aspect of increasing bounce rate is slow loading websites. Your website needs to load faster, or your customers are not going to return back to your website anytime soon. For that, you can use proxy servers to cache web pages for them to load faster. 

Examining Packet Headers

Your social media accounts are hard to track. To analyze the performance of those accounts, you need to use a proxy server. 

The Bottom Line

This article goes through a detailed description of how you can create a proxy server using WordPress. You need a proxy server to stay safe from the malicious intent of cybercriminals or to keep your employees away from certain sites like social media platforms.

To create a proxy server using WordPress, you need to install a plugin of your choice and follow the instructions mentioned above; almost all of the plugins behave almost the same.