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How To: Disable/Block External HTTP Requests In WordPress


Posted by Artem Russakovskii on November 16th, 2011 in PHP, Wordpress

One thing that's been continuously annoying me when doing WordPress development on the go is when something somewhere inside WordPress decides to send requests to external urls when I don't even have Internet connection or it's slow and flaky (tethering, slow Wi-Fi, etc). This results in random lag when loading pages, especially if I haven't opened my dev WordPress instance for a long time.

Turns out there's an easy and undocumented (other than in code) solution. To block external HTTP requests right in WordPress's core itself, open up wp-config.php and add WP_HTTP_BLOCK_EXTERNAL like so:

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define('WP_HTTP_BLOCK_EXTERNAL', true);

Whenever this variable is present, external requests will be ignored, unless you specify your own comma-separated whitelist …

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imageThere used to be a time when you couldn't imagine your life without Microsoft's Outlook – web email clients were pathetic and non-functional, Internet access was scarce, and access to certain advanced features was only possible with a desktop application like Outlook.

Then, Gmail arrived and exploded the whole notion of desktop email clients forever, almost overnight. It was fast, robust, logical, and integrated – many things Outlook still isn't to this day (Outlook 2010 + IMAP is pure hell).

Slowly, Google brought out more and more features that made the fine line between web and desktop emailing thinner and thinner, and today, it finally disappeared, at least for me.

The final nail in the coffin turned out to be …

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Updated: May 17th, 2012

imageWell, this one took ages. And whenever something takes me ages, rather than write it down in my personal notes, I prefer to put it out online for everyone with the same problem to easily find and benefit from.

The problem I'm talking about today is trying to upgrade your Windows 7 installation to SP1 by applying Microsoft's update KB976932, called "Windows 7 Service Pack 1 for x64-based Systems" and getting nothing but a failure every time. The same problem may affect 32-bit systems as well, and I'm not sure what the update number for that would be, but the solution should work for either one.

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The update starts just fine, chugs along for 10 minutes or so, then reboots …

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