How to build a website blocker using python
Many of us struggle to focus nowadays, easily distracted by Social media and some sites on the internet which dramatically affecting our productivity.
In this tutorial, you will learn and build your own website blocker to block certain selected sites that distract you during working hours.
We are going to use the time and Datetime Module only which comes by default with the Python Standard Library therefore you don’t need to install anything.
How do we block sites?
Every operating system has a host file and it’s on this file where we are going to add a list of websites we want to block by redirecting them to 127.0.0.1 (localhost).
We will add website URLs to the host file and mapping them to the localhost thus preventing you from accessing the real site during working hours.
Instead of adding www.facebook.com we are going to add 127.0.0.1 www.facebook.com, therefore whenever a user tries to access the website during working hours will be directed to the localhost.
Therefore we need to add those sites to the host files during working hours and removing them immediately when it’s going home time.
if working_time: add mapped websites url to host file else: remove the website files from the host file
Location of host file
Host file that we need to edit is stored on different path depending on the Operating system you’re using
For those in Linux
Linux_host = "/etc/hosts"
For those in window
Window_host = r"C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts"
Building our Website Blocker
Importing modules & pre-configuring
import time from datetime import datetime as dt sites_to_block = [ 'www.facebook.com', 'facebook.com', 'www.youtube.com', 'youtube.com', 'www.gmail.com', 'gmail.com' ] Linux_host = '/etc/hosts' Window_host = r"C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts" redirect = "127.0.0.1"
We then required to add the sites to be blocked during working hours and remove them when it is not, I have made a simple function just to do that as shown in the source code below
If your own Window change the default_hoster to Window_host
import time from datetime import datetime as dt sites_to_block = [ 'www.facebook.com', 'facebook.com', 'www.youtube.com', 'youtube.com', 'www.gmail.com', 'gmail.com' ] Linux_host = '/etc/hosts' MacOs_host = '/private/etc/hosts' Window_host = r"C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts" default_hoster = Linux_host redirect = "127.0.0.1" def block_websites(start_hour , end_hour): while True: if dt(dt.now().year, dt.now().month, dt.now().day,start_hour)< dt.now() < dt(dt.now().year, dt.now().month, dt.now().day,end_hour): print("Do the work ....") with open(default_hoster, 'r+') as hostfile: hosts = hostfile.read() for site in sites_to_block: if site not in hosts: hostfile.write(redirect+' '+site+'\n') else: with open(default_hoster, 'r+') as hostfile: hosts = hostfile.readlines() hostfile.seek(0) for host in hosts: if not any(site in host for site in sites_to_block): hostfile.write(host) hostfile.truncate() print('Good Time') time.sleep(3) if __name__ == '__main__': block_websites(9, 18)
The function receives two-parameter, One is the starting time on which for testing I set as 9 am and the ending time for a job which I initially set 18 but you can twist it whatever you want.
When you run the above code, It will do as we have said, you can try accessing sites you listed in sites_to_block it will redirect you to the localhost.
If you find it interesting, Don't be shy share it with your fellow tech nerds so as more can learn this trick