April Fools Day Fun – ShoeMoney Station Closes


At about 1:30pm or so I made the frontpage of shoemoney.com look like this. Course if you hit refresh you never saw the April fools day page.

Why did I do it on March 31? Well technically it was already April 1st in some parts of the world and also… if you wait until April 1st everyone already smells a rat! BTW don’t feel silly if I got you. I received literally 40 emails and instant messages from people who thought I got hacked or that my site was down. Most forums figured out it was a joke because of my love of the TV show LOST and also pondered how I did it just making the root site (shoemoney.com) and also only showing it once.

Here is the code I used for my wordpress site. Just edit the index.php if you want to play around. I also added comments so you could see what was doing what. As you can see if you are requesting any file other then the root domain of shoemoney.com it does normal wordpress stuff. Also it checks to make sure you have not seen the april fools day site before. If you have not seen it yet it then spits out f.html which I linked to above.

#Check if request is for doc root and also if its been cookied
if (($_SERVER['REQUEST_URI']=="/") && ($_COOKIE['donethat'] == false))
#set cookie if its not
setcookie('donethat','true',time()+2629743 );

#show april fools html
readfile ("f.html");

#if the person has already seen it or is not requesting / then show them normal wordpress

/* Short and sweet */
define('WP_USE_THEMES', true);



Some other April Fools Day sites :

TechCrunch Has Acquired FuckedCompany.com

Matt Cutts – Hacked

Pirate Bay Hosting In North Korea

WordPress Developer Creates ForkPress

73 thoughts on “April Fools Day Fun – ShoeMoney Station Closes

  1. Ferrarislave

    The first thing that came to mind was wow not again. But then I thought hmmm seems odd a Unix security expert would let some script kiddies deface his blog one more time. So I refreshed a few times and tried */2007…

  2. ShoeMoney

    hah you would be suprised how low this blog is on my list of updating (security wise) I would not be surprised myself to see it get hacked again.

  3. Ferrarislave

    Yeah, I understand. I have a few forums that are the same way. I try to make it a habit to update once I receive the update reminder via email, but then again if you have backups and all it’s not hard to recover from a deface.

    Cheers for the April fools joke! :)

  4. Thor Schrock

    The first thing that entered into my mind was LINKSPAM :-) That post got you a few links on technorati though. even though I read your blog daily, I heard about it there first!

  5. John Loch

    Yeah yeah. Sweet.

    Looks like I got snowed.
    I seriously thought he’d been hacked. Funny.

    I thought I’d seen that symbol somewhere, but with the logo in the middle it reeked script kiddie with Photoshop.

    Happy April fools SHOE you LABRAT ! Ya got me :)

  6. soul-healer

    i just woked and see shoemoney site closed … i see the foundation page and thought how come hacker be so polite to give a foundation link rather then his own … then i thought to use some old post link to check wether database still exists or not …. and i came to know it is april fool ……

    and thanks for the code share ….

  7. no one of consequence

    That’s a nice viral marketing site your fake page links to.

    When the letter from Hanso comes up, put your mouse over the right hand side of paragraph that starts “Our methods must change…” That makes a buzzing noise start and then a few seconds into it you can hear someone talking about a virus. I haven’t listened to indepth yet and I’m just starting to look at the code.

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  9. Andrew

    For a minute I thought you lost it shoe. Im not a lost fan, so the hanso foundation thing had me totally confused thinking you gave up your money making ways for greater enlightenment.

  10. Brian Heys

    Well, you got me. I was totally convinced you’d been hacked. I’m quite new to your blog, so didn’t know you’d been hacked before. Congrats – I’m a fool!

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  12. Mubin

    I always go straight to DigitalPoint to find out whats up, whether it be with adsense or shoemoney, theres always someone thats more obsessed than you.

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  14. St. Maarten

    Whoooooo man you really got me. My heart skipped a beat. I was like what-da-ya-mean Shut down. I almost got nervous then i typed the url to the serps tool and saw that there. Then tried back and found out you were just being a smart ass. YEH… good one shoe

  15. Maki

    The ShoeMoney Station page was sweet.. it should be made into a T Shirt..

    Matt’s prank was really awesome as well. TechCrunch was a little too serious, which was funny in a way.

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  17. Greg G.

    On a somewhat related note, how awesome was last week’s episode of Lost? I totally thought they were going to wake up before the dirt went on. That was a good April Fools joke. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. blairski

    you ba&^%%D!!!!!!!!!! I had just finished blogging about the Matt Cutts and Shoemoney blog attack when I discovered your site was back. But I did say that it *might* be an april fools joke, so I don’t have too much egg on my face! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  19. Ali

    Good trick man. Me on the other hand, I was hired by Google to be their official bouncy ball and Zorb tester.

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  21. Christoph

    Looks more like a lack of inspiration to do a real April Fools joke. So, next year we can expect a joke on March 30th or what? Neither you or your servers are in a time zone that had already reached April 1st.

  22. Casey

    I really thought the others had gotten to you! Good joke, I did the ol’ print screen image as a background and then hid the desktop icons. My buddy couldn’t figure it out for about 45 mins haha!

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  24. jim

    That’s awesome, I think anyone who knows your love for Lost would recognize the reference but you never know… maybe it was a bad guy who loves Lost and hates you. :) you never know!

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  26. DanyO

    they also had the paper archive in gmail. Google usualy has several pranks for April Fools. Nice to see even though they’ve grown up, they still have a sense of humor.

  27. DanyO

    Has anyone put up an April’s Fool archive yet? It would be neat to see a list of popular sites running april’s fool jokes, and see how they evolve…

  28. geegel

    The Hanso Foundation page was hilarious. I knew that you liked Lost. What I didn’t know was that you liked it THAT much. Welcome to the club :).

  29. Bulbboy

    Matt’s blog is back to normal, but thinking about it now, wouldn’t April Fool’s be the perfect time for pranksters to hack a site.
    With some sites pretending to be hacked, a lot of people would think it was just another April fool and not inform some webmasters.

    Just a thought.

  30. Susan

    Don’t you dare shut this blog down or there won’t be any more chocolate or cookies. You know who this is!

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  32. John Loch

    Actually Shoe, I was (god forbid) on a PC at the time with a tight version of IE7. I ws sure I had reloaded that damn page and it turns out I did. It was the first thing I did.

    For some reason, the cookie was being blocked by IE. Might be worth a thought next time you explore the cookie tin :)

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