New book on WordPress Theme Development: WordPress Themes In Depth
2007 Dec
Monthly Archive

Perishable Press Site Statistics for 2007

One of the year-end maintenance rituals that I have decided to adopt involves sharing a few annual site statistics for Perishable Press. Over the course of the previous year, Perishable Press has gone through many changes, including switching servers multiple times, eliminating nofollow attributes from comments, and even a complete site overhaul and restructuring. Despite the chaos surrounding such events, traffic levels have continued to increase, bounce rates have steadily decreased, and the number of feed subscribers continues to grow. Overall, I extremely pleased with how the site is doing, especially considering my disdain for formal advertising and social marketing […] Read more »

Do You Have a Year-End Maintenance Ritual?

Over the past several years working online, my year-end maintenance routine has evolved from simple website backups to a robust strategy involving many important and useful tasks. Some of the items on the list have indeed been performed multiple times throughout the year, but are included here to emphasize their importance. Additionally, many of these tasks are great for helping bloggers gain a clearer picture of their overall online empire, while attaining a sense of annual “closure” concerning the work of the previous year. So, let’s dig into my personal year-end strategy for cleaning things up and preparing for the […] Read more »

Are Adblock-Plus Visitors Seeing Your Content?

As Firefox continues to grow in popularity, it is inevitable that more and more users will install plugins such as Adblock and Adblock Plus. As we know, such extensions work by filtering site contents through a list of predefined wildcard directives and other rules. Users may also customize the block-list by right-clicking on unwanted images or even subscribing to an automated filterset updater. Apparently, a significant number of Firefox users employ these extensions to help control the relentless flood of unwanted advertising around the Internet. This concept works great when advertisements are blocked, but what happens when users are unwittingly […] Read more »

How to Enable the Default WordPress Object Cache

Recently, while attempting to optimize site performance, I found myself experimenting with various caching mechanisms currently available for WordPress. Specifically, I explored each of the following caching options: WP-Cache 2 [WordPress plugin] (404 link removed 2012/08/10) WP Super Cache [WordPress plugin] WordPress Object Cache [built-in caching mechanism] While working with the two plugins, WP Cache 2 and Super Cache, I was pleased to discover crystal-clear instructions on each their respective sites. Having access to installation and usage information greatly facilitated the implementation of each of these caching techniques. On the other hand, finding information about the default WordPress object cache […] Read more »

December 22nd, 2007

End of year approaches and I have had enough of going absolutely nowhere. Pushing on I embrace the coming year with hope and enthusiasm and without expectation. Read more »

Optimize WordPress: Pure Code Alternatives for 7 Unnecessary Plugins

In this article, my goal is to help you optimize WordPress by replacing a few common plugins with their correspondingly effective code equivalents. As we all know, WordPress can be a very resource-hungry piece of software, especially when running a million extraneous plugins. Often, many common plugins are designed to perform relatively simple tasks, such as redirect a feed, display a random image, or return a database value. For those of us comfortable with editing PHP and htaccess code, there is no need to bloat WordPress with additional plugins for the sake of a few routine tasks. For each of […] Read more »

How to Enable PHP Error Logging via htaccess

In this brief tutorial, I will show Apache users how to suppress PHP errors from visitors and enable PHP error logging via htaccess. Tracking your site’s PHP errors is an excellent way to manage and troubleshoot unexpected issues related to plugins and themes. Even better, monitoring PHP errors behind the scenes via private log is far better than trying to catch them as they appear at random visits. Thanks to the magical powers of htaccess, there is an easy way to implement this effective strategy. Hide PHP errors from visitors In our article, , we discuss a technique whereby PHP […] Read more »

Yahoo! Slurp in My Blackhole (Yet Again)

Yup, ‘ol Slurp is at it again, flagrantly disobeying specific robots.txt rules forbidding access to my bad-bot trap, lovingly dubbed the “blackhole.” As many readers know, this is not the first time Yahoo has been caught behaving badly. This time, Yahoo was caught trespassing five different times via three different IPs over the course of four different days. Here is the data recorded in my site’s blackhole log (I know, that sounds terrible): Read more »

Focus on the Details: Optimizing Images for Humans and Machines

In this article, I discuss how to get the most out of your site’s images by optimizing them for both people and search engines.. For many sites, images play an important role in the communication process. If used correctly, images have the power to make your articles come alive with clarity and vibrancy. Some visitors may merely notice the image and continue reading, while others will want to know more about your images and dig deeper. While checking out your images, inquisitive guests will explore any clues available to them: alt tags, title tags, and captions, for example. Likewise, when […] Read more »

More Server Mayhem

Just when I thought I had finally solved my web-hosting woes by transferring to a virtual private server, I am slapped in the face by the cold realities of server memory limitations. Apparently, WordPress-powered sites are extremely resource-intensive, requiring insane amounts of random access memory (RAM), something which does not concern those of us working from shared hosting accounts. On a shared server, system resources are shared among the various accounts that reside on a particular server. When one of these sites takes a hit and requires extra bandwidth, it “borrows” it from the total amount of bandwidth available for […] Read more »

Quick JavaScript Tip: Auto-Highlight Form Inputs and Textareas

I realize that probably everybody already knows this elementary and absolutely dead-simple JavaScript tip, but I was surfing around the other day and encountered a page that made great use of some auto-highlighted textarea content. The idea is simple, include a snippet of JavaScript to enable users to automatically highlight/select upon focus any chunk of text located within a form input or textarea element. I would imagine this trick works with just about any element — buttons, links, you name it. With the following code in place, content within a textarea will be highlighted/selected when the user hovers over or […] Read more »

A Dramatic Week Here at Perishable Press..

..And we’re back. After an insane week spent shopping for a new host, dealing with some Bad Behavior, and transferring Perishable Press to its new home on a virtual private server (VPS), everything is slowly falling back into place. Along the way, there have been some interesting challenges and many lessons learned. Here are a few of the highlights.. The tide may be turning for A Small Orange I am certainly not alone when I say that shopping for a new hosting provider and transferring websites is one of my least favorite aspects of web development. In my experience, switching […] Read more »

What’s Up Dude

Hello! If you are seeing this page via the default WordPress theme (i.e., blue header, based on Kubrick), welcome to the new server! I recently upgraded my hosting to a virtual private server, and finally reassigned the domain name servers to resolve to the new address. So, if you are here and everything seems to be working, then everything went according to plan and I will be able to complete the transfer on Saturday (Lord willing). If, on the other hand, something is busted, throwing an error, or otherwise causing problems, then Saturday may involve more troubleshooting and fixing things.. […] Read more »

Site News: Bad Behavior Spasm, Switching to New VPS Server..

Hello! As many of you already know, the popular WordPress anti-spam plugin, Bad Behavior, caused some problems yesterday, and as a result many bloggers and users were locked out of their favorite sites, including this one. As for now, the problem seems to be fixed, however, the experience of being locked out of my own site has left a rather unpleasant taste in my mouth. Needless to say, I will be reconsidering the continued use of Bad Behavior as a part of my long-term anti-spam strategy. In the meantime, everything is up and running fine again (with Bad Behavior disabled) […] Read more »

5 Easy Ways to Display Syntax Highlighted PHP Code

A great to way to share your PHP code with visitors is to display it directly in the browser with automatically generated syntax highlighting. Here is a screenshot showing an example of syntax-highlighted PHP code: Displaying your PHP scripts in syntax-highlighted form is an excellent way to share source code details directly with your readers. Rather than zipping the script and requiring users to download, unzip, and open the file in an editor, displaying your code directly saves you and your visitors time, effort, and hassle. Plus, in my opinion, looking at syntax-highlighted PHP code is a beautiful sight, day […] Read more »

WordPress Core Hacks Used at Perishable Press

One of the necessary evils associated with creating a highly customized WordPress-powered site involves the inevitable necessity to hack the WordPress core. WordPress is built for mass-consumption and tends to cater to the largest audience possible, making it necessary to bend and poke around the corners to get WordPress to function in a more specific or specialized capacity. Of course, there is a major downside to tweaking core WordPress files: upgrading. The overambitious WordPress peeps are constantly rolling out upgrade after upgrade, many of which are required security fixes, patches, or whatever. The point is that editing the WordPress core […] Read more »

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