New book on WordPress Theme Development: WordPress Themes In Depth
2009 Jan
Monthly Archive

Cross-Browser Transparency via CSS

Shortest post ever! You can quickly and easily apply transparency to any supportive element by adding the following CSS code your stylesheet: selector { filter: alpha(opacity=50); /* internet explorer */ -khtml-opacity: 0.5; /* khtml, old safari */ -moz-opacity: 0.5; /* mozilla, netscape */ opacity: 0.5; /* fx, safari, opera */ } Check the code comments to see what’s doing what, and feel free to adjust the level of transparency by editing the various property values. Also, remember to replace “selector” with the target element of your choice. By the way, I’ve got a metric tonne of juicy CSS posts scheduled […] Read more »

Quintessential Reversion

Due to popular demand, I will be switching the site’s default theme back to the colorful Quintessential theme (opens new tab or window). Many people simply felt that the extreme minimalism of the new Requiem theme (opens new tab or window) was just too “plain” or otherwise difficult to navigate due to the single-column design. So, after giving it a go and receiving some excellent feedback, Perishable Press will be rolling with the Quintessential theme — at least for now.. ;) Those of you who prefer the straightforward usability and minimalist design aesthetic of the new Requiem theme may continue to […] Read more »

PHP and JavaScript Fallbacks for Your Public Feedburner Count

With the recent Feedburner service outage, many sites across the Web experienced severe drops in their Feedburner subscriber counts. Apparently, Google is requiring all Feedburner accounts to be transferred over to Google by the end of February. In the midst of this mass migration, chaotic subscriber data has been reported to include everything from dramatic count drops and fluctuating reach statistics to zero-count values and dreaded “N/A” subscriber-count errors. Obviously, displaying erroneous subscriber-count data on your site is not a good thing. Fortunately, there are several ways to ensure that this doesn’t happen. Over at CSS Newbie, author Rob Glazebrook […] Read more »

Targeting External Links Intelligently

In the beginning… In the time of the dinosaurs, HTML authors controlled the way anchors opened by adding target=”_blank” as an attribute on an anchor tag. Then the molten mass of Internet began to cool into the thin crust of Web 2.0, the continents began to separate and there came a great migration of pages from HTML to the shinier, new XHTML. Most authors didn’t know what that meant, but it had an “X” in it, so it must be cool, they thought. Alas, there came a great despair as the beloved target=”_blank” attribute was no longer looked kindly upon […] Read more »

Time for a New Design?

As you may know, Perishable Press was redesigned only several months ago. As much as I enjoy the transparent imagery of the Quintessential theme (opens new window or tab), I find it too distracting and complicated for everyday use. So I have redesigned, yet again. The new theme is called “Requiem” (opens new window or tab) and is return to my minimalist roots (opens new window or tab). There is something calming and yet energizing about working with a streamlined, no-fuss interface, especially when you are extremely busy. The new theme was completed in December of last year, and I […] Read more »

Better Image Caching with CSS

I have written previously on the fine art of preloading images without JavaScript using only CSS. These caching techniques have evolved in terms of effectiveness and accuracy, but may be improved further to allow for greater cross-browser functionality. In this post, I share a “CSS-only” preloading method that works better under a broader set of conditions. Previous image-preloading techniques target all browsers, devices, and media types. Unfortunately, certain browsers do not load images that are hidden directly (via the <img /> element) or indirectly (e.g., via the parent <div></div> element) using either display:none; or visibility:hidden;. Further problematic is the potential […] Read more »

Critical Review of Dyasonhat’s Premium Smart Sort WordPress Plugin

After hearing about the recently released “premium” version (404 link removed 2012/06/11) of Dyasonhat’s Smart Sort Plugin for WordPress (404 link removed 2012/06/11), I just had to give it a try. Occasionally working on projects requiring customized ordering of posts, I like to keep my utility belt well-equipped with any plugins or code techniques that will facilitate the process of man-handling post order. In this article, I discuss my experience with WP Smart Sort Premium. Read more »

Temporary PHP Redirect: Allow Multiple IP Access and Redirect Everyone Else

In my previous article on temporarily redirecting visitors during site updates, I present numerous PHP and HTAccess methods for handling traffic during site maintenance, updates, and other temporary periods of downtime. Each of the PHP methods presented in the article allow for access from a single IP while redirecting everyone else. In this article, we modify our previous techniques to allow access for multiple IP addresses while temporarily redirecting everyone else to the page of our choice. Plus, while we’re at it, we’ll explore a few additional ways to adapt and use the general technique. Read more »

PHP Short Open Tag: Convenient Shortcut or Short Changing Security?

Most of us learned how to use “echo()” in one of our very first PHP tutorials. That was certainly the case for me. As a consequence, I never really had a need to visit PHP’s documentation page for echo(). On a recent visit to Perishable Press, I saw a Tumblr post from Jeff about the use of PHP’s shortcut syntax for echo() but somewhere deep in my memory, there lurked a warning about its use. I decided to investigate. Read more »

French Version of Contact Coldform Released

Several months after the release of the Arabic and Spanish versions of Contact Coldform, I am pleased to announce the release of a French translation of the plugin. The new French translation is graciously provided by Tony Tohme, who is also helping with the upcoming Russian translation of the Coldform. Thank you, Tony! :) To download the French version of Contact Coldform, check out the plugin’s home page, where you will find additional information, future updates, and much more. Read more »

The Halving Method of Identifying Problematic Code

Working a great deal with blacklists, I am frequently trying to isolate and identify problematic code. For example, a blacklist implementation may suddenly prevent a certain type of page from loading. In order to resolve the issue, the blacklist is immediately removed and tested for the offending directive(s). This situation is common to other coding languages as well, especially when dealing with CSS. Identifying problem code is more of an art form than a science, but fortunately, there are a few ways to improve your overall code-sleuthing strategy. Read more »

Thoughts on Twitter

Dipping into a little social-media nonsense on this one.. hope you enjoy it! I have been using Twitter now for around two years. In that time, I have gone from hating Twitter to practically loving it. The more I use Twitter, the more I appreciate its value in terms of social networking, self-expression, and even online entertainment. What can I say, it’s just fun to be working online while sharing nano-thoughts with a group of like-minded individuals. In this post, I share some insight and elaborate on some important aspects of Twitter: following & followers, profiles, avatars, and tweets. Not […] Read more »

New and Improved JavaScript Clock

Earlier this year, I posted an article explaining how to implement an unobtrusive JavaScript dynamic clock. While not completely earth-shattering or cutting-edge or anything like that, the dynamic JavaScript clock has received some great feedback from users who found the script to be exactly what they were looking for. In fact, a couple of weeks ago, Bill Brown went above and beyond by taking the time to improve the script with some great new features, including a “blinking seconds separator (for kicks)” and removal of “the need for the noscript tag.” Here is the complete script sent by Bill in […] Read more »

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