New book on WordPress Theme Development: WordPress Themes In Depth
Jeff Starr
Author Archive

Whitelist & Blacklist Plugins for BBQ

BBQ (Block Bad Queries) is a simple script that protects your website against malicious URL requests. BBQ checks all incoming traffic and quietly blocks bad requests containing nasty stuff like eval( and base64_. The plugin is ultra minimal, so there are no options to configure which strings are blocked or allowed — it’s basically a “set-it-and-forget-it” type plugin. To give the plugin more flexibility, here are two plugins that enable you to whitelist or blacklist your own custom strings. Read more »

WordPress Plugin: SES Pro

SES Pro is a premium email newsletter plugin for WordPress. It is 100% shortcode-based with Ajax-powered signup forms that can be displayed anywhere. There are no monthly fees or limits on the number of subscribers, how many emails you can send, or anything else. It’s just a lightweight yet full-featured email-signup plugin that’s super-easy to use. Read more »

Book Winners!

Today I am pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 Book Giveaway, wherein 9 contestants win free copies of my books — The Tao of WordPress, WordPress Themes In Depth, and .htaccess made easy — including all bonus material and updates. Read more »

Clever Popup Ad? No Thanks.

So these days, I’m seeing more “clever” popups when visiting various websites. For example, do a search, see a result, click to visit.. and then before any content is shown, I’m hit with some annoying popup ad for whatever thing the site is trying to push. Read more »

Giving Away More Books!

A few days ago, I launched a Thanksgiving-themed book giveaway for Digging Into WordPress. The post has received some great comments that reminded me of how absolutely awesome people can be. So to chase the feeling and keep the momentum going, I’m giving away more books to 9 lucky winners. Read more »

WordPress Themes In Depth

Book Launch! My fourth book, WordPress Themes In Depth, focuses entirely on WordPress theme development. It goes in-depth on how to build, customize, and distribute your own WordPress themes. It’s 10+ years of experience with WordPress jam-packed into 450 pages of non-stop theme-building action. Read more »

How to Purge Deleted Dropbox Files

About a week ago, I sent a support request to Dropbox asking how to purge deleted files. Never heard anything back, but I figured that I would ask here to see if anyone knows the magic recipe. Here is the support question I sent to the Dropbox team: Read more »

Protect Against Malicious POST Requests

Whether you like it or not, there are scripts and bots out there hammering away at your sites with endless HTTP “POST” requests. POST requests are sort of the opposite of GET requests. Instead of getting some resource or file from the server, data is being posted or sent to it. To illustrate, normal surfing around the Web involves your browser making series of GET requests for all the resources required for each web page. HTML, JavaScript, CSS, images, et al. But whenever you leave a comment, tweet something, or share on Facebook, the browser is sending your content, along […] Read more »

Protect Against Humans.txt Query-String Scans

I woke up this morning to the sound of thousands of 404 requests hitting the server. It’s sad that there are kiddies out there who have nothing better to do than buy some pathetic $50 script and then sit there like an imbecile harassing people for hours on end. But alas, that is the world we live in — fortunately it’s less than trivial to block the entire scan with just a few lines of good old .htaccess. Read more »

WordPress Plugin: USP Pro

After months of deleopment and a low-key “soft-launch”, I’m pleased to announce my first premium WordPress plugin, USP Pro, the supercharged version of my free WP plugin, User Submitted Posts. USP Pro enables you to create and customize infinitely many front-end forms and display them anywhere on your WordPress-powered site. Read more »

Testing HTTP Requests

Just a quick post with some tips for troubleshooting and testing HTTP requests. For example, if you have a plugin that sends requests behind the scenes via Ajax or cURL or whatever, it’s nice to have a way to view request details such as headers, the response, and everything in between. This article is aimed primarily at WordPress users, but contains more general tips and tricks as well. Read more »

2014 Micro Blacklist

Over the past several months, I’ve assembled a “micro” blacklist to keep some recent threats at bay. Eventually, this will be integrated into the next nG Blacklist, but for now I just wanted to post and share with anyone else who is actively monitoring their server logs and aware of the recent spike in malicious activity. Read more »

Theme Update: shapeSpace v1.7

shapeSpace is the starter WordPress theme that I use to build sites like Plugin-Planet.com and DigWP.com. I use it because it includes all of the most commonly used template tags and a minimal amount of clean markup. Additonally, shapeSpace includes robust theme settings and an import/export feature to save and restore theme settings as needed. Read more »

Book Sale!

As mentioned, I’ve been super busy updating stuff, and have new versions available for Digging Into WordPress, .htaccess made easy, and The Tao of WordPress. To celebrate the updates, I’m having a “Fall Sale” on all books, with combo deals available for bundled books. Read more »

WordPress Plugin Updates!

It may not seem like it, but I’ve been super busy updating books, plugins, and websites with all sorts of new goodness. I just finished updating all of my WordPress plugins that are hosted at the WP Plugin Directory. Here is a complete list: Read more »

shapeSpace WordPress Theme

shapeSpace is the starter template that I use for creating my own WordPress themes and WordPress-powered sites. It’s evolved quite a bit along with WordPress over the years, striking what I find to be a good balance between utility, flexibility, and performance. shapeSpace is basically a starter theme that combines a robust set of theme options with a lightweight set of template files. It’s a “premium” starter template that’s clean, current, and 100% free. Read more »

Latest Tweets USP Pro v2.0 now available! Many new features including multiple file upload fields and new Quicktags UI: m0n.co/uspv2 #WordPress