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Jeff Starr
Author Archive

WordPress Plugin: Simple Basic Contact Form

Simple Basic Contact Form is a clean, secure, plug-n-play contact form for WordPress. Minimal yet flexible, SBCF delivers clean code, solid performance, and ease of use. No frills, no gimmicks, just a straight-up contact form that’s easy to set up and style for any theme. For a contact form with more options and features, check out Contact Coldform, or continue reading to learn more about Simple Basic Contact Form. Read more »

CSS Hooks for User Submitted Posts

Here is a list of all CSS hooks available for the User Submitted Posts submission form. If you notice any errors or if I’ve missed anything, please let me know with a comment or by sending an email via my contact form. Thanks! Read more »

WordPress Plugin: Simple Ajax Chat

Simple Ajax Chat displays a fully customizable Ajax-powered chat box anywhere on your site. SAC makes it easy for your visitors to chat with each other on your website. There already are a number of decent chat plugins, but I wanted one that is simple yet fully customizable with all the features AND outputs clean HTML markup for easy styling. Simple Ajax Chat is based on Jalenack’s Wordspew (aka AJAX Shoutbox), which I’ve been using on my sites since the plugin was released back in 2005 (ish). Wordspew works great even today, but it hasn’t been updated in seven years, […] Read more »

Blacklist Candidate 2012-11-13: Evil Scanner Edition

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted one of my Blacklist Candidate series articles. It’s always fun for me to talk (or write) about security related issues, especially when a quick slab of .htaccess can be used to take care of business. And that’s exactly what we have in this edition of the series, where I’m pleased to bring you Blacklist Candidate Number 2012-11-13: the “evil” scanner. Instead of scanning your site, collecting data, and moving on, Mr. 2012-11-13 continues to scan the same sites for the exact same set of files. And by “continues” I mean over and over and […] Read more »

WordPress Plugin: Show Support Ribbon

Show Support Ribbon displays a customizable “show support” ribbon, banner, or badge on your site. Show support for your favorite cause, event, charity, political event, or anything else that’s awesome. Show Support Ribbon includes four built-in ribbon styles and makes it easy to customize with your own CSS. Read more »

WordPress Plugin: Simple Blog Stats

Simple Blog Stats is a free WordPress plugin that provides a wealth of shortcodes and tags to display a variety of unique statistics about your site. Stats about your blog include total number of categories, comments, posts, users, tags, and more. SBS also displays recent comments and recent posts in posts, pages, and anywhere in your theme. Read more »

BBQ: Protect Against Malicious URL Requests

Block Bad Queries (BBQ) 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(, base64_, and excessively long request-strings. This is a simple yet solid solution that works great for sites where .htaccess is not available. The BBQ script is available as a plugin for WordPress or standalone script for any PHP-powered website. Read more »

WordPress Plugin: Simple Custom Content

Simple Custom Content is a free WordPress plugin that makes it easy to add custom content to your posts and feeds. SCS enables you to add custom content to all of your posts and all of your feeds, and provides several shortcodes for adding custom content in specific posts, pages, and just about anywhere. Read more »

WordPress Plugin: Simple Feed Stats

Simple Feed Stats is a free WordPress plugin that makes it easy to track your feeds, add custom content, and display your feed statistics on your site. Simple Feed Stats (SFS) tracks your feeds automatically, and provides a wealth of tools and options for further configuration and management. Read more »

SFS Open Tracking

In the Simple Feed Stats plugin, Open Tracking enables you to track any web page or feed anywhere on the Web. This is done by using the open-tracking URL as the src for any <img /> tag. The SFS plugin then collects and displays the data, and provides shortcodes and template tags to display your feed stats anywhere on your site. In this post, we’ll see how to implement Open Tracking, walk through some examples, and glean a few tips along the way. Read more »

expose_php, Easter Eggs, and .htaccess

A reader recently brought to my attention a reported vulnerability on servers running PHP. It’s been known about for eons, but it’s new to me and it involves easter eggs in PHP so I thought it would be fun to share a quick post about what it is and how to prevent leakage of sensitive information about your server. Read more »

30+ Online Drawing Tools

Here are some great online drawing tools for those who like to draw and work online at the same time. Way back in 2006, online drawing tools were few and far between, especially anything with collaborative functionality for multi-user action. Back then, the choices were basically Groupboard and LiTha-Paint. But the scene is much improved, with some amazing single- and multi-user drawing tools available for getting creative and having fun. Here’s a round-up of our favorites.. Read more »

Protect Against Brute-force/Proxy Login Attacks

For the past week, I’ve been monitoring activity from a set of IP addresses involved with brute-force login attacks. Brute-force login attacks involve systematic guessing of passwords using various common usernames such as “admin” and “username”. So for example, an attack will target an array of sites, use “admin” as the username, and then make numerous attempts at “guessing” your password. And to obfuscate their malicious activity, the attack is executed from multiple IP addresses, either via proxy or possibly a botnet. Read more »

New Book!

I’m proud to announce the launch of my new book on .htaccess, titled .htaccess made easy. It’s a book I’ve been wanting to write for years, since first getting hooked on .htaccess way back in 2006. Since then, I’ve learned a lot about .htaccess, Apache, security, and web-design in general — with many articles on the topic published here at Perishable Press and elsewhere on the Web. Everyone kept inspiring me to bring it all together and write a book on the subject, and so WHOOOP here it is! Read more »

bbPress Theme Template Files

For those getting into bbPress for hosting your own forum, customizing your bbPress theme files can be difficult if you don’t know which page to load. Many of the bbPress theme template files contain enough clues to figure things out, but not every template file is used by default, or even at all depending on how you’ve configured bbPress. Themes may contain different template files, but the default “bbPress (Twenty Ten)” theme (included with version 2.1.1) may be considered a complete set. Read more »

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