Jeff Starr
Author Archive

Block Tough Proxies

If you want to block tough proxies like hidemyass.com, my previously posted .htaccess methods won’t work. Those methods will block quite a bit of proxy visits to your site, but won’t work on the stealthier proxies. Fortunately, we can use a bit of PHP to keep them out. Read more »

Ajax-Powered Error Logs for WordPress

Update: Check out the new and improved Ajax Error Logs for WordPress v2.0! In my previous post, I share my technique for Ajax-Powered Error Logs. That tutorial shows you how to set up dynamic error monitoring on any typical website, but the script requires some tweaking to get it working with WordPress. In this quick post, I explain how to set up Ajax Error Logs specifically for WordPress sites. Read more »

Ajax-Powered Error Logs

Update: Check out the new and improved Ajax Error Log Version 2.0! As an obsessive website administrator, I like to keep a keen eye on my error logs. Once a week, I download my PHP, 404, and other error logs, and analyze them as closely as time allows. Monitoring site errors and other traffic patterns leads to many of the security-related articles I post here at Perishable Press, including resources such as the 5G Blacklist, Ultimate HTAccess Blacklist, and the Blacklist Candidate Series. Easily, one of the best ways to protect your site is to understand the different types of […] Read more »

Upload Large Files or Die Trying

I recently spent some time wrestling with various e-commerce/shopping-cart/membership plugins. One of them was of course the popular WP e-Commerce plugin, which uses a directory named “downloadables” to store your precious goods. I had some large files that needed to go into this folder, but the server’s upload limit stopped me from using the plugin’s built-in file uploader to do so. Read more »

Screencast: WP101: Customize the Dashboard

In this WP101 screencast, we look at the Admin Dashboard, what it can do, and how to customize and clean it up. Customizing the WordPress Dashboard is a great way to help streamline your Admin experience and improve productivity. This video tutorial shows you how to be a Dashboard Ninja in around six minutes. Read more »

Screencast: WordPress 101: Log into Admin

In this WP101 screencast, we’re going to start with the basics and log in to the WordPress Admin. It’s exciting stuff to be sure, but there are many reasons why this kinda stuff makes a better screencast than a post. This video tutorial is about three minutes and shows how to login to the Admin with WordPress version 3.1.2. Several techniques are shown, with commentary kept to a minimum ;) Read more »

Screencast: WordPress 101: Welcome

Welcome to the first screencast in my WordPress 101 series. It’s simply called “Welcome” and is just a quick introduction to the series, why I’m doing it, about me, and so on. Note that there’s nothing happening on-screen in this screencast – just a simple welcome message ;) Read more »

Humans.txt

One thing I love about Twitter is the instant feedback. For the past few weeks I’ve been seeing lots of 404 requests like this: http://perishablepress.com/humans.txt http://perishablepress.com/humans.txt http://perishablepress.com/humans.txt At first I thought it was some skript kiddie getting creative, you know as a play on the robots.txt file, which is also located in the root of many websites. So it seemed interesting enough to tweet about: Read more »

Digging into WordPress 24-Hour Sale

Want to get Digging into WordPress for almost half off the regular price? AppSumo is running an exclusive 24-hour sale for the PDF version of DiW. Recently updated for WordPress 3.1, the book has never been better, providing the tips, tricks, and techniques you need to take WordPress to the next level. Head on over to AppSumo to take advantage of this incredible deal! Read more »

Multiple Sitemaps

Yes you can have multiple sitemaps for your site. Create the sitemaps you need, and then specify them in your robots.txt file. For example, here are the robots.txt directives for the two sitemaps used here at Perishable Press: Read more »

10 Characters for Your WordPress Blacklist

Quick WordPress tip for easily and quietly blocking a ton of comment spam. Akismet and other programs are good at catching most spam, but every now and then a bunch of weird, foreign-language spam will sneak past the filters and post live to your site. Here’s a good example of the kind of stuff that’s easy to block: Read more »

Awesome New CSS3 Selectors

The W3C CSS Working Group introduced some powerful new CSS3 selectors to the working CSS3 specification. These new selectors aren’t yet supported by all browsers (currently only Webkit and IE), but designers can start using all the goodness a la progressive enhancement. Let’s check out these awesome new CSS3 selectors and see some real-world examples that are simply too good to be true. Read more »

Digging into WordPress 3.1 Update

Digging into WordPress is now updated for WordPress 3.1. This is the book’s 8th major update, with new material for WordPress 3.1 and extensive revisions throughout. Without a doubt, Digging into WordPress is more focused and current than ever before. Read more »

Ajax RSS Feeds with More Sidebar

After implementing Chris Coyier’s More Sidebar technique here at Perishable Press, I needed a good source of “filler” content for the “more” blocks. After experimenting with multiple loops and template tags, the idea of sliding in RSS feeds seemed like a better solution. Replacing some empty space with great content is a win-win for everyone. For example, I display a few of my recent tweets in the sidebar to help fill a lil’ space. It’s a great way to share stuff, and it’s pretty easy to do. Read more »

PHP Tip: Encode & Decode Data URLs

Converting small images to data-URLs is a great way to eliminate HTTP requests and decrease loading time for your pages. Using PHP‘s base64_encode() and base64_decode() functions, we have the power to convert images to data-URLs and vice-versa. Read more »

Ajax Slide & Fade Content with jQuery

I recently redesigned my business site, Monzilla Media. The new design features a clean and simple single-page, fixed-sidebar layout. Visitors use the various links in the fixed sidebar to quickly and automatically scroll through to any section. In the Portfolio section, each item contains a “Details” link that loads more content into the fixed sidebar. As the site is mostly static, I wanted this bit of functionality to really shine, and after much testing and tweaking, ended up with a cross-browser slide & fade technique for loading content via Ajax and jQuery. Note this technique has been updated to work […] Read more »

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