New book on WordPress Theme Development: WordPress Themes In Depth

Permalink Evolution: Customize and Optimize Your Dated WordPress Permalinks

How to streamline and maximize the effectiveness of your WordPress URLs by using htaccess to remove extraneous post-date information: years, months, and days.. Recently, there has been much discussion about whether or not to remove the post-date information from WordPress permalinks 1. Way back during the WordPress 1.2/1.5 days, URL post-date inclusion had become very popular, in part due to reports of potential conflicts with post-name-only permalinks. Throw in the inevitable “monkey-see, monkey-do” mentality typical of many bloggers, and suddenly an entire wave of WordPressers had adopted the following permalink structure: /%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%/ The benefits of using this format are primarily organizational […] Read more »

Laser-Focused Feeds and Smarter Feed Management

My current adventure into the fascinating realms of site redesign and optimization has yielded several chunks of fruit related to managing and delivering feed content. One of my primary concerns regarding the overhaul of Perishable Press is streamlined content delivery and rights management. An important area of convergence for these two factors involves the management and delivery of a site’s syndicated content. In this article, I explain the shortcomings of many default feed configurations and present an effective overall strategy for better feed management. When it comes to managing syndicated content, most blogging platforms enable bloggers to provide a multitude […] Read more »

6 Ways to Customize WordPress Post Order

Recently, reader Luke Knowles asked how to customize the sort order of his posts in WordPress. Looking into a solution to this question proved quite enlightening. Within moments I was able to discern 4 methods for modifying post order, and then several days later I discovered 2 additional custom sorting techniques. After updating the reply to Luke’s comment, it seemed like some good information that other WordPressers may find useful. So, here are six ways to customize the sort order of posts in WordPress.. Read more »

First 30 Days without Bad Behavior

Approximately 30 days ago, I completely uninstalled the Bad Behavior plugin from Perishable Press. As you may recall, many Bad Behavior users were unexpectedly locked out of their own sites and forced to either uninstall or upgrade in order to fix the problem. Of course, in my perpetual battle to optimize and streamline everything, I decided to drop Bad Behavior from the otherwise obligatory WordPress anti-spam trinity. 30 days later.. I am happy to report that Perishable Press has not seen a noticeable increase in comment spam since the removal of the Bad Behavior plugin. Of course, during the past […] Read more »

Comprehensive URL Canonicalization via htaccess for WordPress-Powered Sites

Permalink URL canonicalization is automated via PHP in WordPress 2.3+, however, for those of us running sites on pre-2.3 versions or preferring to deal with rewrites directly via Apache, comprehensive WordPress URL canonicalization via htaccess may seem impossible. While there are several common methods that are partially effective, there has not yet been available a complete, user-friendly solution designed specifically for WordPress. Until now.. In this article, I share my “secret” htaccess URL canonicalization formula. I originally developed this method in July of 2007, and have been using it successfully on a variety of WordPress-powered sites since that time. Thus, […] Read more »

Coldskins: Custom CSS Skins for Contact Coldform

Update (2012/11/08): Contact Coldform is updated with new built-in “coldskins” and option to add your own custom styles. The coldskins on this page still work for previous versions of the Coldform, but are replaced by the built-in styles for version 20121031+. With the recent release of my latest WordPress plugin, Contact Coldform, I am also creating a series of free, “drop-in” CSS skins for easy, “plug-n-play” customization. These skins employ valid, optimized CSS code designed for the following browsers: Firefox 2 (mac & pc) Internet Explorer 6 Internet Explorer 7 Opera 9 (mac & pc) Netscape Camino Safari The goal […] Read more »

WordPress Plugin: Contact Coldform

Welcome to the homepage for Contact Coldform, a secure, lightweight, flexible contact form with plenty of options and squeaky clean markup. Coldform blocks spam while making it easy for your visitors to contact you from your WordPress-powered website. The comprehensive Settings Page makes it easy to take full control with plenty of options and several built-in themes for styling the form. Coldform delivers everything you need and nothing you don’t — no frills, no gimmicks, just pure contact-form satisfaction. Now available at the WP Plugin Directory! Read more »

Blacklist Candidate Number 2008-01-02

Come one, come all — today we officially begin a new series of posts here at Perishable Press: the public exposure, humiliation, and banishment of spammers, crackers, and other site attackers. Kicking things off for 2008: blacklist candidate number 2008-01-02! Every Wednesday, I take a little time to investigate my 404 error logs. In addition to spam, crack attacks, and other deliberate mischief, the 404 logs for Perishable Press contain errors due to missing resources, mistyped URLs, and the occasional bizarre or even suspicious behavior of the search-engine robots. Whenever possible, I attempt to resolve a majority of the “fixable” […] Read more »

WordPress Tip: Reduce the Size of the WP-ShortStat Database Table

In this article, I present a simple method for dramatically decreasing the size of your WordPress database by partially emptying old data from the WP-ShortStat table via the following SQL command: DELETE FROM `wp_ss_stats` ORDER BY `id` ASC LIMIT n That is the point of this entire article, which dips into just about everything one might need to know before employing such strategy. If you are familiar with SQL and understand the purpose and functionality of this command, feel free to grab, gulp and go. Otherwise, read on for the full story.. A little context, please.. Many WordPress users enjoy […] 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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Perishable Press Now Featured on Planet WordPress

Today I am happy to announce that Perishable Press has been deemed worthy of citizenship on Planet WordPress! Planet WordPress is an incredible WordPress resource, bringing together some of the Web’s finest WordPress contributors, plugin developers, and theme designers. The Planet WordPress feed currently features nearly 50 hand-selected WordPress bloggers and aggregates their syndicated content every two hours. As proclaimed at the site, Planet WordPress is “The Epicenter of Everything WordPress” — definitely a great way to stay current with the wonderful world of WordPress. Needless to say, I am most grateful to Ozh for hooking me up with this […] Read more »

Easily Adaptable WordPress Loop Templates

In this article, I present several heavily commented examples of WordPress loops. I have found that many readers appreciate these types of loop examples, as it helps them to understand how the loop works while enabling them to easily copy, paste, and adapt the code for their own purposes. In our first example, we examine a basic WordPress loop. When implemented, this loop will display “x” number of posts, where “x” represents the number specified via the WordPress Admin reading options panel. To use this code, simply copy & paste into your WordPress theme’s index.php file 1 and customize accordingly. Read more »

Site Overhaul, Phase Two: Switching Default Theme

Just a note to let everyone know that I am switching the site’s default theme this evening. The new theme is similar, yet different (drop by to see what I mean), and will be switched over as soon as everything is ready behind the scenes (plugins, etc.). Also, until I am able to update the mobile CSS styles, the site may appear a little bonkers when viewed via mobile device. In the meantime, as the new theme goes live, many functional aspects of the site will also be changing (such as the WordPress 2.3 upgrade). So, as things unfold, please […] Read more »

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