New book on WordPress Theme Development: WordPress Themes In Depth
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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 »

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 »

Sort of Turning Off Comments

Over the course of the past year or so, the quality of comments on posts here at Perishable Press has really deteriorated, to the point that I actually considered doing something that I told myself I would never do: disable comments completely. Read more »

Backwards-Compatible Spam and Delete Buttons for WordPress

Recently, Joost de Valk shared an excellent technique for adding spam and delete buttons to comments on your WordPress-powered blog. The idea is to save administration time by providing links to either “spam” or “delete” individual comments without having to navigate through the WordPress admin area. Joost provides the following plug-n-play solution: Read more »

How to Deal with IE 6 after Dropping Support

As announced at IE Death march*, I recently dropped support for Internet Explorer 6. As newer versions of Firefox, Opera, and Safari (and others) continue to improve consistency and provide better support for standards-based techniques, having to carry IE 6 along for the ride — for any reason — is painful. Thanks to the techniques described in this article, I am free to completely ignore (figuratively and literally) IE 6 when developing and designing websites. Now that I have dropped support for IE 6, I feel liberated, free of the constraints that once enslaved my time, energy, and resources. Working […] Read more »

WordPress Tip: Link Author Comments to the Home Page

After almost three years of blogging here at Perishable Press, I had an epiphany about my author comment links. Way back when, after installing WordPress in a subdirectory called “/press/”, I decided to set the URL for my Administrative User Profile’s website as “http://perishablepress.com/press/”. After all, it seemed to make sense at the time, plus it really didn’t seem to matter; nobody was going to see my personal profile information anyway, right? Wrong. Three years later, I finally realize that it does matter. The URL that you enter as your profile’s website address is the URL that will be used […] Read more »

WordPress Tip: Disable Comments in Old Posts via PHP

Just a quick WordPress snippet for future reference. I recently explained how to disable comments, pingbacks, and trackbacks via SQL. Here’s a good way to do it via PHP: <?php function close_comments( $posts ) { if ( !is_single() ) { return $posts; } if ( time() – strtotime( $posts[0]->post_date_gmt ) > ( 30 * 24 * 60 * 60 ) ) { $posts[0]->comment_status = ‘closed'; $posts[0]->ping_status = ‘closed'; } return $posts; } add_filter( ‘the_posts’, ‘close_comments’ ); ?> You can run this script as a plugin, through your theme’s functions.php, or through a custom user-functions.php file. Simply set the desired number […] Read more »

Obsessive CSS Code Formatting: Organization, Comments, and Signatures

One of my favorite aspects of producing clean, well-formatted CSS code is “meta-organizing” the document using comments. In CSS, comments are included in the stylesheet like so: /* i am the walrus */ When used constructively, CSS comments serve to break down documents into distinct regions, provide key information about specific declarations, and bring order to even the most complex stylesheets. In my experience, a well-commented stylesheet improves efficiency and optimizes comprehension. Working with CSS, you can add comments any way you want. There are many different ways to use CSS comments, and endless ways to get there. Let’s check […] Read more »

Quick Reminder About Downlevel-Revealed Conditional Comments..

NOTE: This entire article amounts to nothing more than an in-depth learning experience. After writing the article, I realized (painfully) that either format for the second iteration of the downlevel-revealed comment for XHTML is perfectly fine and displays no ill effects or unwanted characters in any browser. Thus, this article is essentially useless, but I am posting it anyway because I just hate deleting several hours of hard work.. As more and more people discover the flexibility, specificity, and all-around usefulness of Microsoft’s proprietary downlevel conditional comments, it behooves us to reiterate the importance of utilizing proper syntax. Specifically, for […] Read more »

Perishable Press Comment Policy

Before you comment here at Perishable Press, please take a moment to review the official comment policy. Here is a simplified overview of the complete policy: Comments are open to everyone. Name and email are required. Email kept private, never shared. Website URL optional. The form accepts basic XHTML. Line and paragraph breaks automatic. Please wrap each segment or line of code in tags (no <pre></pre> tags). I reserve the right to edit/delete any comment. Spam will be deleted. Pointless and otherwise lame comments may be deleted. Please stay on topic and comment intelligently. Official Comment Policy First, everyone has […] Read more »

WordPress Tip: Remove Spam from the Comment Subscription Manager

After investigating some unusual 404 errors the other day, I found myself digging through the WordPress Admin trying to locate the “Subscribe to Comments” options panel. As it turns out, administrative options for the Subscribe to Comments plugin are split into two different areas. First, the S2C plugin provides configuration options under “Options > Subscribe to Comments”, which enables users to tweak everything from subscription messages to custom CSS styles. New to me was the other half of the S2C administration area: the Subscription Manager! Carefully hidden under “Manage > Subscriptions”, the Subscription Manager provides several useful ways to filter your email subscribers: Read more »

WordPress Discussion Management: Enable or Disable Comments and Pingbacks via SQL

Continuing my quest to stop comment spam without using plugins, I have decided to disable comments on “old” posts. In my experience, over 90% of comment, trackback and pingback spam occurs on posts that have been online for over a month or so, just long enough to be indexed by the search engines and picked up by spammers. Especially for older posts that have managed to acquire a little page rank, the frequency of spam attempts is far greater than it is for fresher content. Throw dofollow comment status into the mix, and say “hello” to a hellish number of […] Read more »

New Version of BlogStats PCC for WordPress 2.3

Just a note to announce the release of a new version of BlogStats PCC. BlogStats PCC is a free WordPress plugin that provides an easy way to share your blog’s core statistics with your visitors. You can show off any or all of the following statistics: total number of posts total number of comments total number of categories total number of registered users total number of unregistered users total number of individual, static pages the date of the most recent post modification a link to the most recently published blog post a link to the name of the most recent […] Read more »

WordPress Spam Battle: 3 Seconds that will Save You Hours of Time

In the hellish battle against spam, many WordPress users have adopted a highly effective trinity of anti-spam plugins: Akismet Bad Behavior (404 link removed 2012/06/04) Spam Karma This effective triage of free WordPress plugins has served many a WP-blogger well, eliminating virtually 99% of all automated comment-related spam. When spam first became a problem for me, I installed this triple-threat arsenal of anti-spam plugins and immediately enjoyed the results. Although Spam Karma seemed a little invasive and resource-intensive, too much protection seemed far better than not enough. Even so, during the most recent redesign of the site, one of my […] Read more »

Hacking WordPress: The Ultimate Nofollow Blacklist

Several days ago, I posted an article explaining how to hack your own WordPress nofollow blacklist. Immediately thereafter, I published an elaborate article focusing on automatic methods of nofollow blacklisting via WordPress plugins. In this article, I expand on the original blacklist hack by incorporating functional differentiation between commentator links, trackbacks, and pingbacks. If anything, think of this as an exercise in hacking WordPress, rewarding in and of itself, if not otherwise entirely impractical. Of course, whenever possible, you should avoid hacking the WordPress core and install a plugin instead. ;) Nonetheless, it’s so much fun to hack that we […] Read more »

Hacking WordPress: Dofollow Whitelist for Commentator Links

Before repenting of my filthy “nofollow” addiction, I experimented briefly with a “dofollow whitelist” for commentator URL links. The idea behind the whitelist is to reward frequent commentators, feed subscribers, site patrons, and other guests by selectively removing the automatically generated nofollow attributes from their associated comment-author links. For nofollow enthusiasts, a dofollow whitelist is a great way to show appreciation for people who support your blogging efforts. Now, before we go hacking away at WordPress, keep in mind that there are a few potential shortcomings to this method. First of all, manually maintaining such a list would eventually fail. […] Read more »

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