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Importing WordPress Users via CSV Files

I recently did some time in Microsoft Excel, preparing large CSV files for import into WordPress. Each of these CSV files contained data for 1000 WordPress users. Here is a screenshot showing the structure of the file: Conceptually, the idea is simple: import the data to create actual users for a WordPress-powered site. The trick is to clean the data as much as possible to ensure valid username and password information. Once the data is good, importing is easy using a plugin. Here is a step-by-step tutorial that combines WordPress and Excel techniques to register users en masse from a […] 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: Update Email Address in the WordPress Database

Several months ago, I changed my email address to stop spam. Since then, I have been updating every instance of my old address that I can find. In WordPress, I edited all of my theme files and updated my profile information in the “Users” admin area. Several days later while digging through the comments table in the WordPress database, I realized that the user-profile update is only pro-actively effective. There were still hundreds of instances of my old email address associated with comment-author information in the comments table. No big whoop for some, but the devastating inconsistency of it all […] 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 »

Quickly Disable or Enable All WordPress Plugins via the Database

Recently, while dealing with the dreaded white screen of death, I found myself unable to login to the WordPress Admin area to manually disable all of the plugins used here at Perishable Press. In the past, I have dealt with this situation by simply deleting all plugin files from the server, however this time, time was of the essence — I had only a few minutes with which to troubleshoot, diagnose, and ultimately resolve the deadly white-screen syndrome. Fortunately, after a few minutes of digging through the WordPress Codex, I had discovered enough information to successfully complete my mission. Now […] 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 »

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 »

Fixing Mint after Switching Servers

After switching Perishable Press to its current home at A Small Orange, I began noticing an unusual problem with referrer data displayed in Mint. Specifically, the first item recorded in the XXX Strong Mint data panel — for both “Most Recent” and “Repeat” views — displayed several thousand hits for various site resources, all from the following IP address: 127.255.255.255 zxw59eit.emirates.net.ae Apparently, this particular location represents an invalid “loopback address.” The requested resources appear valid, indicating typical traffic patterns, but the loopback address is not the actual referrer. This issue was preventing Mint from accurately recording mountains of vital referral […] Read more »

MySQL Magic: Find and Replace Data

Recently, I needed to find and replace all instances of “http://website” in the wp_comments table of the WordPress database. Fortunately, SQL provides a simple way to find and replace data with its wonderful UPDATE function. General Example Using the SQL UPDATE command is straightforward. Here is the general syntax: UPDATE table_name SET field_name = replace( field_name, ‘string_to_find’, ‘string_to_replace’ ) ; Simply replace the table_name and both instances of field_name with your specific information, and then edit string_to_find, and string_to_replace with the desired values. This is pretty standard stuff, but it is always a good idea to backup your database before […] Read more »

Even More Server Drama

Several months ago, we encountered some problems with our hosting company and decided to switch servers. Then, after spending countless hours transferring our army of domains, the new server crashed and our databases were deleted. Further, after the transfer we quickly realized the inferior technological quality of our new host. Thus disgusted, we transferred everything back to our old server and hoped for the best. For the past several months since then, our original server has been running as well as could be expected, all things considered. All functions were running smooth, the error logs were empty, and all was […] Read more »

Backup that Database with phpMyAdmin

DB Export Settings Backing up your database as often as possible is essential. For WordPress, as well as for other applications, plugins and other scripts that help automate the task are easily obtainable. However, for several reasons, it is a good idea to understand the process of manually creating a backup copy of your database. This brief tutorial1 should help cement the process into a solid reference. We are assuming that you have an SQL database and have access via phpMyAdmin. Before reading through the gory details written below, check out the screenshot to the left (click on the image). […] Read more »

Website Attack Recovery

Recently, every website on our primary server was simultaneously attacked. The offending party indiscriminately replaced the contents of every index file, regardless of its extension or location, with a few vulgar lines of code, which indicated intention, identity, and influence. Apparently, the attack occurred via Germany, through a server at the University of Hamburg. This relatively minor attack resulted in several hours of valuable online education. In this article, it is our intention to share experience with website attack recovery. This article is aimed at website developers, designers, and administrators. Read more »

More Server Drama

After successfully migrating our domains to a new server at WebHostingBuzz.com, we continued writing articles, uploading, embellishing, and fine-tuning everything. Everything seemed fine. At first… Read more »

Perishable Press Server Migration

As you may have read, we recently transferred our websites to a new server. Although the overall process went smoothly enough, several learning opportunities unfolded during the transfer of our humble Perishable Press website… First, the setup. Perishable Press is a WordPress-powered website. On our previous server, we were running a Fantastico-installed WordPress version 2.0.2, upgraded from version 2.0. Permalinks were enabled and everything was running smoothly. Our database was only 13MB in size and around 12MB of that was disposable statistics information from WP-ShortStat and Bad Behavior (404 link removed 2012/06/04). The crucial part of our database was a […] Read more »

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