New book on WordPress Theme Development: WordPress Themes In Depth
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Tag Archive

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 »

Encoding & Decoding PHP Code

There are many ways to encode and decode PHP code. From the perspective of site security, there are three PHP functions — str_rot13(), base64_encode(), and gzinflate — that are frequently used to obfuscate malicious strings of PHP code. For those involved in the securing of websites, understanding how these functions are used to encode and decode encrypted chunks of PHP data is critical to accurate monitoring and expedient attack recovery. Read more »

HTML5 Table Template

A good designer knows that tables should not be used for layout, but rather for displaying columns and rows of data. HTML enables the creation of well-structured, well-formatted tables, but they’re used infrequently enough to make remembering all of the different elements and attributes rather time-consuming and tedious. So to make things easier, here is a clean HTML5 template to speed-up development for your next project: Update, June 9th: Here is an absolute basic vanilla template for any markup language. Update, June 9th: Here is a better template for HTML5. For HTML 4.01 or anything XHTML-flavor, use the following template: […] Read more »

Understanding CSS3 and CSS2.1 Border Properties

Even before CSS3 introduced a cornucopia of new border properties, CSS2.1 provided plenty of great functionality, enabling designers to style and enhance borders in many different ways. But now with the many new border properties available with CSS3, much more is possible, including everything from background border images, asymmetrical border radii, border transformations, custom fitting, and much more. While not every browser fully supports all of these new stylistic possibilities, we can practice progressive enhancement to create beautiful, well-styled borders for modern browsers while supporting the dinosaurs with suitable fallback styles. Many of us know how easy it is to […] Read more »

Looking for a Publisher

After several months of working diligently behind the scenes, I am officially announcing my latest project: a new book on WordPress. Without giving away too much at this time, here are some facts about it: It’s focused on WordPress It’s co-authored between Chris Coyier and myself It’s going to be awesome Chris and I have been working on the book for several months now and are very pleased with the results. Both of us have some — albeit limited — knowledge of the publishing world. Truth be told, we don’t have a publisher yet and aren’t quite sure about how […] Read more »

About Page Redux

Perishable Press provides high-quality, in-depth articles on web design and development, graphic design, social media, blogging, software, and more. Learn how to use WordPress, PHP, SQL, HTAccess, JavaScript, (X)HTML, and CSS to create beautiful sites that are usable, accessible, and secure. Good Day Sunshine Perishable Press is the virtual playground of Jeff Starr — visionary, founder and lead developer of Monzilla Media, a small web and graphic design company located in the lush desert oasis of Moses Lake, Washington. Perishable Press features articles and tutorials on many aspects of digital design, and is very much a work in progress. It […] Read more »

Eight Ways to Blacklist with Apache’s mod_rewrite

With the imminent release of the next series of (4G) blacklist articles here at Perishable Press, now is the perfect time to examine eight of the most commonly employed blacklisting methods achieved with Apache’s incredible rewrite module, mod_rewrite. In addition to facilitating site security, the techniques presented in this article will improve your understanding of the different rewrite methods available with mod_rewrite. Blacklist via Request Method This first blacklisting method evaluates the client’s request method. Every time a client attempts to connect to your server, it sends a message indicating the type of connection it wishes to make. There are […] Read more »

Custom OpenSearch Functionality for Your Website

I recently added OpenSearch functionality to Perishable Press. Now, OpenSearch-enabled browsers such as Firefox and IE 7 alert users with the option to customize their browser’s built-in search feature with an exclusive OpenSearch-powered search option for Perishable Press. The autodiscovery feature of supportive browsers detects the custom search protocol and enables users to easily add it to their collection of readily available site-specific search options. Now, users may search the entire Perishable Press domain with the click of a button. And you can do it too! Adding customized OpenSearch-powered search functionality to your own site is a great way to […] Read more »

Taking Advantage of the X-Robots Tag

Controlling the spidering, indexing and caching of your (X)HTML-based web pages is possible with meta robots directives such as these: <meta name=”googlebot” content=”index,archive,follow,noodp”/> <meta name=”robots” content=”all,index,follow”/> <meta name=”msnbot” content=”all,index,follow”/> I use these directives here at Perishable Press and they continue to serve me well for controlling how the “big bots” 1 crawl and represent my (X)HTML-based content in search results. For other, non-(X)HTML types of content, however, using meta robots directives to control indexing and caching is not an option. An excellent example of this involves directing Google to index and cache PDF documents. The last time I checked, meta tags […] Read more »

Content Negotiation for XHTML Documents via PHP and htaccess

In this article, I discuss the different MIME types available for XHTML and explain a method for serving your documents with the optimal MIME type, depending on the capacity of the user agent. Using either htaccess or PHP for content negotiation, we can serve complete, standards-compliant markup for our document’s header information. This is especially helpful when dealing with Internet Explorer while serving a DOCTYPE of XHTML 1.1 along with the recommended XML declaration. According to the RFC standards 1 produced by IETF 2, web documents formatted as XHTML 3 may be served as any of the following three MIME types: Read more »

More Killer CSS Resets

Update! Check out CSSresetr for an easy way to test and download the best reset styles for your next design. Just a note to let everyone know that I have updated my previous CSS reference article, A Killer Collection of Global CSS Reset Styles. The updated version features two more excellent CSS resets, as well as the updated Meyer reset and a link to Eric’s official CSS Reset page. The two new reset styles are the Tripoli Reset (404 link removed 2012/06/16) and Tantek’s Reset. Tantek’s CSS Reset Dubbed “undohtml.css”, Tantek’s CSS Reset is a solid choice for removing many […] Read more »

An Easy Introduction to Web Feeds

This article will help beginners understand a few “feed” essentials: what they are, how they work, and how to use them.. So you are a little new to the Web. As you surf around, you keep noticing these little orange squares and multicolored boxes placed next to phrases such as these: Subscribe via RSS Subscribe via XML Subscribe via Atom Subscribe via Feedburner Subscribe to My Feed Subscribe to Main Content Subscribe to Comments ..and so on. Although these invitations to “subscribe” come in many flavors, they are all basically doing the same thing: enabling visitors to receive information from […] Read more »

What is My WordPress Feed URL?

For future reference, this article covers each of the many ways to access your WordPress-generated feeds. Several different URL formats are available for the various types of WordPress feeds — posts, comments, and categories — for both permalink and default URL structures. For each example, replace “http://domain.tld/” with the URL of your blog. Note: even though your blog’s main feed is accessible through many different URLs, there are clear benefits to using a single, consistent feed URL throughout your site. Read more »

What is the Difference Between XHTML 1.0 Strict and XHTML 1.1?

As some of you (e.g., Louis) may have noticed during the recent site redesign, I decided to switch the default doctype from XHTML 1.0 Strict to XHTML 1.1. Just in case you were wondering, XHTML 1.1 is different than XHTML 1.0 in three important ways 1: On every element, the lang attribute has been removed in favor of the xml:lang attribute On the a and map elements, the name attribute has been removed in favor of the id attribute The “ruby” collection of elements has been added Beyond these three differences, XHTML 1.1 is identical to XHTML 1.0. Personally, I chose […] Read more »

Killer Collection of CSS Resets

Update! Check out CSSresetr for an easy way to test and download the best reset styles for your next design. Using CSS to style semantically meaningful (X)HTML markup is an important key to modern web design practices. In a perfect world, every browser would interpret and apply all CSS rules in exactly the same way. However, in the imperfect world in which we live, quite the opposite frequently happens to be the case: many CSS styles are displayed differently in virtually every browser. Many, if not all, major modern browsers (e.g., Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer, Netscape, et al) implement their […] Read more »

Much ado about nofollow: The Perishable Press Dofollow Series

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: “Oh great, not another article about WordPress nofollow!!” Well, if that sounds like you, I have good news! This is the last post (at least for awhile, anyway) concerning all things nofollow, dofollow, and even no-nofollow, for that matter. In fact, this post isn’t even about nofollow! It’s simply a summary of the articles I have written involving nofollow-related topics. The articles fit together so well, one might suppose they were planned deliberately as a bona fide series. Hmmm.. I’ll leave it up to you to decide: The Perishable Press no-nofollow/dofollow Article Series Death […] Read more »