New book on WordPress Theme Development: WordPress Themes In Depth
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Protect Against Malicious POST Requests

Whether you like it or not, there are scripts and bots out there hammering away at your sites with endless HTTP “POST” requests. POST requests are sort of the opposite of GET requests. Instead of getting some resource or file from the server, data is being posted or sent to it. To illustrate, normal surfing around the Web involves your browser making series of GET requests for all the resources required for each web page. HTML, JavaScript, CSS, images, et al. But whenever you leave a comment, tweet something, or share on Facebook, the browser is sending your content, along […] Read more »

Testing HTTP Requests

Just a quick post with some tips for troubleshooting and testing HTTP requests. For example, if you have a plugin that sends requests behind the scenes via Ajax or cURL or whatever, it’s nice to have a way to view request details such as headers, the response, and everything in between. This article is aimed primarily at WordPress users, but contains more general tips and tricks as well. Read more »

Slowing Down Movies in Quicktime

Just a quick post today.. Awhile ago I was putting together some video screencasts, and needed a way to “slow-down” the video to play certain sections at half-speed. After much trial and fiddling, here are the steps that actually worked to produce a saved copy of the movie (not just run the slow motion effect on the live movie). Read more »

(Please) Stop Using Unsafe Characters in URLs

Just as there are specifications for designing with CSS, HTML, and JavaScript, there are specifications for working with URIs/URLs. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) clearly defines these specifications in numerous documents, including the following: Read more »

expose_php, Easter Eggs, and .htaccess

A reader recently brought to my attention a reported vulnerability on servers running PHP. It’s been known about for eons, but it’s new to me and it involves easter eggs in PHP so I thought it would be fun to share a quick post about what it is and how to prevent leakage of sensitive information about your server. Read more »

3D Text with CSS3 text-shadow

Here’s a fun way to make text look 3D using CSS3. Using CSS whenever possible instead of images has several key advantages, including faster page-loads and better SEO I use the CSS text-shadow technique in a previous theme, and a few people had asked about it, so here it is: everything you need to create your own stunning 3D-text with CSS3.. Read more »

Case-Insensitive RedirectMatch

Cool trick that you may not have known about.. it’s possible to get case-insensitive matching with the powerful RedirectMatch directive. Normally, you would just write your redirect as something like this: Read more »

Category Functions for WordPress

My previous theme sports the now-infamous colorized categories, which aim to help visitors navigate featured content. In addition to the colors, featured categories display contextually relevant navigation, popular posts, and related tags. It’s a great way to improve organization and get more of your content in front of the visitor. To make it happen, a variety of tasty WordPress code snippets are used, including versatile theme functions that enable getting the first category link, displaying sub-categories of the current category, displaying popular posts per category, related tags, and more. In this post, you get the entire collection, plucked directly from […] Read more »

Dynamic Go-to-Top Link

Instead of displaying a perpetual “go to top” link for every page, here’s a quick way to dynamically display the link only if the content height is greater than that of the browser window. So it’s there when you need it, not when you don’t. Just include the following snippet of jQuery with your design: Read more »

PayPal Phishing Spam

Just a heads up to anyone else getting the occasional PayPal phishing spam.. Usually it’s pretty easy to spot one of those crafty phishing emails, just hover over any links before clicking to view the real URL in the status bar. You know, the link says something like, “click here to restore your PayPal account,” but you know that’s garbage and could easily prove it by checking the actual link URL, which is usually something completely bonkers, like: Read more »

Optimizing WordPress Permalinks with htaccess

Okay, so Summer’s over, kids are back in school, and I’m finding all sorts of free time to continue writing and posting. One of my Summer projects involved updating & optimizing one of my old project sites, DeadLetterArt.com. It was basically a huge clean-up session that included lots of content consolidation and permalink restructuring. So that’s the topic of this post, how to use htaccess to optimize WordPress permalinks. I’ll go through some htaccess techniques and explain how they can improve your WordPress-powered site. Read more »

The Art & Science of Folding CSS Code

One of the joys of working with CSS is that you can basically write the code any way you want. Sure there are some basic rules you have to follow (like using brackets), but for the most part you can format your CSS code as elaborately or as plainly as you see fit. You can use this vast flexibility to improve the organization and usability of your working stylehseets before compressing them for production use. 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 »

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 »

Latest Tweets Taking some time at the end of the year to recharge, refresh, and renew. Gonna triple my efforts in 2015 :)