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Unobtrusive JavaScript: Auto-Clear and Restore Multiple Form Inputs on Focus

In an effort to organize my pile of offline notes, I will be posting a number of quick, “to-the-point” tutorials on a number of useful topics. In this post, I share an excellent method for auto-clearing and restoring multiple form field inputs using a bit of unobtrusive JavaScript. This method was discovered at xy.wz.cz. There are two steps to this technique, which should take no longer than five minutes to implement. Read more »

How to Generate Perfect WordPress Title Tags without a Plugin

Keeping an eye on all things WordPress, I have noticed an ongoing fascination with configuring the ultimate WordPress <title></title> tags. Many bloggers use various plugins to generate differently configured <title></title> tags depending on particular page views. A good example of this is seen in the All in One SEO Pack, which, among many other things, enables users to specify custom titles for several different types of pages. While there is nothing wrong with this approach, some of us prefer to run WordPress with as few plugins as possible. If you want to create perfect WordPress title tags without a plugin, […] Read more »

Use Your Browser to Edit Any Live Web Page Using a Single Line of JavaScript

This was just too juicy to pass up. Blogstorm recently blogged about an easy JavaScript technique for making any website editable (404 link removed 2012/06/04). After checking it out for myself, I just had to share it here at Perishable Press. Here it is: javascript:document.body.contentEditable=’true'; document.designMode=’on'; void 0 Paste that single line of code into the address bar of any modern browser and have fun editing the page. Obviously, any changes will only apply to the page as seen in your browser, not the original document. Even so, it’s a fun trick to play around with, snap screenshots, be creative, […] 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 »

Provide a Link for Visitors to Verify Your Feedburner Subscriber Count

Recently, I received a bizarre email accusing me of calling someone out on their fake Feedburner subscriber count. Apparently, some desperate blogger had been claiming to have something like 30,000 Feedburner subscribers when in reality they only had around 700. From what I could tell, the fraudulent site was displaying a counterfeit Feedburner subscriber-count badge using some fancy CSS image-replacement or something. Whatever. I really could care less, but the information contained in the email got me thinking: Providing an easy way for visitors to verify your subscriber count is a good idea.. Enabling visitors to quickly and easily verify […] 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 »

Working with Multiple Themes Outside of the WordPress Installation Directory

As you may observe, the WordPress installation that powers Perishable Press is located in a subdirectory named press. This configuration was intentional, as I wanted to have the option to easily install and maintain multiple versions of WordPress in variously named subdirectories. As much as I enjoy this flexibility, many would argue the SEO-related benefits of installing WordPress in your site’s root directory, or at least making it appear that way by using WordPress’ easily customizable “Blog Address” options setting. For example, say you have WordPress installed in a subdirectory called “gibbonz”, but you want your blog’s home page to […] 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 »

Why Can’t I Login to My LinkedIn Account?

This is great. A couple of weeks ago I twittered that I had canceled my LinkedIn account. Without going into detail, suffice it to say that my original account signup information was no longer valid and the LinkedIn support staff was unable to even locate my account, let alone reset my password or provide login access. I know the account was there, but no matter what I tried I could not login. So, without being able to update my information, my only choice was to delete the account and start over 1. The following week, I was finally able to setup […] Read more »

Monitoring Internet Activity for Windows and Mac

Monitoring your computer’s Internet activity is a powerful tool, enabling you to: keep an eye on background processes reveal viruses and other malware expose unauthorized access monitor running programs log process activity ..and much more. The best part? It’s super-easy. Here’s how I do it on Windows XP: Open the command prompt and type “netstat -n 5 > scan.txt” After a minute or two (or any amount of time), press Ctrl+C to stop monitoring Type “scan.txt” to open the log file and check the results Read more »

Preventing the Unpredictable White Screen of Death for WordPress Sites with Multiple Themes

For the past several months and up until just recently, Perishable Press had been suffering from unpredictable episodes of the dreaded white screen of death. Although blank white screens happen to virtually all WordPress users now and then, certain configurations seem to trigger crashes more frequently than others. Here, I am referring to WordPress version 2.3. In this case, the unpredictable crashes, inconsistent errors, and general instability began several months ago after I had completed my WordPress theme restoration project. Prior to that, I had removed all of my alternate themes and placed them on a subdomain. Meanwhile, after the […] Read more »

A Way to Preload Images without JavaScript that is SO Much Better

Responding to my first attempt at preloading images without JavaScript, CSS-Guru David Bowman graces his audience with a most enlightening triage of comments. Apparently, the image-preloading technique explained in the article is “major overkill” and “totally ridiculous.” Of course, I will be the first to admit that I am no expert in CSS, but I do enjoy sharing my discoveries and watching as people improve upon them. My first attempt at preloading images without JavaScript may indeed be “pretty crappy,” but it certainly works. Fortunately, several weeks prior to Mr. Bowman’s dazzling performance, insightful reader Duarte helps the community by […] Read more »

3 Ways to Exclude Content from WordPress Feeds

This may surprise you, but I post quite a bit of content that never appears in the site’s main feed. It is my impression that a vast majority of subscribers are interested in web/graphic-design and development-related topics, and are really much less interested (if at all) in the miscellaneous odds and ends that wind up in the ever-expanding Perishable Press database. In the past, the process of excluding content from the main feed typically involved changing the post-date to something at least a year or so in the past. The thinking was that I could always return to these posts […] 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 »

How to Cache Mint JavaScript

NOTE: This post was written many months ago under the erroneous assumption that caching Mint’s JavaScript was a good idea (for Y-Slow compliance, performance, et al); however, after a brief chat with the man himself, Shaun Inman, I was quickly informed that this was a bad idea: caching Mint JavaScript files will cause Mint to stop functioning. But, for what it’s worth, and for the sake of retaining potentially useful information, I present the original article here for your amusement.. Recently, I spent some time addressing a few of the performance issues pointed out by Yahoo!’s very useful YSlow extension […] Read more »

Sharpen Your Site by Removing Unwanted Link Border Outlines

Lately I have noticed several sites that display those unsightly dotted outlines on high-profile link elements. Typically, these link outlines plague various header elements such as banner images, navigational links, and other key features. This behavior frequently haunts highly graphical site designs and is often associated with various image replacement methods that position the original anchor text offscreen, generally far beyond the left edge of the browser window. When visible, such presentations display a ghastly, four-sided dotted border that wraps the linked element and then continues to stretch to the left-hand side of the browser window. Here are a few […] Read more »

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