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

Protect Your Site Against UserCash and Other Scumbags

In this brief article I explain the atrocity that is UserCash and then provide the JavaScript needed to protect your site. What is UserCash? UserCash is an online advertising program that uses redirects and frames to exploit your site with advertisements. UserCash customers link to target sites using rewritten URL’s generated via the UserCash “generator/compiler.” There are two types of these rewritten UserCash links: Links that use frames to create banner-like ads above your pages Links that use frames to deploy landing-page ads before your pages Read more »

How to Add Meta Noindex to Your Feeds

Want to make sure that your feeds are not indexed by Google and other compliant search engines? Add the following code to the channel element of your XML-based (RSS, etc.) feeds: <xhtml:meta xmlns:xhtml=”http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml” name=”robots” content=”noindex”></xhtml:meta> Here is an example of how I use this tag for Perishable Press feeds (vertical spacing added for emphasis): Read more »

RefreshMints: Refresh Stats Bookmarklets for Mint 2

Last week, I finally got around to upgrading to Mint 2.14. The new version is quite impressive, and well worth the time (and cash) spent upgrading. In the process, however, one of my favorite, most heavily used bookmarklet things ceased to work. Before the upgrade, I had been enjoying the highly useful Refresh-All bookmarklet by Jonathan Snook. Snook’s Mint-refresh bookmarklet made it super-easy to update all Mint data panels without having to refresh the entire page. Using the bookmarklet is much faster that reloading the browser, and there is even an alternate version that will refresh panels automatically at user-specified […] Read more »

Yahoo! in my Blackhole

Okay, I realize that the title sounds a bit odd, but nowhere near as odd as my recent discovery of Slurp ignoring explicit robots.txt rules and digging around in my highly specialized bot trap, which I have lovingly dubbed “the blackhole”. What is up with that, Yahoo!? — does your Slurp spider obey robots.txt directives or not? I have never seen Google crawling around that side of town, neither has MSN nor even Ask ventured into the forbidden realms. Has anyone else experienced such unexpected behavior from one the four major search engines? Hmmm.. let’s dig a little further.. Here […] Read more »

Perishable Press Site Renovation Strategy

Now that my recent site overhaul project is nearly complete, I thought it would be useful to share my carefully developed “plan of attack.” The following seven-step strategy is designed to facilitate the entire renovation by logically ordering events and breaking down complex tasks. Upon execution, the following plan is designed to improve overall site functionality, presentation and structure, while factoring in several critical parameters: Modular time organization — due to my hectic schedule, it is necessary to break large projects down into manageable chunks. Separation of main site from test site — I need a clear distinction between Perishable […] Read more »

An Inside Look at the Hectic Schedule of an Internet Addict

Sure, I’ll admit it, I am addicted to the Internet. I am connected at work, at play, and at home. When access is unavailable, I go through withdrawals — headaches, nervousness, hallucinations — the whole bit. Over the years, I have learned how to take advantage of periods of Web inaccessibility, however, in general, my schedule pretty much revolves around the Internet. Thus, in the name of “everyone else is doing it,” here is an inside look at my hectic weekly schedule: Read more »

Bloggers Toolbox: Strategic Elements for a Perfect About Page

As a quasi-reclusive introvert with paranoiac-critical tendencies, one of my least favorite aspects of blogging involves creating those dreadful “About” pages that reveal unknown things about you. About pages are important to many people, providing a way to learn about and connect with the person or people “behind the blog.” After all, websites are relatively impersonal, as viewers are required to extract meaning and personality from behind a large, square piece of machinery. Regardless of the type of site or blog you happen to be creating, the About page is your primary key to connecting with your readers. In fact, when […] Read more »

New Widgetized Version of AddMySite Released!

It must be national “update-your-WordPress-plugins” month around here or something. First a completely renovated version of Category LiveBookmarks Plus, then a WP-2.3-compatible facelift for BlogStats PCC, and now a completely widgetized & automated version of the popular AddMySite plugin. Coincidence? — I think not.. Due to popular demand, I am proud to announce the release of a new widgetized version of the free AddMySite (AMS) plugin for WordPress. The new version (0.88) is compatible with all versions of WordPress (including all WP 2.3+), and is easily integrated into any widget-capable area (e.g., sidebars, footers, etc.) of any widget-friendly WordPress theme. […] Read more »

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Favicons

Fifty Favorite Favicons If you have a website, you need a favicon. For those who may not know, favicons are the small, square icons that frequently are associated with websites. Favicons appear in many places, including browser toolbars, bookmarks, tabs, and address bars. Favicons provide immediate visual identification of their represented sites, enabling super-easy navigation for Web users. While surfing bookmarks with fifty tabs open, finding and clicking on icons is far more efficient than reading through piles of link text. Yet, beyond making it easier for people to identify and locate their favorite websites, favicons also play a critical […] Read more »

How to Verify the Four Major Search Engines

Keeping track of your access and error logs is a critical component of any serious security strategy. Many times, you will see a recorded entry that looks legitimate, such that it may easily be dismissed as genuine Google fare, only to discover upon closer investigation a fraudulent agent. There are many such cloaked or disguised agents crawling around these days, mimicking various search engines to hide beneath the radar. Thus, it is a good idea to implement a procedure for scanning and checking select agents for authenticity. In general, the verification process involves a “forward/reverse” DNS lookup, which is then […] 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 »

88Teeth Site Redesign

[ Detail of 88teeth’s revamped “Manoid” ] Longtime friend and fellow-DLa member ThaneC recently has updated his personal/portfolio site, eightyeightteeth.com. ThaneC’s site has been completely redesigned and reorganized, featuring easy navigation and generous presentation of core content. Every page is overflowing with creative juice — thumbnail galleries of artistic works, digital photos, and custom wallpapers are a pleasure to browse. Full-size versions of each creative piece “pop-up” upon command. ThaneC’s unpretentious wit and artistic sincerity furnish each page with insightful commentary and inside information concerning each delicious offering. Designed according to the principles of modern web design, ThaneC’s site now […] Read more »

Five-Step Feed-Portfolio Makeover

Recently, I found myself drowning in an ocean of RSS feeds. Even after switching to Google Reader, which definitely speeds up the process of plowing through posts, I was wasting too much time consuming subscribed content. Thus, in an effort to find balance between saving time and staying current, I executed the following five-step feed portfolio makeover: Drop lame feeds. Previously, I had subscribed to a number of feeds simply because they were recommended or mentioned in an article somewhere. Unfortunately, sound referrals and interesting commentary do not necessarily equate with strong syndicated content. I often found myself reading post […] Read more »

Mind-Blowing Web-2.0 Design Trends

The über-trendy “Web-2.0” paradigm seems to be floating quite comfortably throughout the blogosphere these days. In fact, with it’s current mainstream popularity, the Web-2.0 mentality enjoys de facto status as the dominating influence behind modern website development and design. Not too long ago, however, Web-2.0 hovered quietly amidst the thinking of cutting-edge entrepreneurs and developers, as they strove toward freshness, simplicity, and usability. Before it’s rise to media fame, Web 2.0 was merely a loosely defined set of concepts and ideals. As the concept materialized, representative sites emerged, and the Web-2.0 design aesthetic evolved into an easily recognizable collection of […] Read more »

Suspicious Behavior from Yahoo! Slurp Crawler

Most of the time, when I catch scumbags attempting to spam, scrape, leech, or otherwise hack my site, I stitch up a new voodoo doll and let the cursing begin. No, seriously, I just blacklist the idiots. I don’t need their traffic, and so I don’t even blink while slamming the doors in their faces. Of course, this policy presents a bit of a dilemma when the culprit is one of the four major search engines. Slamming the door on Yahoo! would be unwise, but if their Slurp crawler continues behaving suspiciously, I may have no choice. Check out the […] Read more »

Hosting Review: A Small Orange

Perishable Press switched to A Small Orange [ASO] in March of 2007. At the time, I was looking for highly recommended shared hosting with several key features: Update 2011/02/05: ASO is no longer my host. As this article explains, ASO service was great at the start, but after three years quality of service has declined considerably. There are some great people at ASO, but I can no longer recommend them for serious web hosting. For more information, check out my post on switching to Media Temple. Solid customer service and extremely reliable server uptime Unlimited domains with plenty of disk […] Read more »

Latest Tweets Excellent tutorial on using/customizing/testing Block Bad Queries plugin (BBQ): www.wpwhitesecurity.com/wordpr…