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Unicode Character Reference for Bloggers

Virtually every article written here at Perishable Press requires at least one or two “special” characters. Some of these characters — such as quotation marks, hyphens, and dashes — are very common, while others — such as the copyright symbol, bullet, and arrow — happen less frequently. As a blogger, I find myself repeatedly using a select handful of very common special characters. Very rarely do I ever find myself blogging a latin “Ä” (i.e., capital letter “A” with a diaeresis). To save time and effort, I need a quick reference that targets only the characters I find useful as […] Read more »

Slideshow Code for Dead Letter Art

Pardon this post! I am posting this information online for personal references purposes. I may need to revisit this code at some point in the future, and if I post it here I will always know where to find it (trust me, it would disappear into the abyss if I tried storing it offline). So, although it is intended solely for myself, feel free to extract and use anything you like, as long as commented attribution remains. What we have here are two different methods for including a slideshow on a web page. The first method employs the techniques discussed […] 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 »

Absolutely Fabulous Browser Bookmarklet Things

..Or something. Frankly, I just needed an excuse to post these steaming little beauties online. Please note that I don’t lay claim 1 to most of these browser bookmarklet/favelet tricks, but I do find them extremely useful. They are posted here for the sake of convenience and for reference purposes, so use at your own risk (i.e., I am not responsible if they crash your browser). Although I use most of these bad boys with Firefox, I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if they also functioned properly in other modern browsers. Nonetheless, along with each bookmarklet/favelet thing, I try to provide as […] Read more »

How to Block IP Addresses with PHP

Figuratively speaking, hunting down and killing spammers, scrapers, and other online scum remains one of our favorite pursuits. Once we have determined that a particular IP address is worthy of banishment, we generally invoke the magical powers of htaccess to lock the gates. When htaccess is not available, we may summon the versatile functionality of PHP to get the job done. This method is relatively straightforward. Simply edit, copy and paste the following code example into the top of any PHP for which you wish to block access: Read more »

The Search is on for High-Quality, Ad-Free Sites

Shouts out: First of all, to everyone who reads my content on a regular basis, thank you! Things are finally rolling along quite smoothly, and I just wanted to take a moment to let you know that I truly appreciate your kind participation with Perishable Press. We have some great things planned in the near future, and look forward to sharing them with you. Business Currently, I have several new projects in the works. I am redesigning my business site, Monzilla Media, developing several new blogs, and reporting here as much as possible throughout the process. These projects should provide a […] Read more »

SEO 101: Best Practices

After studying Peter Kent’s excellent book, Search Engine Optimization for Dummies, several key methods emerged for optimizing websites for the search engines. Although the book is written for people who are new to the world of search engine optimization (SEO), many of the principles presented throughout the book remain important, fundamental practices even for the most advanced SEO-wizards. This article divulges these very useful SEO practices and organizes them into manageable chunks 1. Text Essentials The golden rule for developing a popular website is to create a useful site and share it with as many people as possible. When designing […] Read more »

Harvesting cPanel Raw Access Logs

Harvesting Raw Logs For those of us using cPanel as the control panel for our websites, a wealth of information is readily available via cPanel ‘Raw Access Logs’. These logs are perpetually updated with data involving user agents, IP addresses, HTTP activity, resource access, and a whole lot more. Here is a quick tutorial on accessing and interpreting your cPanel raw access logs. Part One: Grab ‘em To grab a copy of your raw access logs, log into cPanel and click on the "Raw Access Logs" icon. Within the Raw Access Log interface, scroll through the list of available log […] Read more »

Smooth Operators: Sharpen your Google Search Skills

Coming soon to the World Wide Web: Everything. The perpetually evolving sum of human knowledge available online. Anywhere. Anytime. So, what are you looking for? Information concerning something, somewhere, about somebody.. You know it’s there somewhere. Sure, you could waste time by digging through that immense labyrinth of browser bookmarks, maybe eventually finding that one link that may or may not lead you to the page that you remember.. No thanks. The Web is far too rich in information to limit it with a few bookmarks. Ah yes, tags — that’s it! Social bookmarking to the rescue. Okay now, let’s […] Read more »

Wild Bill Recommends: Bizarre Flash Diversions

“Perhaps it’s time for a bizarre diversion…” — Wild Bill recommends these bizarre Flash websites for your personal entertainment, education, and enjoyment: monoface For a few delightful moments of splendid online fun, prance on over to the hilariously interactive Flash interface currently on display at monoface. Once there, click the "shuffle face" link a few times to get the general idea, and then graduate to plastic surgeon by clicking on the various facial components themselves. Each click mixes androgynous Flash flesh further and further into bizarro land, where smooth blending manifests disturbed visions of hermaphroditic unrest.. heiwa-alpha.co.jp Flexing some incredible […] Read more »

Search Engine Registration Notes

In his excellent book, Search Engine Optimization for Dummies, Peter Kent explains that many search engines actually get their search results from one (or more) of the larger search engines, such as Google or The Open Directory Project. Therefore, the author concludes that it may not be necessary to spend endless hours registering with thousands of the smaller search sites. Rather, the author provides a brief list of absolutely essential search sites with which it is highly recommended to register. Further, by registering with the following sites, your site will be listed in a significant majority of all search engines. Read more »

SEO 101: Establishing and Evolving an Effective Link Strategy

Optimizing your website for the search engines involves many important aspects including keyword development, search engine registration, and SEO logging. This Press post scopes yet another critical weapon in the SEO wars: establishing and evolving an effective link campaign. Within your SEO log, you should devote an entire section to the logging of all link-related activity associated with optimizing your site for the internet. For example, you may wish to subcategorize your link campaign according to whether the links are elsewhere, pointing to your site (referring/incoming links), or present within your site, pointing to other sites (external/outgoing links). Users may […] Read more »

The Return of Dead Letter Art

Dead Letter Art (DLa) is an esoteric underground art collective. The collective consists of eight core members that have known each other since high school, and have been creating and sharing their art for well over fifteen years. Sharing many common interests and influences, the DLa collective explores diverse artistic media, both individually and collectively. Their vast media expertise includes everything from drawing and painting to website development and multimedia production. Further, the group also embraces the fine art of desktop publishing, employing their periodically printed zine, Dead Letter Art, with their recently redesigned website, DeadLetterArt.com (taken offline in 2011), […] Read more »

Cultivating a Successful Screenshot Archive

Let’s face it. Websites are as transient as the wind. Developers and designers spend countless hours producing sites that may exist online for mere months or even less before being restructured, redesigned or removed completely, forever disappearing into eternal nothingness — or, even worse, into the sterile void of a search engine database. Clearly not the best situation for designers looking to maintain a complete record of their online work. Even for sites proactively encouraging their caching and archiving by the search engines, accurate and reliable online site preservation approaches the impossible. Unfortunately, search engines are extremely inconsistent when it […] Read more »

Essential Mint Extensions

Mint As many statistics freaks already know, Mint is an excellent way to keep a close eye on your site’s visitors, referrers, most requested resources, and much more. Even better, Mint’s functionality is easily enhanced via a growing collection of free extensions referred to as "Peppers". Peppers provide Mint functionality for a wide range of statistical operations, including everything from geographical IP information to nice, graphical summaries of collected data. While we have not tried every Pepper available today, we have managed to incorporate an extremely powerful arsenal of statistical weaponry that keeps us well-informed about our site’s online activity. […] Read more »