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Web Dev + WordPress + Security
Author: Jeff Starr
931 Posts
Jeff StarrJeff Starr is a web developer, author, and teacher specializing in web security and building awesome things with WordPress. His favorite online projects include Plugin Planet, DigWP.com, and WP-Mix.com. Jeff writes books, runs his own business, writes about web development, and makes video tutorials at Lynda.com/LinkedIn. More »

Block Random String Comment Spam

Recently WordPress sites have been getting hammered with random-string comment spam. The attackers are clever, using random text strings for every vector except the payload, which usually is the URL used for the comment’s Name link. But for these weird comment spams, the apparent payload is the email address. It’s the only part of the comment that’s not made up of random gibberish. Continue reading »

HTML Abbreviations Cheat Sheet

Here is my custom list of abbreviations for commonly used terms, as written via HTML’s <abbr></abbr> tag. I’m posting this to make it available to anyone who finds it useful. Very handy when writing tutorials related to WordPress, web design and development. A quick copy/paste is much quicker than typing it all out. Without further ado, here is my “cheat sheet” of HTML abbreviations. Continue reading »

All CSS Filter Functions + Quick Copy/Paste Examples

CSS makes it easy to customize image appearance on the fly. So you don’t have to crank open your image editor and do any work there. You can apply many visual effects directly on the image using the CSS filter property. You can change image brightness, contrast, opacity, saturation — even do things like rotate hues, drop shadows, and blur the image. Browser support is solid for all major browsers. Continue reading »

Domain-Based, Site Specific Email Addresses FTW

I use domain-based emails for 99% of my email activity. The other 1% is comprised of assorted 3rd-party email services and temporary slash disposable addresses (like for testing purposes and one-off sign-ups, etc.). I can tell you whole-heartedly based on 20+ years working online that domain-based email is THE WAY to go. Continue reading »

DIY Server Uptime Monitor

There are many free (and commercial) uptime monitoring services that will alert you if your server goes offline. These services are popular because it’s mission critical to know when your sites are down. The sooner you know about it, the sooner you can scramble to get everything back online. I’ve tried other scripts and services but nothing that met my specific needs: simple, secure, lightweight and blazing fast. So decided roll my own DIY server status monitor and share it […] Continue reading »

Margin Offset for Anchor Targets with CSS or JavaScript

For sites using a fixed-position “sticky” header or similar, it’s necessary to add an offset margin to any on-page anchor targets. For example this recent article provides a Table of Contents menu with links to each section on the page. Click a link and the page scrolls down to the target element, which is an <h2></h2> heading tag. Thanks to one of the CSS solutions provided in this tutorial, the scrolling takes into account the page’s 50-pixel sticky header, so […] Continue reading »

All the Hyphens & Dashes

Typography is inspiring :) I recently posted about all the different HTML “X” characters. Then a tweet from Helge Klein inspired me to write a follow-up post showing all the different ways to write a dash or hyphen – character in HTML. Like most online content creators, I knew about &ndash; and &mdash;. But I didn’t realize there were so many other hyphen and dash characters. Continue reading »

WordPress get_comments_number() Not Working Correctly?

It seems that the WordPress function, get_comments_number(), is not working correctly. It is returning inconsistent results for posts with zero comments, pingbacks, or trackbacks. Sometimes the function returns true, other times false. It’s just random, from what I’ve been able to tell. So maybe a bug, or maybe something I am missing. Not a big deal, just looking for clues.. Continue reading »

WordPress: Display Posts on a Page with Paging and Navigation

In WordPress themes and plugins, the Loop is used to display posts on the front end. Typically the Loop displays either a single post (like when you’re viewing a blog post), or multiple posts (like when you’re viewing a category archive). Things get more tricky however, when you want to display posts on a page. Continue reading »

Breaking Away from Big Social Media

It feels SO GOOD to move away from big social media sites. You know the ones. During the first few years when Facebook and Twitter were first getting started (like back around 2007 ish), I followed the herd and jumped on board. Started posting stuff. Added the little social buttons on all of my websites. Even wrote some tutorials about Twitter and other social media. I was into it. Big time. These days though, not so much. More and more, […] Continue reading »

Redirect Stupid Bots to Existing Resources

In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m on another one of my posting sprees. Going through the past year’s worth of half-written drafts and collected code snippets, and sharing anything that might be useful or interesting. Here is a bit of .htaccess that brings together several redirection techniques into a singular plug-&-play code snippet. Continue reading »

Evolution of a Work Schedule

My journey from working a boring full-time production job to working as an independent web developer began almost 20 years ago. I spent the first five or six years working two full-time jobs. On top of my regular 40-hour a week job, I worked another 30 to 40 hours a week learning how to build websites. Continue reading »

Simple Request Router via PHP and Apache/.htaccess

I’ve written many articles about how to redirect requests. Even so, I still get questions about how to set up a simple HTTP request router. As in you want to redirect or route all requests to some file or location. This is useful for building CMSs and scripts that handle traffic. For example, WordPress uses a simple request router when permalinks are enabled. For this tutorial, we’ll set this up using Apache/.htaccess and PHP. Continue reading »

Deleting Unused Online Accounts

Like many of you, I have been working online for years now, more than most. Over the course of the past 20 years, I have created accounts at hundreds and hundreds of websites. That includes all the work-related stuff, like web development, plus LOTS of social media sites, online services for everything from email to security monitoring. Not to mention all of the accounts created for mundane things like banking, utilities, Internet and phone service, and so forth. Continue reading »

Target User Agents and Reduce Spam via robots.txt

Your website’s robots.txt file probably contains some rules that tell compliant search engines and other bots which pages they can visit, and which are not allowed, etc. In most of the robots.txt files that I’ve looked at, all of the Allow and Disallow rules are applied to all user agents. This is done with the wildcard operator, which is written as an asterisk *, like this: User-agent: * This site’s robots.txt file provides a typical example. All of the allow/disallow […] Continue reading »

Disable Highlighting in Comments with Prismatic WordPress Plugin

Prismatic is a free WordPress plugin that adds syntax highlighting to code samples. You can use either Highlight.js or Prism.js to make your code snippets look amazing. By default, Prismatic highlights code snippets in both post content and post comments. This quick tutorial shows how to disable highlighting in post comments by adding a simple code snippet to your WordPress. Estimated time to complete ~2 minutes. Continue reading »

Welcome
Perishable Press is operated by Jeff Starr, a professional web developer and book author with two decades of experience. Here you will find posts about web development, WordPress, security, and more »
.htaccess made easy: Improve site performance and security.
Thoughts
DIY: Monitor File Changes via Cron working perfectly for over a decade.
Mastodon social is a trip. Glad I found it.
As a strict rule, I never use cache plugins on any of my sites. They cause more problems than they solve, imho. Just not worth it.
Currently on a posting spree :)
6 must come before 7.
My top three favorite-to-write coding languages: CSS, PHP, JavaScript.
If you’re not 100% sure that you can trust something, you can’t.
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