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Error-Free Feed-Validation Links for Feedburner-Redirected Feeds

Just a quick tip on how to create error-free links to feed validation services for feeds that are redirected through Feedburner. For example, let’s say our site’s main feed is originally located at: http://domain.tld/feed/ If we wanted to provide our visitors with a link that would enable them to automatically validate our feed using a free service such as 1, we would create the link as follows: Read more »

Blacklist Candidate Number 2008-02-10

Welcome to the Perishable Press “Blacklist Candidate” series. In this post, we continue our new tradition of exposing, humiliating and banishing spammers, crackers and other worthless scumbags.. Scumbag number 2008-02-10, “COME ON DOWN!!” — you’re the next baboon to get banished from the site! Like many bloggers, I like to spend a little quality time each week examining my site’s error logs. The data contained in Apache, 404, and even PHP error logs is always enlightening. In addition to suspicious behavior, spam nonsense, and cracker mischief, this site frequently endures automated and even manual attacks targeting various XSS exploits, WordPress […] Read more »

Permalink Evolution: Customize and Optimize Your Dated WordPress Permalinks

How to streamline and maximize the effectiveness of your WordPress URLs by using htaccess to remove extraneous post-date information: years, months, and days.. Recently, there has been much discussion about whether or not to remove the post-date information from WordPress permalinks 1. Way back during the WordPress 1.2/1.5 days, URL post-date inclusion had become very popular, in part due to reports of potential conflicts with post-name-only permalinks. Throw in the inevitable “monkey-see, monkey-do” mentality typical of many bloggers, and suddenly an entire wave of WordPressers had adopted the following permalink structure: /%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%/ The benefits of using this format are primarily organizational […] Read more »

Lessons Learned Concerning the Clearfix CSS Hack

I use the CSS clearfix hack on nearly all of my sites. The clearfix hack — also known as the “Easy Clearing Hack” — is used to clear floated divisions (divs) without using structural markup. It is very effective in resolving layout issues and browser inconsistencies without the need to mix structure with presentation. Over the course of the past few years, I have taken note of several useful bits of information regarding the Easy Clear Method. In this article, I summarize these lessons learned and present a (slightly) enhanced version of the clearfix hack.. Read more »

Optimizing Google Analytics Performance

It has occurred to me lately that I no longer use Google Analytics for Perishable Press. Instead, I find myself keeping an eye on things using Mint almost exclusively. So, the question now is: do I continue serving the GA JavaScript to keep the profile active just in case I ever need the additional stats? I mean, Mint already does a great job at recording all of information I could ever need, so I no longer see the use for Google Analytics. I do wonder, however, if Google ranks GA-enabled sites a bit higher than non-GA sites. Hmmm.. it seems […] Read more »

Advanced PHP Error Handling via PHP

In my previous articles on PHP error handling, I explain the process whereby PHP error handling may be achieved using htaccess. Handling (logging, reporting) PHP errors via htaccess requires the following: Access/editing privileges for htaccess files A server running PHP via Apache, not CGI (e.g., phpSuExec) 1 Ability to edit/change permissions for files on your server If you are having trouble handling PHP errors using htaccess, these three items are the first things to check. If it turns out that you are unable to use htaccess to work with PHP errors, don’t despair — this article explains how to achieve the […] Read more »

Minimalist Web Design Showcase: Equivocality

“Exploring Minimalist Thought and Expression in Contemporary Web Design” Welcome to a new series of articles exploring minimalism in modern web (and graphic) design. With this post, we begin our exploration of the Web’s most inspiring and intriguing minimalist presentations. Staying true to the spirit of minimalism, each showcase will be kept as clear and concise as possible, focusing on tangible and practical aspects of each featured site. We will discuss aesthetics and functionality on both sides of the browser, examining elegance and simplicity within a Web-Standards context.. For our premier review, I have chosen Jeff Ngan’s recently redesigned site, […] Read more »

What is the Difference Between XHTML 1.0 Strict and XHTML 1.1?

As some of you (e.g., Louis) may have noticed during the recent site redesign, I decided to switch the default doctype from XHTML 1.0 Strict to XHTML 1.1. Just in case you were wondering, XHTML 1.1 is different than XHTML 1.0 in three important ways 1: On every element, the lang attribute has been removed in favor of the xml:lang attribute On the a and map elements, the name attribute has been removed in favor of the id attribute The “ruby” collection of elements has been added Beyond these three differences, XHTML 1.1 is identical to XHTML 1.0. Personally, I chose […] Read more »

Important Note for Your Custom Error Pages

Just a note to web designers and code-savvy bloggers: make sure your custom error pages are big enough for the ever-amazing < cough> Internet Explorer browser. If your custom error pages are too small, IE will take the liberty of serving its own proprietary web page, replete with corporate linkage and poor grammar. How big, baby? Well, that’s a good question. In order for users of Internet Explorer to enjoy your carefully crafted custom error pages, they need to exceed 512 bytes in size. Using proper doctype markup, your custom pages should include more than around 10 lines (roughly) of […] Read more »

First 30 Days without Bad Behavior

Approximately 30 days ago, I completely uninstalled the Bad Behavior plugin from Perishable Press. As you may recall, many Bad Behavior users were unexpectedly locked out of their own sites and forced to either uninstall or upgrade in order to fix the problem. Of course, in my perpetual battle to optimize and streamline everything, I decided to drop Bad Behavior from the otherwise obligatory WordPress anti-spam trinity. 30 days later.. I am happy to report that Perishable Press has not seen a noticeable increase in comment spam since the removal of the Bad Behavior plugin. Of course, during the past […] Read more »

Comprehensive URL Canonicalization via htaccess for WordPress-Powered Sites

Permalink URL canonicalization is automated via PHP in WordPress 2.3+, however, for those of us running sites on pre-2.3 versions or preferring to deal with rewrites directly via Apache, comprehensive WordPress URL canonicalization via htaccess may seem impossible. While there are several common methods that are partially effective, there has not yet been available a complete, user-friendly solution designed specifically for WordPress. Until now.. In this article, I share my “secret” htaccess URL canonicalization formula. I originally developed this method in July of 2007, and have been using it successfully on a variety of WordPress-powered sites since that time. Thus, […] Read more »

Coldskins: Custom CSS Skins for Contact Coldform

Update (2012/11/08): Contact Coldform is updated with new built-in “coldskins” and option to add your own custom styles. The coldskins on this page still work for previous versions of the Coldform, but are replaced by the built-in styles for version 20121031+. With the recent release of my latest WordPress plugin, Contact Coldform, I am also creating a series of free, “drop-in” CSS skins for easy, “plug-n-play” customization. These skins employ valid, optimized CSS code designed for the following browsers: Firefox 2 (mac & pc) Internet Explorer 6 Internet Explorer 7 Opera 9 (mac & pc) Netscape Camino Safari The goal […] Read more »

Advanced PHP Error Handling via htaccess

In my previous article on logging PHP errors, How to Enable PHP Error Logging via htaccess, we observed three fundamental aspects of preventing, preserving, and protecting your site’s PHP errors: Prevent public display of PHP errors via htaccess # supress php errors php_flag display_startup_errors off php_flag display_errors off php_flag html_errors off php_value docref_root 0 php_value docref_ext 0 Preserve (log) your site’s PHP errors via htaccess # enable PHP error logging php_flag log_errors on php_value error_log /home/path/public_html/domain/PHP_errors.log Protect your site’s PHP error log via htaccess # prevent access to PHP error log <files PHP_errors.log> Order allow,deny Deny from all Satisfy All […] Read more »

Blacklist Candidate Number 2008-01-02

Come one, come all — today we officially begin a new series of posts here at Perishable Press: the public exposure, humiliation, and banishment of spammers, crackers, and other site attackers. Kicking things off for 2008: blacklist candidate number 2008-01-02! Every Wednesday, I take a little time to investigate my 404 error logs. In addition to spam, crack attacks, and other deliberate mischief, the 404 logs for Perishable Press contain errors due to missing resources, mistyped URLs, and the occasional bizarre or even suspicious behavior of the search-engine robots. Whenever possible, I attempt to resolve a majority of the “fixable” […] Read more »

Optimize WordPress: Pure Code Alternatives for 7 Unnecessary Plugins

In this article, my goal is to help you optimize WordPress by replacing a few common plugins with their correspondingly effective code equivalents. As we all know, WordPress can be a very resource-hungry piece of software, especially when running a million extraneous plugins. Often, many common plugins are designed to perform relatively simple tasks, such as redirect a feed, display a random image, or return a database value. For those of us comfortable with editing PHP and htaccess code, there is no need to bloat WordPress with additional plugins for the sake of a few routine tasks. For each of […] Read more »

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