Web Design
Category Archive

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 »

Three Ways to Allow Hotlinking in Specific Directories

After implementing any of the hotlink-prevention techniques described in our previous article, you may find it necessary to disable hotlink-protection for a specific directory. By default, htaccess rules apply to the directory in which it is located, as well as all subdirectories contained therein. There are (at least) three ways to enable selective hotlinking: Place hotlink images in an alternate directory This method works great if your hotlink-protection rules are located in a directory other than the site root. Simply create another directory outside of the directory containing the htaccess rules and place your hotlink-allowed images into that directory. Create […] 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 »

Stupid htaccess Trick: Enable File or Directory Access to Your Password-Protected Site

In this brief tutorial, we are going to enable users to access any file or directory of a site that is password-protected via htaccess. There are many reasons for wanting to employ this technique, including: Share public resources from an otherwise private site Enable visitors to access content during site maintenance Testing and formatting of layout and design during development As a webmaster, I have used this technique on several occasions. This trick works great for allowing access to any number of files, directories, and/or combination of both. We will begin with a generalized example, proceed with an explanatory discussion, […] 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 »

Creating the Ultimate htaccess Anti-Hotlinking Strategy

When I wrote my article, Stupid htaccess Tricks, a couple of years ago, hotlink-protection via htaccess was becoming very popular. Many webmasters and bloggers were getting tired of wasting bandwidth on hotlinked resources, and therefore turned to the power of htaccess to protect their content. At that time, there were only a couple of different hotlink-protection methods available on the internet, and the functional difference between them was virtually insignificant. All that was necessary for up-and-coming bloggers-slash-site-administrators to eliminate leaking bandwidth and stolen resources was a relatively straightforward copy-&-paste procedure. Implementing the de facto htaccess hotlink protection code required a […] Read more »

Open External Links as Blank Targets via Unobtrusive JavaScript

Beginning with this article, I am serving up a short series of unobtrusive JavaScript functions that I use to enhance the functionality of Perishable Press. In this post, I present a comprehensive JavaScript method of opening external links in new windows (or tabs, depending on the browser). One way of opening links in new windows is to insert the HTML target=”_blank” attribute into all necessary anchor elements (<a href=””></a>). This method works well, but generates validation errors when used with XHTML-Strict doctypes. A better solution is to employ some unobtrusive JavaScript to progressively enhance your documents with “blank-target” functionality. Using […] Read more »

Easily Adaptable WordPress Loop Templates

In this article, I present several heavily commented examples of WordPress loops. I have found that many readers appreciate these types of loop examples, as it helps them to understand how the loop works while enabling them to easily copy, paste, and adapt the code for their own purposes. In our first example, we examine a basic WordPress loop. When implemented, this loop will display “x” number of posts, where “x” represents the number specified via the WordPress Admin reading options panel. To use this code, simply copy & paste into your WordPress theme’s index.php file 1 and customize accordingly. Read more »

Prevent JavaScript Elements from Breaking Page Layout when Following Yahoo Performance Tip #6: Place Scripts at the Bottom

By now, everyone is familiar with the Yahoo Developer Network’s 14 “best-practices” for speeding up your website. Certainly, many (if not all) of these performance optimization tips are ideal for high-traffic sites such as Yahoo or Google, but not all of them are recommended for smaller sites such as Perishable Press. Nonetheless, throughout the current site renovation project, I have attempted to implement as many of these practices as possible. At the time of this writing, I somehow have managed to score an average 77% (whoopee!) via the YSlow extension for Firebug. Of the handful of these tips that I […] Read more »

News Phlash for Phishers: Grammar are Critical if You Want to Stealing from People

“Oh no, not again!” It looks like another one of my non-existent bank accounts has been blocked at Bank of America. But that’s cool, because I like, totally graduated from third grade. Knowing best for all grammar and words in email. Let’s examine yet another idiotic phishing attempt, shall we? First, let’s have a look at the full-meal deal (sans bank logos, links, and other forged minutia): Read more »

New Mobile CSS Styles for Perishable Press

The amount of time I spend surfing the Web from a mobile device has steadily increased since the acquisition of my new favorite mobile device. Unfortunately, many sites have yet to implement (or even consider) support for mobile devices. Without proper formatting, such sites are virtually useless, requiring unnecessary download times, displaying unreadable pages, and serving unusable content. Given the inevitable ubiquity of mobile access to the World Wide Web, providing reasonable support for handheld browsers is becoming increasingly important. Without it, your site is left looking incomplete and unprofessional when viewed from mobile devices. So, with that said, today […] Read more »

Killer Collection of CSS Resets

Update! Check out CSSresetr for an easy way to test and download the best reset styles for your next design. Using CSS to style semantically meaningful (X)HTML markup is an important key to modern web design practices. In a perfect world, every browser would interpret and apply all CSS rules in exactly the same way. However, in the imperfect world in which we live, quite the opposite frequently happens to be the case: many CSS styles are displayed differently in virtually every browser. Many, if not all, major modern browsers (e.g., Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer, Netscape, et al) implement their […] Read more »

Ultimate htaccess Blacklist 2 (Compressed Version)

In our original htaccess blacklist article, we provide an extensive list of bad user agents. This so-called “Ultimate htaccess Blacklist” works great at blocking many different online villains: spammers, scammers, scrapers, scrappers, rippers, leechers — you name it. Yet, despite its usefulness, there is always room for improvement. For example, as reader Greg suggests, a compressed version of the blacklist would be very useful. In this post, we present a compressed version of our Ultimate htaccess Blacklist that features around 50 new agents. Whereas the original blacklist is approximately 8.6KB in size, the compressed version is only 3.4KB, even with […] Read more »

Miscellaneous Happenings

Many changes around here lately — new styles, new software, new hardware, and a whole lot more. I will be covering several of these items in greater depth in future posts, but for now, here is an overview of some of the recent happenings unfolding here in Perishable land.. New Mobile Styles I finally took the time to throw down some tuff mobile CSS styles for Perishable Press. Before, the site was virtually impossible to use via mobile devices because of the comprehensively applied screen styles, which completely overwhelm the screen real-estate and system resources of the average mobile device. […] 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 »

WordPress Spam Battle: 3 Seconds that will Save You Hours of Time

In the hellish battle against spam, many WordPress users have adopted a highly effective trinity of anti-spam plugins: Akismet Bad Behavior (404 link removed 2012/06/04) Spam Karma This effective triage of free WordPress plugins has served many a WP-blogger well, eliminating virtually 99% of all automated comment-related spam. When spam first became a problem for me, I installed this triple-threat arsenal of anti-spam plugins and immediately enjoyed the results. Although Spam Karma seemed a little invasive and resource-intensive, too much protection seemed far better than not enough. Even so, during the most recent redesign of the site, one of my […] Read more »

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