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WordPress .htaccess file

The WordPress core uses .htaccess for two things: Permalinks and Multisite. This means that .htaccess is only required if you have enabled either of these features. Otherwise, .htaccess is entirely optional for default WordPress installations. Beyond the WP core, many plugins also use the .htaccess file for custom directives involving rewrites, redirects, custom headers, file […] Continue »

WordPress Plugin: Blackhole Pro

Announcing the Pro version of my WordPress security plugin, Blackhole for Bad Bots. Like the free version, Blackhole Pro protects your site against bad bots, spammers, scrapers, scanners, and other automated threats. This increases site security and saves precious server resources for your legit visitors. It’s time to say “bye bye” to bad bots. Continue »

Build Your Own One-Click WordPress Content Importer

In this tutorial, I’m going to walk you through how you can add a new menu in WordPress Admin Area, where your users will be able to import any demo content — including widgets, their positions and navigation as well — by a single click. The code follows the best WordPress practices, uses WP Filesystem […] Continue »

WordPress Plugin: Prismatic

I’ve been using other plugins to display my code at Perishable Press, Plugin Planet, DigWP, and WP-Mix for years now. The other plugins have done the job, but there are things that I’ve always wanted to change. For example, syntax highlighting. I use syntax highlighting for code snippets at WP-Mix, but not on any of […] Continue »

Stop WordPress from modifying .htaccess

By default, depending on file permissions, WordPress automatically will modify the contents of your site’s .htaccess file. It does this on several occasions, adding and/or updating the rewrite rules required for WP’s permalink functionality. This post explains how this works, why it can be dangerous, and how to stop it from happening. Continue »

WordPress Plugin: Theme Switcha

Announcing my latest WordPress plugin, Theme Switcha! There are many theme-switch plugins but none of them provide the simplicity, performance, and reliability that I require for my own sites. So I wrote my own plugin using the WP API and kept the code as focused and solid as possible. Only essential theme-switching features have been […] Continue »

Lynda.com Course: Developing Secure WordPress Sites

After months of preparation and production, my new video course on developing secure WordPress sites is now available at Lynda.com. This is my second video course on securing WordPress; the first one was originally launched in 2011 and remained in Lynda’s library for over five years. I received a lot of great feedback on the […] Continue »

Some Q & A

Gonna start posting or deleting all of my old drafts just to clean things up back here in the Admin Area. For example, here is a post that I wanted to flesh out with specific examples and all sorts of references, but it’s just been sitting and waiting for too long, so now I’m just […] Continue »

Stop User Enumeration in WordPress

This tutorial explains how to block user-enumeration scans in WordPress. As explained in greater depth here, user enumeration happens when some malicious script scans a WordPress site for user data by requesting numerical user IDs. For example, requests for author=1 through some number, say, author=1000, may reveal the usernames for all associated users. With a […] Continue »

WordPress Performance Issue Revisited

Following up on my recent performance report with essentially some conclusive results. Turns out that the reported issue is related more directly to the version of PHP than to the version of WordPress. So in other words, WordPress runs a bit faster on newer versions of PHP. As explained previously, after I upgraded my sites […] Continue »

WordPress Plugin: Dashboard Widgets Suite

1 Plugin. 9 Widgets. Awesome Dashboard. Over the years, I’ve assembled a collection of Dashboard widgets that I use frequently on various sites. I find the WordPress Dashboard to be a convenient location for posting notes, viewing debug and error logs, and displaying social media icons, RSS feeds, and other useful information. I find these […] Continue »

Use Strong Usernames for Better Security

Image courtesy of eChunks.com Here is a quick security tip for people using popular apps on the Web. That is, apps like WordPress that may be widely used and targeted by bad actors and/or automated scripts. It’s all about adding another layer of security by hardening admin-level usernames.. Continue »

WordPress Performance Issue?

Just wanted to share a mysterious trend reported for my sites by Google Webmaster Tools, and ask if anyone else is seeing the same pattern. It looks like it’s related to the WordPress 4.4 update, but I’m not 100% sure, so putting the data out there in hopes that others can help shed some light […] Continue »

New Plugin: Blackhole for Bad Bots

Image Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech. Update: Pro version now available! Check out Blackhole Pro » Finally translated my Blackhole Spider Trap into a FREE WordPress plugin. It’s fun, fast, flexible, and works silently behind the scenes to protect your WordPress-powered site from malicious bots. Here are some of the features: Easy to set up Squeaky clean code […] Continue »

Protect Against WordPress Brute Force Amplification Attack

It seems the WordPress xmlrpc.php file is the target of another type of attack. Before, it was the XML-RPC Pingback Vulnerability. Now, it is the Brute Force Amplification Attack. This post explains what you need to know and then cuts to the chase with several ways to protect your site against this new malicious exploit, […] Continue »

WordPress Plugin: Enable WP Database Tools

Here is a lightweight WordPress plugin that enables you to optimize and repair InnoDB and MyISAM database tables. It uses WordPress’ built-in database optimization tools to get the job done. There are lots of great database optimization plugins out there, but this one is aimed specifically at easily optimizing and repairing InnoDB tables. Although it […] Continue »

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