Preventing the Unpredictable White Screen of Death for WordPress Sites with Multiple Themes

For the past several months and up until just recently, Perishable Press had been suffering from unpredictable episodes of the dreaded white screen of death. Although blank white screens happen to virtually all WordPress users now and then, certain configurations seem to trigger crashes more frequently than others. Here, I am referring to WordPress version 2.3. In this case, the unpredictable crashes, inconsistent errors, and general instability began several months ago after I had completed my WordPress theme restoration project. Prior to that, I had removed all of my alternate themes and placed them on a subdomain. Meanwhile, after the […] Read more »

3 Ways to Exclude Content from WordPress Feeds

This may surprise you, but I post quite a bit of content that never appears in the site’s main feed. It is my impression that a vast majority of subscribers are interested in web/graphic-design and development-related topics, and are really much less interested (if at all) in the miscellaneous odds and ends that wind up in the ever-expanding Perishable Press database. In the past, the process of excluding content from the main feed typically involved changing the post-date to something at least a year or so in the past. The thinking was that I could always return to these posts […] Read more »

WordPress Hack: Multiple Email Recipients for Contact Coldform

In the current version of my custom contact-form WordPress plugin, Contact Coldform, there is no built-in method of sending emails to multiple addresses. The thought of adding such functionality had not occurred to me until recently, when a Coldform user asked about enabling it. After a bit of investigation, it turns out that integrating multiple-recipient functionality into Contact Coldform is as easy as it is practical. I will definitely be adding this feature to the next release of the Coldform, however, here is the modification procedure for those who just can’t wait. Read more »

WordPress Tip: Quick Hack to Block Spam for the Wordspew Shoutbox Chat Plugin

Recently, I reactivated an older version (1.16) of Jalenack’s Wordspew Shoutbox plugin for the Dead Letter Art Chat Forum. The DLa collective has been working on a new issue of their ‘zine and needed an easy online chat location for impromptu business dealz (ideas, planning, etc.). Almost immediately after reactivating the Shoutbox plugin, the chat forum was flooded with an endless wave of spam. The rate and volume of spam was so high as to render the forum utterly useless. — Ugh. Update: We now use Simple Ajax Chat for all of our chat-forum needs. It’s supa fresh. Read more »

Consolidate and Localize Your WordPress Feeds

Recently, I found occasion to consolidate and localize my WordPress feeds. A couple of years ago, shortly after I first began using Feedburner to deliver and monitor my site’s feeds, I began listing my Feedburner-assigned feed URL in addition to my localized WordPress feed URL. As time went on, inconsistent feed linkage here at Perishable Press had greatly convoluted the feed-subscription process. Confounding factors include: Read more »

WordPress Tip: Update Email Address in the WordPress Database

Several months ago, I changed my email address to stop spam. Since then, I have been updating every instance of my old address that I can find. In WordPress, I edited all of my theme files and updated my profile information in the “Users” admin area. Several days later while digging through the comments table in the WordPress database, I realized that the user-profile update is only pro-actively effective. There were still hundreds of instances of my old email address associated with comment-author information in the comments table. No big whoop for some, but the devastating inconsistency of it all […] Read more »

Three Unsolved WordPress Mysteries

After several years of using WordPress, I have at least three unanswered questions: What’s up with the WordPress PHP Memory Error? Why do certain phrases trigger “Forbidden” errors when saving or publishing posts? What happened to the Plugin Pages in the WordPress Codex? Let’s have a look at each one of these baffling mysteries.. Read more »

Redirect WordPress Feeds to Feedburner via htaccess (Redux)

In a previous article, I explain how to redirect your WordPress feeds to Feedburner. Redirecting your WordPress feeds to Feedburner enables you to take advantage of their many freely provided, highly useful tracking and statistical services. Although there are a few important things to consider before optimizing your feeds and switching to Feedburner, many WordPress users redirect their blog’s two main feeds — “main content” and “all comments” — using either a plugin or directly via htaccess. Here is the htaccess code as previously provided here at Perishable Press: Read more »

How to Display Your Twitter Posts on Your WordPress Blog

Alright, time for another “How’d-you-do-that-thing-on-your-site?” post. This question comes from the one and only Mr. Graham of ImJustCreative.com. In a recent email, Graham literally begged me to share my “secret recipe” for displaying my latest Twitter Tweets (wow, did I actually just say that?) right here on Perishable Press: …Would be really really decent of you if you could let me know how to do it? Pretty please? How do you call the last twitter feed, what commands do you need etc? In case you have no idea what we’re talking about here, scroll down to the bottom of any […] Read more »

WordPress Tip: Careful with that Autosave, Eugene

After upgrading WordPress from version 2.0.5 to 2.3.3, I did some experimenting with the “post autosave” feature. The autosave feature uses some crafty ajax to automagically save your post every 2 minutes (120 seconds by default). Below the post-editing field, you will notice a line of text that displays the time of the most recent autosave, similar to the following: Surely, this relatively new feature provides an added layer of protection against lost work, but all is not perfect (yet) in the world of automatically saved content. Several months ago, I lost several hours of work because the autosave feature […] Read more »

WordPress Tip: Remove Spam from the Comment Subscription Manager

After investigating some unusual 404 errors the other day, I found myself digging through the WordPress Admin trying to locate the “Subscribe to Comments” options panel. As it turns out, administrative options for the Subscribe to Comments plugin are split into two different areas. First, the S2C plugin provides configuration options under “Options > Subscribe to Comments”, which enables users to tweak everything from subscription messages to custom CSS styles. New to me was the other half of the S2C administration area: the Subscription Manager! Carefully hidden under “Manage > Subscriptions”, the Subscription Manager provides several useful ways to filter your email subscribers: Read more »

What is My WordPress Feed URL?

For future reference, this article covers each of the many ways to access your WordPress-generated feeds. Several different URL formats are available for the various types of WordPress feeds — posts, comments, and categories — for both permalink and default URL structures. For each example, replace “http://domain.tld/” with the URL of your blog. Note: even though your blog’s main feed is accessible through many different URLs, there are clear benefits to using a single, consistent feed URL throughout your site. Read more »

Perishable News: Site Upgrades, Upcoming Interview, and PageRank Update

Ever since writing that last review article, I have been feeling the need to cut loose, relax, and blog about something a little more “down-to-earth,” like recent things that have been happening around here. If you are new to Perishable Press, rest assured that I try to keep these “site/personal news” update posts down to a minimum. Whenever possible, I save up a bunch of interesting off-topic things that I want to talk about, and then cram them all together into a multipurpose article like this one. I have found that consolidating and summarizing multiple news items into one post […] Read more »

Arabic Version of Contact Coldform Released

Announcing an improved, Arabic version of my latest WordPress plugin, Contact Coldform. The new version features complete UTF-8 compatibility and has been completely translated to the Arabic language. Here is a detailed breakdown of changes made for the Arabic version: Completely translated to Arabic Encoded in UTF-8 without BOM Emails now sent in HTML format Added line breaks in HTML format Right-to-left text presentation Customized layout for Arabic Full UTF-8 support Of course, none of this would have been possible without the generous help of: Rasheed, for translating the plugin to Arabic Mustafa Saadi, for doing everything else ;) For more […] Read more »

WordPress Discussion Management: Enable or Disable Comments and Pingbacks via SQL

Continuing my quest to stop comment spam without using plugins, I have decided to disable comments on “old” posts. In my experience, over 90% of comment, trackback and pingback spam occurs on posts that have been online for over a month or so, just long enough to be indexed by the search engines and picked up by spammers. Especially for older posts that have managed to acquire a little page rank, the frequency of spam attempts is far greater than it is for fresher content. Throw dofollow comment status into the mix, and say “hello” to a hellish number of […] Read more »

Improve Site Performance by Increasing PHP Memory for WordPress

During the recent ASO server debacle, I raced frantically to restore functionality to Perishable Press. Along the way, one of the many tricks that I tried while trying to fix the dreaded “white screen of death” syndrome involved increasing the amount of PHP memory available to WordPress. This fix worked for me, but may not prove effective on every installation of WordPress. If you are unsure as to whether or not you need to increase your PHP memory, consult with your host concerning current available memory 1 and overall compatibility with a localized increase. Note that if your blog is running […] Read more »

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