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Web Dev + WordPress + Security
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904 posts (organized by popularity)

Importing WordPress Users via CSV Files

I recently did some time in Microsoft Excel, preparing large CSV files for import into WordPress. Each of these CSV files contained data for 1000 WordPress users. Here is a screenshot showing the structure of the file: Conceptually, the idea is simple: import the data to create actual users for a WordPress-powered site. The trick is to clean the data as much as possible to ensure valid username and password information. Once the data is good, importing is easy using […] Continue reading »

Display Random Posts from Specific Tags or Categories in WordPress

When developing the colorful Quintessential Theme (opens in new tab), I initially planned on displaying five random posts from each of my most popular tags and categories in the super-slick sliding-panel sidebar. Because I am running an older version of WordPress, however, this task proved to be quite the educational experience. In newer versions (from 2.5 I think) of WordPress, the query_posts() function enables users to display posts in random order using the orderby=rand parameter. This would have made my […] Continue reading »

WordPress Plugin: Contact Coldform

Welcome to the homepage for Contact Coldform, a secure, lightweight, flexible contact form with plenty of options and squeaky clean markup. Coldform blocks spam while making it easy for your visitors to contact you from your WordPress-powered website. The comprehensive Settings Page makes it easy to take full control with plenty of options and several built-in themes for styling the form. Coldform delivers everything you need and nothing you don’t — no frills, no gimmicks, just pure contact-form satisfaction. Now […] Continue reading »

Perfect Rounded Corners with CSS

A great way to enhance the visual appearance of various block-level elements is to use a “rounded-corner” effect. For example, throughout the current design for this site, I am using rounded corners on several different types of elements, including image borders, content panels, and even pre-formatted code blocks. Some of these rounded-corner effects are accomplished via multiple <div></div>s and a few background images, while others are created strictly with CSS. Of these two different methods, extra images and markup are […] Continue reading »

Protect Against Malicious POST Requests

Whether you like it or not, there are scripts and bots out there hammering away at your sites with endless HTTP “POST” requests. POST requests are sort of the opposite of GET requests. Instead of getting some resource or file from the server, data is being posted or sent to it. To illustrate, normal surfing around the Web involves your browser making series of GET requests for all the resources required for each web page. HTML, JavaScript, CSS, images, et […] Continue reading »

Basic DOS Commands

DOS (Disk Operation System) is a tool which allows you to control the operation of the IBM PC. DOS is software which was written to control hardware. Here is a summary of some essential DOS commands. Continue reading »

Disable Trace and Track for Better Security

The shared server on which I host Perishable Press was recently scanned by security software that revealed a significant security risk. Namely, the HTTP request methods TRACE and TRACK were found to be enabled on my webserver. The TRACE and TRACK protocols are HTTP methods used in the debugging of webserver connections. Although these methods are useful for legitimate purposes, they may compromise the security of your server by enabling cross-site scripting attacks (XST). By exploiting certain browser vulnerabilities, an […] Continue reading »

Awesome New CSS3 Selectors

The W3C CSS Working Group introduced some powerful new CSS3 selectors to the working CSS3 specification. These new selectors aren’t yet supported by all browsers (currently only Webkit and IE), but designers can start using all the goodness a la progressive enhancement. Let’s check out these awesome new CSS3 selectors and see some real-world examples that are simply too good to be true. Continue reading »

6G Firewall Beta

Since releasing the 5G Blacklist earlier this year, malicious server scans and bad requests have surged with more novel attacks than I’ve seen since first getting into this stuff six years ago. In other words, now is the time to beef up security and lock things down. If you’re into monitoring your server and knowing your traffic, you may be observing the same recent spike in malicious activity. In response to these attacks, I’ve been secretly working on the next […] Continue reading »

Go Back via JavaScript and PHP

This quick tutorial explains how to use HTML, JavaScript, and/or PHP to enable visitors to “go back” to the previous page. You can use either method to add a simple “go back” link or form button to your web pages. Continue reading »

6G Firewall

After three years of development, testing, and feedback, I’m pleased to announce the official launch version of the 6G Firewall (aka the 6G Blacklist). This version of the nG Firewall is greatly refined, heavily tested, and better than ever. Fine-tuned to minimize false positives, the 6G Firewall protects your site against a wide variety of malicious URI requests, bad bots, spam referrers, and other attacks. Blocking bad traffic improves site security, reduces server load, and conserves precious resources. The 6G […] Continue reading »

Cross-Browser Transparency via CSS

Shortest post ever! You can quickly and easily apply transparency to any supportive element by adding the following CSS code your stylesheet: selector { filter: alpha(opacity=50); /* internet explorer */ -khtml-opacity: 0.5; /* khtml, old safari */ -moz-opacity: 0.5; /* mozilla, netscape */ opacity: 0.5; /* fx, safari, opera */ } Check the code comments to see what’s doing what, and feel free to adjust the level of transparency by editing the various property values. Also, remember to replace “selector” […] Continue reading »

Book Giveaway: Print Version of Digging into WordPress

I have a free print version of Digging into WordPress to give away to one lucky winner. To qualify for the giveaway, simply leave a comment on this post stating your absolute favorite thing about WordPress. The winner will receive a free printed copy of DiW shipped to their door, plus a lifetime subscription to the PDF version of the book. I will announce the randomly chosen winner next week. – Good luck! :) Continue reading »

List of All User Agents for Top Search Engines

Here is a working list of all user agents for the major, top search engines. I use this information frequently for my plugins such as Blackhole for Bad Bots and BBQ Pro, so I figured it would be useful to post the information online for the benefit of others. Having the user agents for these popular bots all in one place helps to streamline my development process. Each search engine includes references and a regex pattern to match all known […] Continue reading »

4G Series: The Ultimate Referrer Blacklist, Featuring Over 8000 Banned Referrers

You have seen user-agent blacklists, IP blacklists, 4G Blacklists, and everything in between. Now, in this article, for your sheer and utter amusement, I present a collection of over 8000 blacklisted referrers. Shortcut: skip the article and jump to Disclaimer and Download » Referrer Spam Sucks For the uninitiated, in teh language of teh Web, a referrer is the online resource from whence a visitor happened to arrive at your site. For example, if Johnny the Wonder Parrot was visiting the […] Continue reading »

Digging into WordPress Version 2: New Chapters, Free Themes, and Site Redesign

The updated book is looking better than ever! A little over 3.5 months after Digging into WordPress v1, Chris and I have updated the book, the site, and everything else for DiW Version 2. Both PDF and printed-version of the book now include two new chapters and two free themes. We have a new “Bonus Tricks” chapter with some awesome theme techniques, and another chapter on “WordPress Updates” that explains how to use all the latest WordPress features. Along the […] 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 »
USP Pro: Unlimited front-end forms for user-submitted posts and more.
Thoughts
Making great strides on my new book. Planned release in December :)
To organize my life, I keep it simple. online: plain text files, offline: sticky notes.
Official list of Googlebot IP addresses.
Lot of 1s in today’s date 20211111.
Working on a new book :)
I enjoy listening to original Star Trek and NG episodes while working online. After a while it feels like I’m working on the ship as part of the crew, going on adventures.
New version (2.6) of my shapeSpace starter theme now available! Always free & open source for everyone :)
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