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Web Dev + WordPress + Security

New WordPress Plugin: Simple Download Counter

Simple Download Counter is a free WordPress plugin that does exactly what it says: counts the number of times your files are downloaded. SDC is designed for maximum ease of use. The goal is a clean, lightweight “set it and forget it” solution for keeping track of downloads. Simply add your files via the plugin settings and display download links via shortcodes. Simple Download Counter does the rest. Continue reading »

New WordPress Plugin: Simple Login Notification

New WordPress plugin! Simple Login Notification does one thing and does it well: sends an email alert whenever an admin-level user logs in to your site. I use this plugin on all of my sites to keep an eye on any unauthorized activity. Not that I’m expecting any, but if it does happen I definitely want to know about it. The plugin size is only 4 KB (zipped) with virtually zero impact on performance or anything else. Win win win, […] Continue reading »

New WordPress Plugin: SAC Pro!

Simple Ajax Chat Pro

I’ve been developing WordPress chat plugins for over 10 years, and have received tons of great user feedback for the free version of Simple Ajax Chat (SAC). So many ideas and ways to improve the plugin that it just made sense to bring it all together and build a new “pro” version. So after several months of intense plugin development, I am excited to launch my latest WordPress plugin, SAC Pro. SAC Pro is completely rewritten from the ground up, […] Continue reading »

Cutting Floor Interview

[ Jeff Starr (aka Perishable) ]

When I spend time on something, like an interview, I like to know that it was actually published somewhere. Below is an interview that I completed for a web-hosting company that apparently now is missing in action. It covers how I got into web development, upcoming projects, web security, work flow, writing books, WordPress, and more.. Continue reading »

WordPress Plugin: Disable WP Robots

Disable WP Robots

WordPress 5.7 features a new Robots API that provides filter-based control over the robots meta tag. So if your site is running WordPress 5.7 or better, you will notice a new <meta /> tag included in the <head></head> section of your web pages. By default, the meta tag added by WordPress has a value of max-image-preview:large, which is fine IF it is the only robots meta tag on the page. If your site already has its own meta robots tag, […] Continue reading »

4 Ways to Make a WordPress Site Private Access Only

LOTR: Doors of Durin

Have you ever wanted to make a WordPress site private? So that only specific users are allowed access? For example, for my found-images site eChunks.com, I decided to require user login in order to access any content. So now for that site, public access is not allowed, and any posts, images, and all other content is available only to logged-in users. This tutorial explains four ways to make a WordPress site private or members only, so that only authenticated/trusted users […] Continue reading »

Free WordPress Plugin: Disable Application Passwords

Disable Application Passwords

Launching a free plugin to disable the new Application Passwords feature introduced in WordPress version 5.6. The plugin is one line of code. Install and activate to completely disable all of the Application Passwords functionality. To re-enable all Application Passwords, simply deactivate/uninstall the plugin. Easy peasy. Continue reading »

Customize BBQ Firewall

BBQ Firewall

BBQ Firewall is a lightweight, super-fast plugin that protects your site against a wide range of threats. BBQ checks all incoming traffic and quietly blocks bad requests containing nasty stuff like eval(, base64_, and excessively long request-strings. This is a simple yet solid solution for sites that are unable to use a strong Apache/.htaccess firewall. Continue reading »

Code Snippets to Customize WordPress Sitemaps (Complete Guide)

Code Snippets for WP Sitemaps

By now most have heard about the WP Sitemaps feature introduced in WordPress version 5.5. From what I’ve read most existing sites that needed a sitemap already had one via one of the many free sitemap plugins. But for new WordPress sites going forward, having all the sitemap code in the WordPress core now means that new sites have the option of rolling with the default WordPress sitemaps, or use a dedicated plugin to do the job. This post is […] Continue reading »

About the Auto-Generated WP Sitemaps and How to Disable Using Simple Code or a Free Plugin

WordPress Plugin: Disable WP Sitemaps

WordPress 5.5 and beyond features built-in sitemaps that are enabled by default. For new users and sites this may be a good thing. Now users don’t have to bother with thinking about how to implement a sitemap. Like with Privacy control, WordPress just does it for you automagically. BUT for the millions of sites that already have a sitemap thanks to any of the excellent and free sitemap plugins — that’s like maybe 5–10 million websites — well congratulations you […] Continue reading »

WordPress Plugin: Disable Media Sizes

WordPress Plugin: Disable Media Sizes

Whenever you upload an image using the Media Library, WordPress automatically creates a set of alternate-size images. The number and size of these auto-generated images continues to grow each year, as WordPress tries to keep up with increasingly hi-resolution screen sizes. For many WordPress-powered websites, the extra media sizes enable WordPress to serve images responsively and that’s a good thing. But for some WordPress sites, all the extra images simply are not necessary. In some cases downright wasteful. And that’s […] Continue reading »

WordPress Plugin: Disable Lazy Load

WordPress Plugin: Disable Lazy Load

WordPress 5.5 brings some cool new features, including built-in support for lazy-loading images. So whether you want it or not, WordPress will add a new “loading” attribute to all of your images. That way supportive browsers will be able to load your images as the user scrolls the page, instead of trying to load everything at once. It’s a popular front-end technique that may help to boost performance a little bit. Like anything else, there are pros and cons to […] Continue reading »

All the little .txt files you can put in the root directory of your website

The ones I know of: ads.txt humans.txt robots.txt security.txt This site makes use of robots.txt and humans.txt. I don’t need ads.txt because 3rd-party ads aren’t currently running on the site, and security.txt seems not necessary as the site’s contact form is easy enough for anyone to find. Continue reading »

WordPress Plugin: Override Comment Options

[ Override Comment Options ]

Want to keep comments open on a few old posts? This plugin is for you. It does one thing and does it well: it overrides the WordPress setting, “Automatically close comments on articles older than x days”. So you can leave comments open for any individual posts that may have passed the deadline. I actually wrote this plugin for use here at Perishable Press. Normally comments are closed after 90 days, but there are a few old posts for which […] Continue reading »

Custom Widget Names with Dashboard Widgets Suite

[ Dashboard Widgets Suite - Default Widget Names ]

Quick tutorial for my Dashboard Widgets Suite plugin. This post explains how to customize the DWS widget names on the Dashboard. Normally each DWS widget displays the widget name along with “Widgets Suite” and a little gear icon that links to the plugin settings. Several users have asked if there is a way to change the text, specifically how to remove the extra text and gear icon. So this article explains how to do it as of Dashboard Widgets Suite […] Continue reading »

Ultimate Comment Blacklist for WordPress: How to Stop Spam Without Plugins

[ WordPress Ultimate Comment Blacklist ]

How do YOU stop comment spam? If you’re like a lot of WordPress users, you just grab another plugin or two and call it good. I mean after all, plugins like Akismet work great at stopping spam. The only downside is that, well, you’re relying on another plugin. And that’s fine for folks who just wanna “get ’er done”, although each active plugin requires additional maintenance and server resources. 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 »
The Tao of WordPress: Master the art of WordPress.
Thoughts
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom coming May 12, 2023. Absolutely pumped.
Favorite thing for breakfast is a tall glass of cold water. Hits the spot every time.
Fall is my favorite season :)
Still a few days left before “Unlimited” pro licenses are no longer available.
Getting back into it after a nice mini vacation. Time to ramp up and get busy.
Enjoy my 7-year hand-curated collection of free online tools for web dev and design.
Weapons required to rule the world: the weather, common cold, plenty of idiots.
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