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Web Dev + WordPress + Security

How to Fix _blank Target Vulnerability

[ _blank Target Vulnerability ]

In this article, I am reposting part of my recent tutorial, WordPress and the Blank Target Vulnerability. That post is aimed at WordPress specifically, however most of the article applies to HTML in general. So the tutorial below explains how to fix all “blank target” links, regardless of whether or not WordPress is involved. Continue reading »

X Theme Leftover Code Snippets

While working on the site’s 24th redesign, I ended up with about 10 code snippets that were awesome but ultimately not needed. So rather than just delete these tasty functions, I am posting them here for future reference. Who knows, during the next site update I may decide to implement or repurpose some of these techniques. And of course sharing is caring, so feel free to use any of these code snippets in your own projects. Check out the Table […] Continue reading »

WordPress Plugin: Blackhole Pro

[ 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 reading »

WordPress Plugin: Prismatic

[ 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 my other sites. So I wanted to combine clean, time-tested code escaping with stylish syntax highlighting. After sharing well over 1,000 code snippets online, I […] Continue reading »

Lynda.com Course: Developing Secure WordPress Sites

[ WordPress: 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 course, and so I jumped on the opportunity to do another one. If there is one thing that I enjoy doing, it’s helping people with […] Continue reading »

bbPress Theme Template Files

[ Screenshot of bbPress TwentyTen template-files ]

For those getting into bbPress for hosting your own forum, customizing your bbPress theme files can be difficult if you don’t know which page to load. Many of the bbPress theme template files contain enough clues to figure things out, but not every template file is used by default, or even at all depending on how you’ve configured bbPress. Themes may contain different template files, but the default “bbPress (Twenty Ten)” theme (included with version 2.1.1) may be considered a […] Continue reading »

Clean Markup Widget for WordPress

[ WP Clean Markup Widget ]

Squeaky clean. When adding content to your sidebar, it’s nice to be able to output clean, well-formatted markup. There are several ways to do this, including adding HTML directly in the theme template, installing a plugin, or simply using a widget. Widgets provide a great way of customizing sidebars and other widgetized areas, but as you may have seen in the source-code, the HTML is treated with all sorts of additional attributes, elements, and classes. Sometimes, you just need a […] Continue reading »

Encoding & Decoding PHP Code

[ Decoding PHP ]

There are many ways to encode and decode PHP code. From the perspective of site security, there are three PHP functions — str_rot13(), base64_encode(), and gzinflate — that are frequently used to obfuscate malicious strings of PHP code. For those involved in the securing of websites, understanding how these functions are used to encode and decode encrypted chunks of PHP data is critical to accurate monitoring and expedient attack recovery. Continue reading »

Category Functions for WordPress

[ Downtown Seattle WA 2012 ]

My previous theme sports the now-infamous colorized categories, which aim to help visitors navigate featured content. In addition to the colors, featured categories display contextually relevant navigation, popular posts, and related tags. It’s a great way to improve organization and get more of your content in front of the visitor. To make it happen, a variety of tasty WordPress code snippets are used, including versatile theme functions that enable getting the first category link, displaying sub-categories of the current category, […] Continue reading »

PHP Tip: Encode & Decode Data URLs

[ RSS Feed Icon ]

Converting small images to data-URLs is a great way to eliminate HTTP requests and decrease loading time for your pages. Using PHP‘s base64_encode() and base64_decode() functions, we have the power to convert images to data-URLs and vice-versa. This article explains how it all works, and shows some different ways of converting back and forth between original and encoded images. Continue reading »

HTML5 Table Template

[ HTML5 Table Template ]

A good designer knows that tables should not be used for layout, but rather for displaying columns and rows of data. HTML enables the creation of well-structured, well-formatted tables, but they’re used infrequently enough to make remembering all of the different elements and attributes rather time-consuming and tedious. So to make things easier, here is a clean HTML5 template to speed-up development for your next project: Continue reading »

Perfect Pre Tags

If you operate a website that features lots of code examples, you know how important it is to spend some quality time styling the <pre></pre> element. When left unstyled, wild <pre></pre> tags will mangle your preformatted content and destroy your site’s layout. Different browsers treat the <pre></pre> tag quite differently, varying greatly in their default handling of font-sizing, scrollbar-rendering, and word-wrapping. Indeed, getting your preformatted code to look consistent, usable, and stylish across browsers is no easy task, but it […] Continue reading »

IDs are anchors, too.

While browsing the internet these days, I see a lot of this: <body> … <a name=”top”></a> … <a href=”#top”>- Back to Top -</a> … </body> There’s an easier, better and prettier way. CSS Signatures are all the rage these days. If you’re not familiar with a CSS Signature, it’s basically nothing more than an ID on your body tag, like this: <body id=”www-domain-tld”></body> The fundamental purpose of the CSS Signature is to allow a user to specify style adjustments to […] Continue reading »

Sexy HTML List Tricks

Behold the ubiquitous list elements, <ul></ul> and <ol></ol>! These two sexy elements help millions of websites display lists of information in clean, semantic fashion. Without them, we’d be crawling around like filthy cavemen, eating dirt and howling at the moon. But these list elements aren’t just sexy, they are also extremely flexible, enabling us humble designers to create robust list configurations that are semantically versatile and highly customizable. We all know how to throw down a basic list: Continue reading »

The Power of HTML 5 and CSS 3

[ Electrical Surge ]

Web designers can do some pretty cool stuff with HTML 4 and CSS 2.1. We can structure our documents logically and create information-rich sites without relying on archaic, table-based layouts. We can style our web pages with beauty and detail without resorting to inline <font></font> and <br /> tags. Indeed, our current design methods have taken us far beyond the hellish era of browser wars, proprietary protocols, and those hideous flashing, scrolling, and blinking web pages. Thankfully, those days are over. As […] Continue reading »

Looking for a Publisher

After several months of working diligently behind the scenes, I am officially announcing my latest project: a new book on WordPress. Without giving away too much at this time, here are some facts about it: It’s focused on WordPress It’s co-authored between Chris Coyier and myself It’s going to be awesome Chris and I have been working on the book for several months now and are very pleased with the results. Both of us have some — albeit limited — […] 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: Become your own WordPress guru.
Thoughts
Checking in to anyone listening. Stay safe. Pay attention. Don't get lazy.
What's up with Plesk UI lately? Especially on Chrome it looks just awful, all kinds of broken. Come on Plesk devs get it together.
Things get stressful, I try to pray. Not always easy, but always helps to relax and regain focus.
Nice new speed checker at fastorslow.com.
Easy way to exclude certain tests from WP Site Health: Site Health Tool Manager
Excellent (and free) tool for getting tons of site SSL infos: whynopadlock.com
Everyone just stay home and hide forever. Brilliant idea.