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Web Dev + WordPress + Security

Block Random String Comment Spam

Recently WordPress sites have been getting hammered with random-string comment spam. The attackers are clever, using random text strings for every vector except the payload, which usually is the URL used for the comment’s Name link. But for these weird comment spams, the apparent payload is the email address. It’s the only part of the comment that’s not made up of random gibberish. Continue reading »

DIY Server Uptime Monitor

There are many free (and commercial) uptime monitoring services that will alert you if your server goes offline. These services are popular because it’s mission critical to know when your sites are down. The sooner you know about it, the sooner you can scramble to get everything back online. I’ve tried other scripts and services but nothing that met my specific needs: simple, secure, lightweight and blazing fast. So decided roll my own DIY server status monitor and share it […] Continue reading »

Simple Request Router via PHP and Apache/.htaccess

I’ve written many articles about how to redirect requests. Even so, I still get questions about how to set up a simple HTTP request router. As in you want to redirect or route all requests to some file or location. This is useful for building CMSs and scripts that handle traffic. For example, WordPress uses a simple request router when permalinks are enabled. For this tutorial, we’ll set this up using Apache/.htaccess and PHP. Continue reading »

Target User Agents and Reduce Spam via robots.txt

Bad robots

Your website’s robots.txt file probably contains some rules that tell compliant search engines and other bots which pages they can visit, and which are not allowed, etc. In most of the robots.txt files that I’ve looked at, all of the Allow and Disallow rules are applied to all user agents. This is done with the wildcard operator, which is written as an asterisk *, like this: User-agent: * This site’s robots.txt file provides a typical example. All of the allow/disallow […] Continue reading »

Enabling ModSecurity (Updated)

For years, I’ve not used ModSecurity for any of my own sites. Way back when I first tried ModSecurity, there were just too many false positives, so I stayed away from it, opting instead to develop my own fast Apache/.htaccess firewall. But my web host now is telling me that ModSecurity is required on all of their managed VPS plans. Continue reading »

Protect WordPress Media Files

[ Protect WordPress Media Files ]

This is an experimental technique that I am playing with. It’s the simplest possible way that I could think of to protect all files in the WordPress Media Library using only Apache/.htaccess. I’ve been testing the code on an image-heavy site and so far there are no issues. So I want to put the code out there for others to test and hopefully provide feedback if anything less than perfect. It’s a super simple method that prevents media files from […] Continue reading »

Apache Redirect Range of IP Addresses (IPv4 and IPv6)

There are numerous ways to redirect requests using Apache’s mod_rewrite and mod_alias. This concise, friendly tutorial explains different ways to redirect a range of IP addresses, either IPv4 or IPv6. Continue reading »

Opt Out of Google FLOC for Site Visitors (One Line of Code)

Floc of Sheep

Google has another new thing they are doing, called FLOC (Federated Learning of Cohorts). It’s used to — surprise — track user activity across websites. Opting out ideally is handled by the user, who can customize their browser settings to disable FLOC while surfing around the Web. Beyond configuring your browser to opt-out of FLOC, you can disable it on any website with a single line of code. Continue reading »

Disable Apache mod_rewrite Rules in any Subdirectory

Let’s say you have some .htaccess rewrite rules in place using Apache’s mod_rewrite. By default if the rewrite rules are located in the root directory, they will be applied to every subdirectory, as expected. But what if you need to disable the rewrite rules so that they do not affect some specific sub-directory or sub-folder? This super quick tutorial shows the easiest way to do it. Continue reading »

7G Firewall for Nginx

7G Nginx

After several months of development, the official Nginx version of the 7G Firewall is out of beta and ready for public use. If you are not familiar with 7G Firewall, check out the documentation for the Apache/.htaccess version. The Nginx version of the 7G Firewall works the exact same way, so I won’t bother repeating everything here. The only difference is the implementation, how to set it up on an Nginx server, which is explained in this post. 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 »

7G Firewall: September 2020 Update

2020 September Sky

Pleased to announce that the 7G Firewall is updated to version 1.3 (September 3rd, 2020). Now available for download, 100% free and open-source as always. 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 »

7G Out of Beta

The 7G Firewall was released about a year ago as beta, and has had time now to mature/develop into a stable release. So this is just a heads up that 7G is now officially out of beta and ready for use in live/production environments. Continue reading »

7G Addon: Stop Aggressive Scanning for Uploads-Related Targets

Around the end of December 2019 and then now well into January of 2020, I’m seeing a massive spike in aggressive malicious scanning for uploads-related targets. In particular, there are massive numbers of requests for URL targets involving uploadify, plupload, and similar. Typical scans hitting upwards of 30K–50K requests per attack. Just relentless exploit scanning on steroids. Continue reading »

Remove or Hide File Extension with .htaccess

A common question I get is how to change or hide file extensions using .htaccess. Apparently search engines prefer “pretty” permalink URL structures over query-strings and file extensions. This is one reason why WordPress provides an SEO-friendly permalink option for URLs; because it is preferred over the default plain query-string based format. From the Permalinks settings screen in the WordPress Admin Area: 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
DIY: Monitor File Changes via Cron working perfectly for over a decade.
Mastodon social is a trip. Glad I found it.
As a strict rule, I never use cache plugins on any of my sites. They cause more problems than they solve, imho. Just not worth it.
Currently on a posting spree :)
6 must come before 7.
My top three favorite-to-write coding languages: CSS, PHP, JavaScript.
If you’re not 100% sure that you can trust something, you can’t.
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