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Web Dev + WordPress + Security

Redesign #25: Performance Over Perfection

[ Previous site design: the X theme ]

Welcome to the 2020 (25th!) redesign for Perishable Press. Like many of the previous designs, the new design is super minimal and organic. The #1 goal this time around was to find an optimal balance between performance and aesthetics. Or put another way.. Continue reading »

The Plan for 2020

I like sharing my plans with those who will listen. For example, last year I said what I was going to do in 2019, and as far as I can tell it is mission accomplished. Now my goals for 2020 are a little more structured and ambitious.. Continue reading »

CSS Background Hover Slide Effect

While working on the site’s 24th redesign, I played around with a number of styles to customize the appearance of links. As you can see by hovering over any link, I decided to keep the styles as minimal as possible while still letting the user know that, “hey, this is a link”. This quick post shares one of the link styles I was considering, it’s sort of a “slide-up” background-color effect that happens when the user hovers over the hyperlink. Continue reading »

WordPress Error Fix: “Call to undefined function get_header()”

[ Call to undefined function ]

I’m seeing a big increase in bot attacks targeting theme files directly. First they get the URL to your theme directory. There are numerous ways for a bot to get this information. For example most themes include assets like CSS and JavaScript files, and the link includes the full URL. So then once they have the theme URL, bad bots will make direct requests for well-known theme template files, like index.php and header.php. Requesting template files directly may reveal possible […] 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 »

Clearfix Hack Evolution: From Dumpster Fire to One Line of Code

[ Clearfix Hack Evolution ]

Is the clearfix method of clearing floats still useful? It’s been years now and I think the answer is “yes”. For example, I use clearfix to clear floats in the site’s current design. It’s the “cleanest” way to clear floated elements without setting widths, hiding overflow, or floating (nearly) everything. I know what some of you are thinking: “Cleanest..? Clearfix is a hack. A total nightmare event.” Years ago that may have been the case, but not so much anymore.. Continue reading »

Metamorphosis

[ Perishable Theme (from 2008) ]

After 9 grueling weeks, I am happy to say that the 2018 Perishable Press redesign is complete. There are still a few small details that I am contemplating, but overall the work is finished and the site is back to full production capacity. From the old Wire theme rolled out in 2013 (five years ago!), to the minimalist, lightweight X Theme, Perishable Press has metamorphosed into a lean, mean, content sharing machine. This is the 24th time Perishable Press has […] Continue reading »

Redesign in progress..

Pardon my dust! I am in the process of switching over to the site’s new design. Please report anything weird, otherwise please pardon my dust as the site settles in with its new theme :) Will post a full report soon! Continue reading »

How to use the HTML <base> tag

[ How to use the base tag ]

When every byte counts, you can use the HTML <base /> tag to specify a default href and target attribute for all relative URLs on the page. Like a virtual shortcut. For smaller sites with a flat directory structure, this isn’t going to help much; but for sites with deeply nested directories, the <base /> tag can potentially shave a lot of extra weight from your web pages, and also help keep URLs cleaner and shorter. So if you’re micro-optimizing […] Continue reading »

Tools to check your site’s health

Perishable Press is now over 12 years old. It is a lot of work keeping everything updated, maintained, and well-secured. Fortunately there are a gazillion free online tools for checking your site’s health. Everyone has their favorites. In this quick article, I share mine. Continue reading »

WordPress Plugin: Theme Switcha

[ Theme Switcha ]

Announcing my latest WordPress plugin, Theme Switcha! There are many theme-switch plugins but none of them provide the simplicity, performance, and reliability that I require for my own sites. So I wrote my own plugin using the WP API and kept the code as focused and solid as possible. Only essential theme-switching features have been added, along with a simple yet informative UI. Theme Switcha gives you a consistent, quality theme-switching experience that you can optionally share with your visitors. Continue reading »

Get featured in my new CSS book

I am working on some new books and one of them focuses on CSS techniques. I can’t share any specifics at this point, but I am inviting CSS experts and enthusiasts to be featured in the book by contributing their favorite CSS snippet. Continue reading »

Some Q & A

Gonna start posting or deleting all of my old drafts just to clean things up back here in the Admin Area. For example, here is a post that I wanted to flesh out with specific examples and all sorts of references, but it’s just been sitting and waiting for too long, so now I’m just gonna post it as-is. Enjoy or not, here it is.. Continue reading »

WordPress Performance Issue Revisited

[ Google Webmaster Tools: WP-Mix.com ]

Following up on my recent performance report with essentially some conclusive results. Turns out that the reported issue is related more directly to the version of PHP than to the version of WordPress. So in other words, WordPress runs a bit faster on newer versions of PHP. As explained previously, after I upgraded my sites to WordPress 4.4, Googlebot reported slightly longer load times for my pages. The slower loading average was seen across numerous sites, and it looked like […] Continue reading »

WordPress Performance Issue?

[ Google Webmaster Tools: WP-Mix.com ]

Just wanted to share a mysterious trend reported for my sites by Google Webmaster Tools, and ask if anyone else is seeing the same pattern. It looks like it’s related to the WordPress 4.4 update, but I’m not 100% sure, so putting the data out there in hopes that others can help shed some light on the issue.. Continue reading »

The Art of Troubleshooting WordPress

The Art of Troubleshooting

If you are new to WordPress, or even if you have some experience, it may seem impossible to figure out why something isn’t working as expected. It would be nice if we could just wave a magic wand and have everything “fixed” automatically, but reality requires a bit more effort to diagnose and resolve issues. It would be impossible to describe troubleshooting steps for every possible issue, so this post stays focused on troubleshooting things in general. The goal here […] 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
Book updates complete! DigWP, .htaccess, Tao-WP, and WP Themes books all updated and current with all the latest.
Stop giving so much juice to social media. Get a site and OWN your content.
I would give my left testicle for macOS Finder to remember column widths.
The chemical name for titin (the largest known protein) has 189,819 characters and takes several hours to pronounce.
Working on book updates, should be available for download sometime next week.
iCloud is like the Terminator. It will never stop trying to get your data. An endless fight on each Apple device to keep iCloud disabled and empty.
Take a screenshot with Firefox (no extension required). Open Developer Tools Settings and enable the “Take a screenshot” button. Then click the button :)
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