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Web Dev + WordPress + Security

Stop WordPress from Changing .htaccess

[ Prevent WordPress Automatic .htaccess Modifications ]

In a recent tutorial, I explain how to Stop WordPress from modifying .htaccess. That post explains several ways to prevent WordPress from making changes to .htaccess. This post explains an even better way that is safe, effective, non-invasive, re-usable, and super simple. I’ve been using it on my own sites now for a few years and it works flawlessly. 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 »

How to Redirect URLs

Want to redirect a URL from one location to another? This simple guide shows you how to do it with Apache/.htaccess, PHP, JavaScript, HTML, and more. Each redirect technique is briefly explained and includes ready-to-go, copy-&-paste examples. Just grab the code you need and use it in good health. May the redirects be with you! Continue reading »

Examples of Nested Encoding

Typically malicious scans use some sort of encoding to obscure their payloads. For example, instead of injecting a literal script, the attacker will run it through a PHP encoding function such as base64_encode(), utf8_encode(), or urlencode(). So if and when you need to decode some discovered payload, you can use whichever decoding function will do the job. For example, base64_decode(), utf8_decode(), or urldecode(). Sounds straightforward, but let’s dig a little deeper.. Continue reading »

WordPress .htaccess file

[ WordPress .htaccess file ]

The WordPress core uses .htaccess for two things: Permalinks and Multisite. This means that .htaccess is only required if you have enabled either of these features. Otherwise, .htaccess is entirely optional for default WordPress installations. Beyond the WP core, many plugins also use the .htaccess file for custom directives involving rewrites, redirects, custom headers, file compression, and much more. In many cases, such plugins add their .htaccess rules to your .htaccess file automatically, behind the scenes. Continue reading »

Stop User Enumeration in WordPress

[User Enumeration ]

This tutorial explains how to block user-enumeration scans in WordPress. As explained in greater depth here, user enumeration happens when some malicious script scans a WordPress site for user data by requesting numerical user IDs. For example, requests for author=1 through some number, say, author=1000, may reveal the usernames for all associated users. With a simple enumeration script, an attacker can scan your site and obtain a list of login names in a matter of seconds. Continue reading »

Redirecting Hash Fragments with .htaccess

During this year’s site redesigns, I noticed in the server logs some 404 errors for various WordPress comments. These 404 requests each involved a fragment identifier (i.e., character string beginning with a pound sign, #) being interpreted as its HTML entity hex equivalent, %23. It may not seem like a big deal, but these days every detail counts, so it’s wise to clean up as many 404 errors as possible. Thus, here is a simple .htaccess technique for redirecting hash-fragment […] Continue reading »

(Please) Stop Using Unsafe Characters in URLs

Just as there are specifications for designing with CSS, HTML, and JavaScript, there are specifications for working with URIs/URLs. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) clearly defines these specifications in RFC 3986: Uniform Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax. Within that document, there are guidelines regarding which characters may be used safely within URIs. This post summarizes the information, and encourages developers to understand and implement accordingly. Continue reading »

Redirect WordPress Date Archives with .htaccess

Restructuring a WordPress website may involve removing the subdomain from URLs/permalinks. For example, I recently removed the original WP-install subdirectory from Perishable Press to simplify site structure and optimize WordPress permalinks. There are PHP scripts and WP plugins that might work for this, but in most cases .htaccess is optimal when changing URL structure and redirecting traffic. Here’s a quick example to help visualize the concept: Continue reading »

htaccess Code for WordPress Multisite

For the upcoming Digging into WordPress update for WordPress 3.0, I have been working with WordPress’ multisite functionality. Prior to version 3.0, WordPress came in two flavors: “original” and “multisite” (MU). Most designers probably work with regular, one-blog installations of “regular” WordPress. The htaccess rules for all single-blog installations of WordPress haven’t changed. They are the same for WordPress 3.0 as they are for all previous versions. But now that multisite has merged with regular-flavored WordPress, we can stick with […] Continue reading »

Remove the WWW Prefix for all URLs via PHP

Canonical URLs are important for maintaining consistent linkage, reducing duplicate content issues, and increasing the overall integrity of your site. In addition to cleaning up trailing slashes and removing extraneous index.php and index.html strings, removing the www subdirectory prefix is an excellent way to shorten links and deliver consistent, canonical URLs. Of course, an optimal way of removing (or adding) the www prefix is accomplished via HTAccess canonicalization: Continue reading »

Eight Ways to Block and Redirect with Apache’s mod_rewrite

[ #1 ]

With the imminent release of the next series of (4G) blacklist articles here at Perishable Press, now is the perfect time to examine eight of the most commonly employed blacklisting methods achieved with Apache’s incredible rewrite module, mod_rewrite. In addition to facilitating site security, the techniques presented in this article will improve your understanding of the different rewrite methods available with Apache mod_rewrite. Note: I changed the title of this post from “Eight Ways to Blacklist..” to “Eight Ways to […] Continue reading »

Temporary PHP Redirect: Allow Multiple IP Access and Redirect Everyone Else

[ Image: Abstract Mathematical Diagram ]

In my previous article on temporarily redirecting visitors during site updates, I present numerous PHP and HTAccess methods for handling traffic during site maintenance, updates, and other temporary periods of downtime. Each of the PHP methods presented in the article allow for access from a single IP while redirecting everyone else. In this article, we modify our previous techniques to allow access for multiple IP addresses while temporarily redirecting everyone else to the page of our choice. Plus, while we’re […] Continue reading »

Redirect WordPress Individual Category Feeds to Feedburner via HTAccess

Time for another Feedburner redirect tutorial! In our previous FeedBurner-redirect post, I provide an improved HTAccess method for redirecting your site’s main feed and comment feed to their respective Feedburner URLs. In this tutorial, we are redirecting individual WordPress category feeds to their respective FeedBurner URLs. We will also look at the complete code required to redirect all of the above: the main feed, comments feed, and of course any number of individual category feeds. Let’s jump into it.. Continue reading »

How to Write Valid URL Query String Parameters

When building web pages, it is often necessary to add links that require parameterized query strings. For example, when adding links to the various validation services, you may find yourself linking to an accessibility checker, such as the freely available Cynthia service: Continue reading »

Redirect any Subordinate URL to its Parent Directory via PHP

Simple one for you today. After posting on how to use HTAccess to redirect subordinate URLs to the root (or parent) directory, I thought I would share an alternate way of accomplishing the same trick using PHP. Fortunately, using this PHP redirect technique doesn’t require access to or fiddling with your site’s HTAccess (or Apache configuration) file and it is very easy to implement. The scene, as discussed in greater detail in my previous article on this topic, involves a […] 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 »
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Air finally clearing here in WA. Feeling grateful to breathe again. #oxygenmatters
Past week here in WA state has been hellish. So much smoke, like living in a chimney.
Now in September, I’m where I wanted to be in March.
Spent some time updating my article on unsafe characters, once again current with latest IETF specification.
Just realized that “Neo” is an anagram for “One”. As in, “he is the One” (The Matrix).
To get VLC app to load all songs (including subfolders), go to Preferences ▸ Show All ▸ Playlist ▸ Subdirectory behavior ▸ Expand.
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