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Web Dev + WordPress + Security

Vanilla JavaScript Smooth Scroll

While working on the site’s 24th redesign, my goal was to simplify the UI as much as possible. As much as I enjoy lots of cool effects, I wanted the new design to be as minimalist as possible. So that meant dropping a LOT of little bells and whistles that were included in the previous design. One feature that didn’t make the cut was smooth scrolling to internal anchor targets. Like when you click a link that takes you #somewhere […] 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 »

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 »

Difference between mod_alias and mod_rewrite

Most of the redirect techniques provided in my stupid .htaccess tricks article all use Apache’s alias module, mod_alias. You can also use mod_rewrite to redirect URLs. The main difference is that, with mod_alias, the server is responding to the client request with a redirect, so the client immediately is sent to the new location. Conversely, with mod_rewrite, the server simply returns the new content, so the client is not actually redirected anywhere. This makes mod_rewrite more advantageous because it happens […] Continue reading »

Activate WordPress Plugins via the Database

Recently a reader named Chris asked, “how can we turn ON a plugin from the database?” He mentioned reading my previous article, Quickly Disable or Enable All WordPress Plugins via the Database, but for circumstantial slash technical reasons needed to do the opposite and enable a plugin directly via the WordPress database. I thought it was an interesting question that might actually be useful to discuss here at Perishable Press. 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 »

404 Fix: Block Nuisance Requests for Non-Existent Files

[ Han Solo shutting up C-3PO in Empire Strikes Back ]

As I’ve written before, blocking nuisance requests can help save you money by cutting down on wasted server resources, memory, and so forth. It also saves you time, as your server access and error logs won’t be full of nuisance request spam. So you will have more resources and time for things that matter, like running your business, helping customers, improving code, etc. So to continue the proud tradition of blocking malicious traffic, this post builds upon previous blocking techniques […] Continue reading »

Basic Webpack Setup

Preparing for Gutenberg, I’ve been sharpening my JavaScript skillz. Getting further into things like Webpack, React, Node.js, and all sort of other awesome scripting adventures. As I dive further into JavaScript land, it’s amazing how much more quickly I am able to do things that I never had to do before relying so heavily on JavaScript. Even so, the extra tools are good to have in the ’ol developer tool belt, so I’ll be sharing much more about JavaScript stuff […] 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 »

Fix Gutenberg Errors

I’ve been exploring WordPress new Gutenberg functionality, and unfortunately keep encountering various weird errors. So to keep things organized and hopefully help others on the same path, I’m going to update this post with any Gutenberg errors for which I am able to find a solution. This includes any PHP errors, warnings, notices, as well as any JavaScript and/or debug/console errors. Continue reading »

Delete Shared/Saved Gutenberg Blocks

Been playing with WordPress new Gutenberg functionality. While exploring the new features, I created some Shared blocks via the “Convert to Shared Block” button. After another hour of playing with the Gutenberg API, there were a number of “orphaned” Shared blocks (just due to swapping out code snippets while testing). After some searching, I found it is possible to delete Shared blocks programmatically with JavaScript, but could not find any specific documentation or examples. So, I came up with an […] Continue reading »

Tips for Atom Code Editor

[ Tips for Atom Code Editor ]

For some of my tutorials, I use the Atom Code Editor. It’s not as easy as Coda, but it does provide a LOT more flexibility in terms of configuration and customization. Over the last couple of years, I’ve collected a handful of useful tips and tricks for dialing in the perfect Atom environment. Well, perfect for my own needs — your mileage may vary. So without further ado, let’s jump into some sweet Atom tips. I update this post with […] 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 »

Email Troubleshooting Guide

[ Email Troubleshooting Guide ]

I often say that email is the “glue” that holds the Internet together. But it’s like the worst possible glue ever. It’s underlying technology is convoluted, complicated, insecure, tedious, sloppy, and archaic. In a nutshell: email sucks but it’s pretty much essential for working online. So what do you do if email is not working, like when you send an email but it never arrives? It can be very frustrating and difficult to figure out what went wrong. To help […] Continue reading »

Disable WordPress Responsive Images

[ Bruce Lee ]

WordPress responsive images are awesome. But some people want to use their own methods to implement. This post explains how to disable WordPress responsive image functionality so that you can use your own methods. It makes things easier when you don’t have to wrestle with what WordPress is doing. 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 »
Blackhole Pro: Trap bad bots in a virtual black hole.
Thoughts
Making great strides on my new book. Planned release in December :)
To organize my life, I keep it simple. online: plain text files, offline: sticky notes.
Official list of Googlebot IP addresses.
Lot of 1s in today’s date 20211111.
Working on a new book :)
I enjoy listening to original Star Trek and NG episodes while working online. After a while it feels like I’m working on the ship as part of the crew, going on adventures.
New version (2.6) of my shapeSpace starter theme now available! Always free & open source for everyone :)
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