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Web Dev + WordPress + Security

Ultimate .htaccess Blacklist 2: Compressed Version

[ Image: Lunar Eclipse ]

In our original htaccess blacklist article, we provide an extensive list of bad user agents. This so-called “Ultimate htaccess Blacklist” works great at blocking many different online villains: spammers, scammers, scrapers, scrappers, rippers, leechers — you name it. Yet, despite its usefulness, there is always room for improvement. Continue reading »

How to Verify the Four Major Search Engines

Keeping track of your access and error logs is a critical component of any serious security strategy. Many times, you will see a recorded entry that looks legitimate, such that it may easily be dismissed as genuine Google fare, only to discover upon closer investigation a fraudulent agent. There are many such cloaked or disguised agents crawling around these days, mimicking various search engines to hide beneath the radar. So it’s always a good idea to implement a procedure for […] Continue reading »

WordPress Spam Battle: 3 Seconds that will Save You Hours of Time

In the hellish battle against spam, many WordPress users have adopted a highly effective trinity of anti-spam plugins: Akismet Bad Behavior Spam Karma This effective triage of free WordPress plugins has served many a WP-blogger well, eliminating virtually 99% of all automated comment-related spam. When spam first became a problem for me, I installed this triple-threat arsenal of anti-spam plugins and immediately enjoyed the results. Although Spam Karma seemed a little invasive and resource-intensive, too much protection seemed far better […] Continue reading »

Fixing Mint after Switching Servers

[ Mint Icon ]

After switching Perishable Press to its current home at A Small Orange, I began noticing an unusual problem with referrer data displayed in Mint. Specifically, the first item recorded in the XXX Strong Mint data panel — for both “Most Recent” and “Repeat” views — displayed several thousand hits for various site resources, all reporting the following IP address: Continue reading »

Hacking WordPress: The Ultimate Nofollow Blacklist

[ Image: Death-metal rocker drunk with power ]

Several days ago, I posted an article explaining how to hack your own WordPress nofollow blacklist. Immediately thereafter, I published an elaborate article focusing on automatic methods of nofollow blacklisting via WordPress plugins. In this article, I expand on the original blacklist hack by incorporating functional differentiation between commentator links, trackbacks, and pingbacks. If anything, think of this as an exercise in hacking WordPress, rewarding in and of itself, if not otherwise entirely impractical. Of course, whenever possible, you should […] Continue reading »

Hacking WordPress: Dofollow Whitelist for Commentator Links

[ Image: Inverted Eye Detail ]

Before repenting of my filthy “nofollow” addiction, I experimented briefly with a “dofollow whitelist” for commentator URL links. The idea behind the whitelist is to reward frequent commentators, feed subscribers, site patrons, and other guests by selectively removing the automatically generated nofollow attributes from their associated comment-author links. For nofollow enthusiasts, a dofollow whitelist is a great way to show appreciation for people who support your blogging efforts. Now, before we go hacking away at WordPress, keep in mind that […] Continue reading »

Hacking WordPress: Nofollow Blacklist for Commentator Links

[ Image: Extreme close-up of an eye (send email  to purchase a full-size version) ]

Previously, in our unofficial “WordPress dofollow upgrade” series, we dished several techniques for removing the antisocial nofollow attributes from default installations of WordPress. After an exhaustive review of available dofollow plugins, we explained how drop-dead easy it is to transform any WordPress blog into a well-standing member of the dofollow community without relying on a plugin to do the job. Our next article detailed a nofollow removal hack that selectively targets pingbacks, trackbacks, and commentator links. Then, we went off […] Continue reading »

Industrial Strength WordPress Dofollow Upgrade

Encourage Comments by Completely Eliminating All Nofollow Links! Want to remove all traces of the hideous nofollow attribute without having to install yet another unnecessary plugin? By default, WordPress generates nofollow links in three different ways — this article will show you how to eliminate all of them.. Continue reading »

The Deluxe One-Minute Dofollow WordPress Upgrade

After our previous article, we all know how easy it is to kill the default nofollow attributes that WordPress automatically injects into all commentator, trackback, and pingback links. Indeed, our original one-minute upgrade delivers dofollow links across the board, effectively passing the love juice to every type of response. Fine for some, but some need more.. In this article, we improve the original dofollow upgrade by differentiating between the three different response types. With our “deluxe” model, nofollow attributes may […] Continue reading »

The One-Minute Dofollow WordPress Upgrade

Want to upgrade your blog to official dofollow status but don’t want to install another unnecessary plugin? This article explains how to eliminate nofollow tags from all trackback, pingback, and commentator links in less than one minute.. After finally repenting of my nofollow sins, I began looking for the best way to eliminate the nofollow attributes that WordPress automatically injects into all commentator URL links. Of course, the most popular technique for removing nofollow attributes from comment links involves one […] Continue reading »

Comprehensive Reference for WordPress No-Nofollow/Dofollow Plugins

Recently, while deliberating an optimal method for eliminating nofollow link attributes from Perishable Press, I collected, installed, tested and reviewed every WordPress no-nofollow/dofollow plugin that I could find. In this article, I present a concise, current, and comprehensive reference for WordPress no-nofollow and dofollow plugins. Every attempt has been made to provide accurate, useful, and complete information for each of the plugins represented below. Further, as this subject is a newfound interest of mine, it is my intention to keep […] Continue reading »

Eliminate 404 Errors for PHP Functions

Recently, I discussed the suspicious behavior recently observed by the Yahoo! Slurp crawler. As revealed by the site’s closely watched 404-error logs, Yahoo! had been requesting a series of nonexistent resources. Although a majority of the 404 errors were exclusive to the Slurp crawler, there were several instances of requests that were also coming from Google, Live, and even Ask. Initially, these distinct errors were misdiagnosed as existing URLs appended with various JavaScript functions. Here are a few typical examples […] Continue reading »

Suspicious Behavior from Yahoo! Slurp Crawler

[ Image: Black and white illustration of the upper half of a man's suspicious, paranoid face ]

Most of the time, when I catch scumbags attempting to spam, scrape, leech, or otherwise hack my site, I stitch up a new voodoo doll and let the cursing begin. No, seriously, I just blacklist the idiots. I don’t need their traffic, and so I don’t even blink while slamming the doors in their faces. Of course, this policy presents a bit of a dilemma when the culprit is one of the four major search engines. Slamming the door on […] Continue reading »

MySQL Magic: Find and Replace Data

Recently, I needed to find and replace all instances of “http://website” in the wp_comments table of the WordPress database. Fortunately, SQL provides a simple way to find and replace data with its wonderful UPDATE function. Continue reading »

How to Block IP Addresses with PHP

[ Image: Skeletor Blocks a Move ]

Figuratively speaking, hunting down and killing spammers, scrapers, and other online scum remains one of our favorite pursuits. Once we have determined that a particular IP address is worthy of banishment, we generally invoke the magical powers of htaccess to lock the gates. When htaccess is not available, we may summon the versatile functionality of PHP to get the job done. This method is straightforward. Simply edit, copy and paste the following code example into the top of any PHP […] Continue reading »

Ultimate htaccess Blacklist

[ Image: Solar Eclipse ]

For those of us running Apache, htaccess rewrite rules provide an excellent way to block spammers, scrapers, and other scumbags easily and effectively. While there are many htaccess tricks involving blocking domains, preventing access, and redirecting traffic, Apache’s mod_rewrite module enables us to target bad agents by testing the user-agent string against a predefined blacklist of unwanted visitors. Any matches are immediately and quietly denied access. 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.
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