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Tag Archive

PHP Short Open Tag: Convenient Shortcut or Short Changing Security?

Most of us learned how to use “echo()” in one of our very first PHP tutorials. That was certainly the case for me. As a consequence, I never really had a need to visit PHP’s documentation page for echo(). On a recent visit to Perishable Press, I saw a Tumblr post from Jeff about the use of PHP’s shortcut syntax for echo() but somewhere deep in my memory, there lurked a warning about its use. I decided to investigate. Read more »

The Halving Method of Identifying Problematic Code

Working a great deal with blacklists, I am frequently trying to isolate and identify problematic code. For example, a blacklist implementation may suddenly prevent a certain type of page from loading. In order to resolve the issue, the blacklist is immediately removed and tested for the offending directive(s). This situation is common to other coding languages as well, especially when dealing with CSS. Identifying problem code is more of an art form than a science, but fortunately, there are a few ways to improve your overall code-sleuthing strategy. Read more »

Miscellaneous Code Snippets for WordPress, Windows, and Firefox

One of the original purposes of Perishable Press involved serving as a “virtual dumpster” for all of my miscellaneous code snippets. Over time, I continued elaborating to greater degrees on the various code recipes that I was posting, until eventually those brief snippet posts evolved into complete, richly detailed articles (at least from my point of view). Now that I enjoy the luxury of writing for an incredible audience, I try to avoid posting anything that doesn’t include an accompanying explanation. “If it’s worth posting, it’s worth explaining,” I always say. When you have people reading your stuff, there is […] Read more »

Backwards-Compatible Spam and Delete Buttons for WordPress

Recently, Joost de Valk shared an excellent technique for adding spam and delete buttons to comments on your WordPress-powered blog. The idea is to save administration time by providing links to either “spam” or “delete” individual comments without having to navigate through the WordPress admin area. Joost provides the following plug-n-play solution: Read more »

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: Read more »

Fully Valid, SEO-Friendly Social Media Links for WordPress

With the explosion of social media, networking, and bookmarking services, there are a zillion ways to add “Share This Post” functionality to your WordPress-powered sites. In addition to the myriad services and plugins, we can also add these links directly, using nothing more than a little markup and a few choice PHP snippets. Such individual links provide full control over the selection, layout, and styling of each link without requiring the installation of yet another WordPress plugin. This article shares SEO-friendly code snippets for ten of the most popular social media sites using completely valid XHMTL-Strict markup. All of the […] Read more »

Series Summary: Obsessive CSS Code Formatting

My favorite series of articles here at Perishable Press, the “Obsessive CSS Code Formatting” articles explore the esoteric minutia involved with producing clean, well-formatted CSS code. From indention and spacing to opening and closing brackets, the obsessive CSS code series explores techniques and tricks used to transform ordinary stylesheets into streamlined masterpieces of inspiring beauty. Creating poetic CSS integrates the high art of employing consistent coding patterns and formatting methods with the practical functionality of proper syntax, logical structure, and concise delivery. These posts are extremely subjective, opening dialogue concerning the obsessive-compulsive behavior many of us embrace while implementing the […] Read more »

More Killer CSS Resets

Update! Check out CSSresetr for an easy way to test and download the best reset styles for your next design. Just a note to let everyone know that I have updated my previous CSS reference article, A Killer Collection of Global CSS Reset Styles. The updated version features two more excellent CSS resets, as well as the updated Meyer reset and a link to Eric’s official CSS Reset page. The two new reset styles are the Tripoli Reset (404 link removed 2012/06/16) and Tantek’s Reset. Tantek’s CSS Reset Dubbed “undohtml.css”, Tantek’s CSS Reset is a solid choice for removing many […] Read more »

Pimping the Details, Part 1: Post Content

In today’s highly competitive blogosphere, every edge counts. There are many aspects of a site or blog that can be easily acquired. Fancy themes may be purchased, nifty plugins are freely downloaded, and even snazzy content is immediately available. Indeed, setting up a decent-looking blog is so easy that virtually anyone can do it. Even so, just spend a little time at most sites and check out a few of the details. How is the writing — grammar, syntax, and punctuation? What about links and images — are they equipped with intelligent titles and alt attributes? As you read through […] Read more »

Lessons Learned Concerning the Clearfix CSS Hack

I use the CSS clearfix hack on nearly all of my sites. The clearfix hack — also known as the “Easy Clearing Hack” — is used to clear floated divisions (divs) without using structural markup. It is very effective in resolving layout issues and browser inconsistencies without the need to mix structure with presentation. Over the course of the past few years, I have taken note of several useful bits of information regarding the Easy Clear Method. In this article, I summarize these lessons learned and present a (slightly) enhanced version of the clearfix hack.. Read more »

Optimizing Google Analytics Performance

It has occurred to me lately that I no longer use Google Analytics for Perishable Press. Instead, I find myself keeping an eye on things using Mint almost exclusively. So, the question now is: do I continue serving the GA JavaScript to keep the profile active just in case I ever need the additional stats? I mean, Mint already does a great job at recording all of information I could ever need, so I no longer see the use for Google Analytics. I do wonder, however, if Google ranks GA-enabled sites a bit higher than non-GA sites. Hmmm.. it seems […] Read more »

What is the Difference Between XHTML 1.0 Strict and XHTML 1.1?

As some of you (e.g., Louis) may have noticed during the recent site redesign, I decided to switch the default doctype from XHTML 1.0 Strict to XHTML 1.1. Just in case you were wondering, XHTML 1.1 is different than XHTML 1.0 in three important ways 1: On every element, the lang attribute has been removed in favor of the xml:lang attribute On the a and map elements, the name attribute has been removed in favor of the id attribute The “ruby” collection of elements has been added Beyond these three differences, XHTML 1.1 is identical to XHTML 1.0. Personally, I chose […] Read more »

6 Ways to Customize WordPress Post Order

Recently, reader Luke Knowles asked how to customize the sort order of his posts in WordPress. Looking into a solution to this question proved quite enlightening. Within moments I was able to discern 4 methods for modifying post order, and then several days later I discovered 2 additional custom sorting techniques. After updating the reply to Luke’s comment, it seemed like some good information that other WordPressers may find useful. So, here are six ways to customize the sort order of posts in WordPress.. Read more »

Optimize WordPress: Pure Code Alternatives for 7 Unnecessary Plugins

In this article, my goal is to help you optimize WordPress by replacing a few common plugins with their correspondingly effective code equivalents. As we all know, WordPress can be a very resource-hungry piece of software, especially when running a million extraneous plugins. Often, many common plugins are designed to perform relatively simple tasks, such as redirect a feed, display a random image, or return a database value. For those of us comfortable with editing PHP and htaccess code, there is no need to bloat WordPress with additional plugins for the sake of a few routine tasks. For each of […] Read more »

5 Easy Ways to Display Syntax Highlighted PHP Code

A great to way to share your PHP code with visitors is to display it directly in the browser with automatically generated syntax highlighting. Here is a screenshot showing an example of syntax-highlighted PHP code: Displaying your PHP scripts in syntax-highlighted form is an excellent way to share source code details directly with your readers. Rather than zipping the script and requiring users to download, unzip, and open the file in an editor, displaying your code directly saves you and your visitors time, effort, and hassle. Plus, in my opinion, looking at syntax-highlighted PHP code is a beautiful sight, day […] Read more »

Prevent JavaScript Elements from Breaking Page Layout when Following Yahoo Performance Tip #6: Place Scripts at the Bottom

By now, everyone is familiar with the Yahoo Developer Network’s 14 “best-practices” for speeding up your website. Certainly, many (if not all) of these performance optimization tips are ideal for high-traffic sites such as Yahoo or Google, but not all of them are recommended for smaller sites such as Perishable Press. Nonetheless, throughout the current site renovation project, I have attempted to implement as many of these practices as possible. At the time of this writing, I somehow have managed to score an average 77% (whoopee!) via the YSlow extension for Firebug. Of the handful of these tips that I […] Read more »

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