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Web Dev + WordPress + Security
Tag: server
38 posts

How to Modify GET and POST Requests with WordPress

I’ve written before about protecting against malicious POST requests using Apache/.htaccess. In this tutorial, we’ll look at how to modify GET and POST requests using PHP and some core WordPress functionality (with no .htaccess required). Normally you would want to manipulate URI requests at the server level, but that’s not always possible (like on shared hosting). So in those cases where you want to modify GET, POST, or other types of requests on a WordPress site, check out the following […] Continue reading »

Enable PHP fsockopen with CSF

Recently started some sites with Liquid Web hosting, everything going extremely well all around. There was one hiccup (at least for me) where PHP’s fsockopen was not working. At the time, I was trying to figure out why the Whois Lookup feature used by Blackhole Bad Bots was not working. Initial investigation revealed that fsockopen() external HTTP requests were getting blocked somewhere. Everything else worked, including making the requests via cURL. Continue reading »

What Chrome Predictive URLs Look Like on the Server

Awhile ago, I was confused by repetitive 404 “Not Found” errors in my server logs. The 404 requests look like someone is typing out various words, a few letters at a time. This post shows what these weird 404s look like from the server’s perspective, and then goes on to explain why they happen and why there is no practical way of preventing them. Continue reading »

expose_php, Easter Eggs, and .htaccess

A reader recently brought to my attention a reported vulnerability on servers running PHP. It’s been known about for eons, but it’s new to me and it involves easter eggs in PHP so I thought it would be fun to share a quick post about what it is and how to prevent leakage of sensitive information about your server. It only takes a moment to disable the easter-egg information, should you decide to do so. Continue reading »

Media Temple (dv) 4.0 Migration & Optimization

About a month ago, I received an email letting me know that my host, Media Temple, is discontinuing their (dv) Dedicated Virtual 3.0-3.5 servers. Everyone hosted on the old servers must migrate to the new (dv) 4.0 servers. The friendly (mt) email says: The migration is a fairly simple process and you’ll have until early summer to complete it. Having now performed the migration, I can assure you that solid preparation is required to make it a smooth and “fairly […] Continue reading »

Notes on Switching Servers

Switching servers & migrating sites can be a HUGE deal (or not), depending on things like: Number of sites to transfer Size and complexity of sites Who is hosting your sites Experience I recently did this, switching from a 3-year run at ASO to my new home at Media Temple. Total of 24 properties, with WordPress running on around 10 sites. Past experience with VPS servers really had me paranoid about running out of memory. A few years ago, Perishable […] Continue reading »

Switching to New Server

Just a note that PerishablePress.com will be migrating to its new home at Media Temple. Thanks for your patience as the DNS propagates. If you encounter anything seriously weird, like unexpected errors or anything, please comment on this post or send an email. As always, thank you for your help. Okay – here goes nothin’! Continue reading »

Find a Diamond in the Rough

Getting the best possible web hosting is for obvious reasons something that all website owners aim to do. However, you might know what type of web hosting you are looking to get but still do not know what provider to partner up with. Many of the web hosting top lists you find on the web today look the same as they all take the same things into account. These guides usually take into account similar factors and cost usually is […] Continue reading »

Yahoo! Slurp too Stupid to be a Robot

I really hate bad robots. When a web crawler, spider, bot — or whatever you want to call it — behaves in a way that is contrary to expected and/or accepted protocols, we say that the bot is acting suspiciously, behaving badly, or just acting stupid in general. Unfortunately, there are thousands — if not hundreds of thousands — of nefarious bots violating our sites every minute of the day. For the most part, there are effective methods available enabling […] Continue reading »

Yahoo! Lies about Obeying Robots.txt Directives

There are two possibilities here: Yahoo!’s Slurp crawler is broken or Yahoo! lies about obeying Robots directives. Either case isn’t good. Slurp just can’t seem to keep its nose out of my private business. And, as I’ve discussed before, this happens all the time. Here are the two most recent offenses, as recorded in the log file for my blackhole spider trap: Continue reading »

Evil Incarnate, but Easily Blocked

As my readers know, I spend a lot of time digging through error logs, preventing attacks, and reporting results. Occasionally, some moron will pull a stunt that deserves exposure, public humiliation, and banishment. There is certainly no lack of this type of nonsense, as many of you are well-aware. 3G Blacklist Even so, I have to admit that I am very happy with my latest strategy against crackers, spammers, and other scumbags, namely, the 3G Blacklist. Since implementing this effective […] Continue reading »

Yahoo! Once Again Caught Disobeying Robots.txt Rules

Hmmm.. Let’s see here. Google can do it. MSN/Live can do it. Even Ask can do it. So why oh why can’t Yahoo’s grubby Slurp crawler manage to adhere to robots.txt crawl directives? Just when I thought Yahoo! finally figured it out, I discover more Slurp tracks in my Blackhole trap for bad spiders: Continue reading »

Unexplained Crawl Behavior Involving Tagged Query Strings

I need your help! I am losing my mind trying to solve another baffling mystery. For the past three or four months, I have been recording many 404 Errors generated from msnbot, Yahoo-Slurp, and other spider crawls. These errors result from invalid requests for URLs containing query strings such as the following: https://example.com/press/page/2/?tag=spam https://example.com/press/page/3/?tag=code https://example.com/press/page/2/?tag=email https://example.com/press/page/2/?tag=xhtml https://example.com/press/page/4/?tag=notes https://example.com/press/page/2/?tag=flash https://example.com/press/page/2/?tag=links https://example.com/press/page/3/?tag=theme https://example.com/press/page/2/?tag=press Note: For these example URLs, I replaced my domain, perishablepress.com with the generic example.com. Turns out that listing the plain-text […] Continue reading »

Improve Site Performance by Increasing PHP Memory for WordPress

During the recent ASO server debacle, I raced frantically to restore functionality to Perishable Press. Along the way, one of the many tricks that I tried while trying to fix the dreaded “white screen of death” syndrome involved increasing the amount of PHP memory available to WordPress. This fix worked for me, but may not prove effective on every installation of WordPress. If you are unsure as to whether or not you need to increase your PHP memory, consult with […] Continue reading »

Quickly Disable or Enable All WordPress Plugins via the Database

Recently, while dealing with the dreaded white screen of death, I found myself unable to login to the WordPress Admin area to manually disable all of the plugins used here at Perishable Press. In the past, I have dealt with this situation by simply deleting all plugin files from the server, however this time, time was of the essence — I had only a few minutes with which to troubleshoot, diagnose, and ultimately resolve the deadly white-screen syndrome. Fortunately, after […] Continue reading »

Perishable Press Upgraded to WordPress 2.3.3

Just a note to announce a site upgrade to WordPress 2.3.3. The upgrade went well, but overall server performance continues to suffer. I am aware that some people are experiencing difficulties leaving comments and even accessing the site in general. Rest assured, I am working with my hosting company, A Small Orange, to get everything back on track and running smooth. In the meantime, I appreciate your patience as we work to resolve the issues, restore full functionality, and return […] 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 »
.htaccess made easy: Improve site performance and security.
Thoughts
What's up with Plesk UI lately? Especially on Chrome it looks just awful, all kinds of broken. Come on Plesk devs get it together.
Things get stressful, I try to pray. Not always easy, but always helps to relax and regain focus.
Nice new speed checker at fastorslow.com.
Easy way to exclude certain tests from WP Site Health: Site Health Tool Manager
Excellent (and free) tool for getting tons of site SSL infos: whynopadlock.com
Everyone just stay home and hide forever. Brilliant idea.
Playing with Microsoft Edge browser on macOS. It's like 1998 all over again.