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Tag Archive

Trying Different Email Clients for Mac

As a professional web developer slash book author, I spend a LOT of time with email. Recently, I discovered that my email client does not provide some of the functionality that I require. So I set out on a mission to find something that works. Something better. Read more »

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 new tips as I get them. Read more »

How to use the HTML <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. 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 for performance, the <base /> tag can help you out. Read more »

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 get you back on track, this article provides a simple guide for troubleshooting some of the most common email issues. Read more »

Customer Anti-Support

Email support can be great or it can suck horribly. It’s a spectrum. For my own products and services, my average email response time is around 1 hour in general, and 5 minutes if I am online. Seriously, I am right there ready to help anyone who needs it. Contrast that strategy to what seems to be the typical email support response time of an entire day or much longer. It’s just crazy to have to wait that long. Read more »

Disable WordPress Responsive Images

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. Read more »

Display bbPress Posts without a Plugin

I recently redesigned my .htaccess site, htaccessbook.com. Before the redesign, I was using bbPress for the forum functionality. It worked okay for a few years, but along the way there were all sorts of really nasty bugs and important things breaking. It seemed like, no matter what, each updated version of the bbPress plugin caused serious problems, like replies not working, permalinks changing, and all sorts of other issues. Eventually, I got tired of spending hours after each bbPress update to try and fix things. It was time to find a better way. Read more »

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.. Read more »

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. Read more »

Get Random with PHP

This tutorial explains numerous ways to get random items via PHP: numbers, strings, passwords, nonces, images, and more. I use these techniques in various projects, and want to round them all up in one place for easy reference. I’ll be updating this post with additional techniques as I get them. Read more »

.htaccess Cleanup

Once again I am cleaning up my sites’ .htaccess files. I do this from time to time to remove old redirects, refresh blacklists, and update security and SEO-related directives. It’s tedious work, but the performance and security benefits make it all worthwhile. This post shares some of the techniques that were added, removed, or replaced from .htaccess, and explains the reasoning behind each decision. I do this for the sake of reference, and hopefully it will give you some ideas for your own .htaccess cleanups. Read more »

Build Your Own One-Click WordPress Content Importer

In this tutorial, I’m going to walk you through how you can add a new menu in WordPress Admin Area, where your users will be able to import any demo content — including widgets, their positions and navigation as well — by a single click. The code follows the best WordPress practices, uses WP Filesystem for file management, includes escaping and all text strings are prepared for translation. It also passes the WordPress theme check plugin! Read more »

Stop WordPress from modifying .htaccess

By default, depending on file permissions, WordPress automatically will modify the contents of your site’s .htaccess file. It does this on several occasions, adding and/or updating the rewrite rules required for WP’s permalink functionality. This post explains how this works, why it can be dangerous, and how to stop it from happening. Read more »

Humans.txt Template

Years ago, I thought the whole humans.txt thing was just silly, and even explained how to block humans.txt requests. But the concept actually has grown on me to the point where I now include a customized humans.txt file for most of my projects. It just seems like some useful information to make available for those who are looking for it. You know, all about the site, author, team, and such. And I have seen plenty of requests for the humans file in my log files, so it’s definitely worth the effort and something worth providing, especially now that more people […] Read more »

Stop User Enumeration in WordPress

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. Read more »

Stop RSSing.com from Framing Your Content

This quick post explains how to stop the notorious site scrapers, RSSing.com, from stealing your content. In fact, this technique can be used to stop virtually any site that uses HTML frames to scrape your pages. Once again, the solution is one line of .htaccess to the rescue. Read more »

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