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Web Dev + WordPress + Security
Tag: tips
246 posts

WordPress Error Fix: “Call to undefined function get_header()”

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

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 »

CLI Forward-Reverse Lookup

In previous posts, I’ve explained how to verify identity of search engines and other bots, by looking up the host name and then doing a reverse lookup to cross-check the IP address. This is often referred to as a forward-reverse lookup, or something to that effect. The point is, there are plenty of free online tools available for performing forward-reverse IP/host lookups. And online tools are great, but it’s also possible to do forward/reverse lookups directly via the command line, […] 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

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

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 »

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. Continue reading »

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

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

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 »

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 and glad 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 […] 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
Air finally clearing here in WA. Feeling grateful to breathe again. #oxygenmatters
Past week here in WA state has been hellish. So much smoke, like living in a chimney.
Now in September, I’m where I wanted to be in March.
Spent some time updating my article on unsafe characters, once again current with latest IETF specification.
Just realized that “Neo” is an anagram for “One”. As in, “he is the One” (The Matrix).
To get VLC app to load all songs (including subfolders), go to Preferences ▸ Show All ▸ Playlist ▸ Subdirectory behavior ▸ Expand.
Switching from PhotoShop to Affinity Photo is one of the most liberating work-related things I've done in 20 years.
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