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Web Dev + WordPress + Security

Online Tools for Traceroute & Ping

Traceroute not working correctly via macOS Terminal app, which is how I’ve been doing it for years now. For some reason, the traces hang up and never complete for certain sites. After some time troubleshooting and not finding any solution, I decided to look for alternate ways of performing traceroutes and site pings. Fortunately there are tons of free tools. Here are some of the useful services and apps that I’ve found.. Continue reading »

WordPress pre_get_posts + Combined Category Archives

This is a quick post following from the latest redesign of my WordPress plugins website, Plugin Planet. There, I make use of WordPress great query functionality to display archives of multiple categories. For example, here is the combined archive for BBQ Pro and Docs. So that category archive displays all documentation posts for BBQ Pro. Likewise for other categories, for example here is the combined archive for Banhammer Pro and Tutorials. That category archive displays all tutorial posts for Banhammer […] Continue reading »

Heavy Scans for Low-Hanging Fruit

I’ve been working on developing the 8G Firewall. Digging through log files and crunching the data, the big new trend I’m noticing is heavy scanning for easy targets, low hanging fruit. Bad actors are looking for any little hidden files stashed on your server. Mostly PHP files, also ZIP and RAR files, and other file formats commonly used for compressing and archiving content. Basically, anything that might contain useful information (like login credentials, database backups, email addresses, etc.). Also, 99% […] Continue reading »

BBQ Firewall – Count Blocked Requests

BBQ Firewall is built to be powerful, lightweight, fast and flexible. It’s code base is kept super lean, leaving extra functionality out of core while supporting new features via simple addons. For example, this tutorial shows how to use an addon to display the total number of blocked HTTP requests on the plugin settings page. This can help you get a basic idea of the plugin’s effectiveness. Continue reading »

Enable Contact Form 7 to Work with Disable WP REST API

My free WordPress plugin, Disable WP REST API, disables the REST API for all users who are not logged in to WordPress. So if you’re using a plugin such as Contact Form 7 that requires the REST API, it’s not going to work if Disable WP REST API is active on site. But there is a way to make it work. This quick tutorial explains how to set it up in two steps. Continue reading »

Enable Logging for nG Firewall

This tutorial is for users of my nG Firewall, version 8G or better. It explains how to enable logging for all blocked requests. This is useful for testing, debugging, and keeping an eye on things. Takes only a few minutes to set up, and of course it’s all open source and 100% free for everyone :) Continue reading »

8G Firewall (Beta)

The 8th generation of nG Firewall now is available for testing. We’ve got a great team of beta testers already checking things out. Everything going smoothly so far, now rolling out public style here at Perishable Press. To help test the beta version of 8G, read through this post and grab a download. 8G is open source and 100% free for everyone. A huge thank you to all beta testers :) Continue reading »

About nG Firewall

The nG Firewall is a carefully crafted set of security rules for Apache and Nginx servers. nG may be applied via your site’s public root .htaccess file, or added via server configuration file. Once added, 8G provides powerful server-level protection against a wide range of malicious requests, bad bots, automated attacks, spam, and many other types of threats and nonsense. It’s a lightweight yet super strong firewall that improves site security and peace of mind. Continue reading »

Apple AirTag Review

Recently learned about Apple AirTag. Which is a small round device that you can put in your bag or whatever to track its location anywhere. Think I need to try one of those cool little gadgets. Here’s my experience in a nutshell.. Continue reading »

Block Random String Comment Spam

Recently WordPress sites have been getting hammered with random-string comment spam. The attackers are clever, using random text strings for every vector except the payload, which usually is the URL used for the comment’s Name link. But for these weird comment spams, the apparent payload is the email address. It’s the only part of the comment that’s not made up of random gibberish. Continue reading »

HTML Abbreviations Cheat Sheet

Here is my custom list of abbreviations for commonly used terms, as written via HTML’s <abbr></abbr> tag. I’m posting this to make it available to anyone who finds it useful. Very handy when writing tutorials related to WordPress, web design and development. A quick copy/paste is much quicker than typing it all out. Without further ado, here is my “cheat sheet” of HTML abbreviations. Continue reading »

All CSS Filter Functions + Quick Copy/Paste Examples

CSS makes it easy to customize image appearance on the fly. So you don’t have to crank open your image editor and do any work there. You can apply many visual effects directly on the image using the CSS filter property. You can change image brightness, contrast, opacity, saturation — even do things like rotate hues, drop shadows, and blur the image. Browser support is solid for all major browsers. Continue reading »

Domain-Based, Site Specific Email Addresses FTW

I use domain-based emails for 99% of my email activity. The other 1% is comprised of assorted 3rd-party email services and temporary slash disposable addresses (like for testing purposes and one-off sign-ups, etc.). I can tell you whole-heartedly based on 20+ years working online that domain-based email is THE WAY to go. Continue reading »

DIY Server Uptime Monitor

There are many free (and commercial) uptime monitoring services that will alert you if your server goes offline. These services are popular because it’s mission critical to know when your sites are down. The sooner you know about it, the sooner you can scramble to get everything back online. I’ve tried other scripts and services but nothing that met my specific needs: simple, secure, lightweight and blazing fast. So decided roll my own DIY server status monitor and share it […] Continue reading »

Margin Offset for Anchor Targets with CSS or JavaScript

For sites using a fixed-position “sticky” header or similar, it’s necessary to add an offset margin to any on-page anchor targets. For example this recent article provides a Table of Contents menu with links to each section on the page. Click a link and the page scrolls down to the target element, which is an <h2></h2> heading tag. Thanks to one of the CSS solutions provided in this tutorial, the scrolling takes into account the page’s 50-pixel sticky header, so […] Continue reading »

All the Hyphens & Dashes

Typography is inspiring :) I recently posted about all the different HTML “X” characters. Then a tweet from Helge Klein inspired me to write a follow-up post showing all the different ways to write a dash or hyphen – character in HTML. Like most online content creators, I knew about &ndash; and &mdash;. But I didn’t realize there were so many other hyphen and dash characters. 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 »
Banhammer: Protect your WordPress site against threats.
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Fall season almost here :)
My greatest skill on social media is the ability to simply ignore 98% and keep scrolling without interacting.
Enjoying this summer, getting some great positive energy. Refreshing and inspiring.
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