Category: Geekery

  • A Quick Take On Guetzli

    I ran a few (incredibly unscientific) tests on Google’s new Guetzli JPEG encoder last night at 100%, 90%, and 84% compression. Why 84%? Well, that’s the lowest the Guetzli binary will let you go without editing the source and recompiling. Each run (compressing a single image) took about 20 minutes on a medium sized cloud instance…

  • Return of the Slack

    While I find the official WordPress Slack team incredibly useful, the sheer scope of it — over 10,000 users & 66 channels — makes the copy of Slack on my desktop ridiculously sluggish. It’s actually pretty crazy how much lower the RAM usage on my machine is when I remove the WordPress team from the app. At this…

  • Playing with Laravel Valet

    I finally had the chance to do a little WordPress work in Laravel’s lightweight development environment Valet last week. My hot take? If you’re interested in setting it up on your Mac, there’s a solid tutorial that outlines how to get started by Tom McFarlin over at Tuts+. And if you’d like to go down the rabbit hole even further,…

  • Simple Cache

    Taylor has been on fucking fire lately with plugin releases. Simple Cache does one thing — caching, natch — and it does it very well: Simple Cache was constructed after getting frustrated with the major caching plugins available and building sites with developer-only complex caching solutions that get millions of page views per day. If…

  • DuoTone Themes for Atom

    While I’m normally a Solarized Dark guy — seriously, I’ve Solarized Dark’d all the things on pretty much every computer I touch — these Atom syntax themes are really pleasant. I’ve been looking to change things up lately, so I’m going to try living with darkSea for the next month. I’ll let y’all know how it goes!

  • Podcasting Preflight

    After guesting on a few podcasts over the past year, I’ve come up with what I feel is a simple (but thorough) preflight checklist of the things that I like to do to before recording. These things help normalize my environment and minimize the majority of technical difficulties that I run into. Anyway… In an attempt…

  • Reasons for Custom Tables and an API

    When it comes to storing large amounts of data that does not very closely mimic existing WordPress database schemas, you should absolutely use custom tables. Choosing not to use a custom table will likely cause more harm than good. While it’s possible to store almost anything you want as a custom post type in the wp_posts…

  • Gotta Podcatch ‘Em All

    A couple great WordPress podcasts — WP Dev Table and WPwatercooler — have been nice enough to have me on as a guest recently. Instead of having you dig around each site to find the episodes, I’ll just go ahead and leave them here… As you can see, I’m a pretty insightful guy. Humble too. Want to have me…

  • The Big List of Naughty Strings

    The Big List of Naughty Strings is an evolving list of strings which have a high probability of causing issues when used as user-input data. This is intended for use in helping both automated and manual QA testing; useful for whenever your QA engineer walks into a bar.

  • What to Expect When Expecting Content Security Policy Reports

    Zach Tollman goes deep on Content Security Policy reporting in browsers.

  • Shortcake Bakery

    Shortcake + Shortcake Bakery = Easy PDF, JavaScript, iFrame, Facebook post, Scribd & Genius embeds from the team at Fusion. There’s also a really nice image comparison tool. If you’re into that sort of thing. Which I am.

  • Scaling WordPress queries with Elasticsearch

    File under: Cool shit you can do with Elasticsearch.

  • Implementing Public Key Pinning

    While HPKP — which helps reduce the attack surface for man-in-the-middle attacks against HTTPS traffic — is only supported in a very small handful of recent Chrome and Firefox builds, it never hurts to get ahead of the curve. Especially when it comes to your site’s security.

  • WPScan Licensing

    It looks like the WordPress security tool WPScan is looking to move away from the GNU GPL license for their software. That’s rather unfortunate, but after reading about companies trying to repackage and sell WPScan as their own work, I totally get where they’re coming from. Chasing these companies takes time, sometimes a whole day of emails…

  • I’m in Love With the PAKO

    While I never bought into the Flappy Bird hype, I totally get the appeal of infuriatingly brief casual games. So I decided to try out PAKO after finding it over the weekend. The TL;DW (too long; didn’t watch) of the video above is this: Pick a closed, arena-style level. Don’t crash. Avoid cops. Even though I haven’t…

  • Making Your Own High Performance WordPress Server

    Clever forks of WP Engine’s Mercury Vagrant for the “roll your own server” types courtesy of Zach Adams. I say “forks” because he’s actually crafted two different Ansible playbooks. One deploys  WordPress, HHVM, Percona, PHP-FPM & nginx to a server of your choosing while the other adds Varnish, Memcached & APC to the mix. I have a…

  • MyFitnessPal doesn’t use HTTPS

    When logged into MyFitnessPal, all of the pages transmit over insecure HTTP. Everything you eat, your body measurements, your daily activity, and any activity imported from third party services are all transmitted insecurely over HTTP. If you’re on a public wi-fi network, anyone can easily intercept this private health information. Even worse, if you manually…

  • WordPress SEO Tamer

    Love Yoast’s WordPress SEO but hate some of the clutter that it brings to your dashboard? There’s a plugin for that. This plugin also — as Joost points out — breaks the business model that supports WordPress SEO’s development by blocking the ads for Yoast’s other plugins & services. You can turn the ads back on in…

  • Deploy Elasticsearch on Google Compute Engine

    Thanks to Google, you can now quickly spin up an Elasticsearch instance for a few dollars a month. Couple that with WordPress plugins like ElasticPress & ES_WP_Query and you can get some pretty nice performance boosts in places where folks don’t normally bother to optimize.

  • WP Performance Profiler

    The crew at interconnect/it makes some quality stuff, so I’m pretty excited to try this out.