All posts by David Cooley

WordPress 3.8 & Twenty Fourteen Theme

I just upgraded to WordPress 3.8 and decided to stay with my trend of using the default themes when possible.

I did setup a Twenty Fourteen Child Theme so I could make modifications. The only change I made so far is to the footer file so I could add my copyright.

The main idea is that I want my site to be flexible enough to change easily and being able to switch to the default theme at any time pretty much assures me I have everything set to make easy changes.

This was the easiest change I have seen when it comes to using the theme that ships with WordPress. The only real change I needed was to go into the Menu option and save the location of the menu. Previously that was a little more work and required rebuilding the menu.


Don’t Expose Your Client’s Email Address

This is a common mistake I see particularly with small businesses.

If you send an email and you put all the recipients in the TO: field you expose all the emails addresses to everyone on the list. Although you hopefully do not have any clients that would use this information maliciously it is also considered bad etiquette, and Netiquette (Internet etiquette)

The easy solution is to put an address in the TO: field that you own, and then BCC (Blind CC) the rest of the recipients therefore keeping the email addresses hidden from each other.


Amazon Simple Store in PHP with Mandatory Signed Requests

Several years ago I used Amazon software for a lot of sites. But after they changed their authentication there was a lack of documentation and I lost interest in trying to fix the old code. I kept going back to their site and forums to see if anyone had ever fixed their Simple Store example which was an excellent spring board into understanding the code. Unfortunately there was never a resolution, and the last comment on the product page was from July 2010 stating that it still does not work.

For some unknown reason this product came back into my vision over the past weekend and the pieces fell into place to resolve the problems.

So I have modified the original and fixed the problem with the mandatory signed request.

A working copy can be seen at CyberCoder Amazon Store

It can be downloaded from Amazon Simple Store in PHP with Mandatory Signed Requests , I do charge a $9.95 fee to download from my site. And yes, I know, everything should be free, but some of us have to make an income from our work.




Hyphen vs Underscore in URL

This has always been a topic of discussion in relation to SEO and building websites. I have always thought it was important, but not critical to use hypens instead of underscores in a URL.

However, since it is so easy to solve I have always recommended using hypens and not underscores as seperators. If you use WordPress it automatically uses hypens as it’s main separator so you can let it build your “slug” for you.

Here is the latest video I could find of Matt Cutts explaining it again. And I think he does a great job of not only explaining how it works, but why it works.

Underscores vs. dashes in URLs

How To Disable A Parent Item Link on WordPress Menu

While working on a Client site recently it became apparent we needed to make the top level Parent link not go anywhere. As an example if you have a menu item named Products, and under it you have 10 product pages you may want that top item not to be active.

Disable WordPress Menu Parent ItemThere are several plugins you can install that will do different things with these links, however, the simpliest method is to apply a # to the link. From the Admin sidebar, select Menus. Under Custom Links insert a # in the URL, and give the menu item a Label. Add the custom menu item to the menu and then place your children links under it.

Now from any page the Top item will have a link, but it will simply stay on the current page.