PHP Password Generator

8th March 2008

Here is a very simple function that will generate a string of random characters, ideal if you want to create a password for a new user.

Changing Your Wordpress Database Prefix

7th March 2008

A good security tip when installing your Wordpress blog is to change the database table prefix, the idea is that this will hide the tables from any hackers looking to compromise your blog. This can be done in the wp-config.php file and the variable $table_prefix. Changing this value from the default wp_ to, for example, blog_ will change the table wp_posts to blog_posts, making it more difficult for hackers to find it.

Using mod_rewrite On Form Parameters

Using mod_rewrite on websites is fairly straightforward and can create some lovely looking URL structures. Instead of having a URL that contains lots of odd looking parameters like this:


You can use a .htaccess file to rewrite the URL on the server side in order to shorten this to something like this:

philipnorton42 Wed, 03/05/2008 - 11:42

Simple PHP Script To Hide An Email Address In An Image

4th March 2008

Spam is a problem. You want to allow people who genuinely want to get in touch to see your email address, but doing this invariably leads to you getting thousands of spam emails.

One solution is to hide your email address in an image, but it can be a pain to create an image for every email address you need. A better solution is to use the PHP GD functions to create an image at runtime so that your email address is displayed, but is completely unreadable to spammers.

To to this you will need to create an image tag on your website, here is an example.

Getting All Permutations Of An Array In PHP

29th February 2008

Here are two ways in which you can figure out all of the different permutations of an array.

The first is using a recursive algorithm. This nibbles apart the array and sticks it back together again, eventually resulting in all of the different permutations available.

Create A Simple Flash Presentation

28th February 2008

One common thing that can be done with Flash is to create presentations. These presentations can then be exported to a swf file and viewed by just about everybody.

To make a presentation create a new flash document and create a new layer. This layer will be used to keep the next and previous buttons in a consistent place.

On the first frame add the following code to stop the animation running at the first frame.

Apache Bench Tool

The Apache Bench tool can be found in the bin directory of any standard instillation of the Apache HTTP server. It can be used to test the response times of any web server you want and can be useful if you want to stress test a mission critical server before it goes live.

To use the tool open a command prompt (or terminal), navigate the Apache bin folder and find the program ab, this is the Apache Bench tool. The simplest form of running the tool is to use a single URL. However, you must enter a full file name or the tool will give you an invalid URL error.

philipnorton42 Mon, 02/25/2008 - 15:28
Avoiding URL Canonicalisation With mod_rewrite And Apache

URL canonicalisation is where you have a website with different URLs outputting the same content. When search engine spiders see all this content that is the same they can get confused as to what page to display in search engine result pages. The following URLs, although they are different, actually produce the same content.

philipnorton42 Fri, 02/22/2008 - 16:59

Creating A Widget Proof Wordpress Theme

21st February 2008

Wordpress widgets are a way to customise the sidebar of your blog very easily and where included with the default Wordpress instillation from version 2.2 onwards. With a widgetised theme all you need to do to change the menu system on your blog is drag and drop features and edit some simple parameters like heading.

To include widgets on your blog you need a widget ready Wordpress theme. However, this isn't as easy as it sounds because only a small section of themes are widget enabled.