Link building exploit that only Google can see

November 19th, 2010

I was called by a client today who had looked at her site in Google’s cache and was shocked to see spam links for penis pills. When she viewed her site, however, there were no links to be seen. Thinking the hosting provider had fixed the issue, I looked at the most recently-cached item, which [...]

Must-have plugins for any WordPress install

October 18th, 2010

One of the things that makes WordPress so great is the fact that you can extend it, without touching the core, through the use of plugins. Here is the list of must-have plugins that I put on every blog I deploy, and why: All In One SEO Pack – allows you to set custom titles, [...]

symfony and cPanel “couldn’t locate driver named mysql”

October 17th, 2010

I was experiencing this earlier today on a cPanel install to which I had deployed a symfony application. The solution was to install the PDO_MYSQL Pecl module. Here’s how you do it: Log in as root to your cPanel install Under the Software menu on the left, click “Module Installers” Click Manage, next to the [...]

PCI Compliance And Back Ports

December 29th, 2009

I was recently hired to do a PCI compliance scan and complete the remedial work to bring it up to standard. This was on a CentOS5 box. The tool I was using to do the scanning was pretty good, but like all scanning tools plays “the numbers game.” This means it simply looks at the [...]

External DNS at 1and1

June 10th, 2009

If you have your DNS hosted in one place (say DNS Made Easy) but host your content on 1and1 allows you to do this without transferring the domain to them. The problem is they appear to not set the DirectoryIndex directive for hosts using external DNS. This can be overcome with either creating or [...]

How to Start sshd On Plesk

June 9th, 2009

I had a client machine reboot today and ssh wasn’t configured to come up on boot. This was a CentOS Plesk machine at my least favorite hosting provider, Media Temple. Secure shell isn’t mentioned in the services section in Plesk, and Media Temple doesn’t have a remote console feature. So in order to avoid submitting [...]

Affiliate Link Cloaker Plugin

May 8th, 2009

Introduction This plugin will cloak an affiliate link in a similar fashion to a product called GC Affiliate Cloaker. It essentially spits out some JavaScript that opens the cloaked link in an iframe. Cloaking in this case is not for SEO purposes – it is to shorten URLs so they look prettier and also to [...]

Apache restarts with vlad

April 30th, 2009

Often when deploying a new web application you need to restart the apache process. If you’re deploying the application with vlad the deployer as a non-root user (which you should be doing) and you need to restart apache, this can be a little tricky. Luckily there’s a Linux command called sudo which allows you to [...]

Updating WordPress XML Sitemaps Offline

April 24th, 2009

I personally love Arne Brachhold’s Google XML Sitemap plugin for WordPress. I personally use it on any WordPress install I do. On larger blogs, or blogs where you’re using automated content generators (i.e. posting content in an automated way through XML-RPC) the default build mode will slow down your blog because it rebuilds the entire [...]

Clickbank Ad Feed WordPress Plugin

April 15th, 2009

Introduction Clickbank does not have an RSS feed, but they do have an XML version of their products called the Clickbank Marketplace. I wrote a simple backend for importing this XML file and producing RSS feeds, and then wrote a WordPress plugin that will show these feeds on your blog as a widget. Affiliate ID, [...]