Articles about WordPress

Apache: Better blocking with common rules

This is a follow on post to the 'Using Apache to block Spammers' post.
It shows how to use Includes in your Apache configuration to re-use useful rules.

Apache rewrites to control access to PHP files

There are certain PHP files that you want access to but don't want to make public.
Common examples of these are:

  • PHPInfo.php
  • APC.php
  • memcache.php

You also don't really want to deploy these on all of your sites on a server nor have them in your git repositories for sites.

A neat way of dealing with this is to use rewriting in your web server config files (e.g. Apache, NGINX, IIS etc) to do the following:

handling 404 errors on hosted CMS

A general housekeeping task for CMS systems such as Wordpress and Drupal and other websites and good practice to keep your site SEO high is to make sure you are gracefully handling missing pages (404 errors).
One of the routine tasks to carryout is checking for crawl errors in Google Webmaster tools. If you see any missing pages in the list it is worth making sure you have some measures in place to handle these and ideally issue a 301 redirect so that Google and other search engines update their indexes.

Site Maintenance and Hosting

To ensure that we are able to provide the quality of website services our clients have come to expect we provide the full services of an Internet Service Provider (ISP). This enables us to provide custom, secure and high performance website solutions.  We provide services to manage the complete web presence for your website from registration and hosting through security and performance monitoring and support.

Technology Articles

Update: we have now combined this site with our main site! And all the articles are available in the one site.

We wanted to create a home for our knowledgebase and created the website Here we provide a range of articles and posts covering issues from using CMS systems such as Drupal through to security articles covering securing access to your website.

Safe guard your web site with routine web log analysis and forensics

Whether you are running Drupal,Wordpress, Expression engine, Joomla or in fact any web site one of the regular tasks you should carryout on your web site is a bit of log analysis. It is often left up to modules, plug ins or someone else to protect your web site until it too late.
We all rely on Google Analytics to tell us about visitors and maybe use our log analysis software (AWStats, Webaliser etc) to report on log entries - but it is always worth using tools locally to dig deeper into your logs. These can range from simple reports on accesses to your site to more detailed forensic analysis of site activity.
By doing this we get to know better how visitors are accessing our site and can uncover some interesting answers to questions such as:

  • How often is Google actually spidering my site?
  • How many errors am I getting and what are they?
  • Who is stealing my content?
  • Is anyone trying to crack my site?

In this post I will briefly cover some useful techniques to analyse you logs and see if any one is abusing your hospitality.

Adding thumbnails to WordPress posts

One of the features of Wordpress 2.9 was the addition of support for Thumbnails in posts. One of the frequent question we get is How do I show thumbnails in posts?

If your theme supports thumbnails then on the post edit page you will see a Post Thumbnail box at the bottom of the right column.

If your theme doesn't 'natively' support thumbnails - you can fix it with a few lines of code.

The first thing to do is to locate the functions.php file in your theme directory and add the following snippet:

Content Management Systems

Although we do build solutions for our clients from the ground up, we increasingly base our IT solutions on standard content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress (for simple sites and blogs) and Drupal (for more complex and tailored solutions)

We provide solutions for our customers based on standard open source content management systems such as WordPress and Drupal.  These powerful solutions enable us to rapidly develop rich and attractive websites that our clients can manage.

Species Protection Legislation

Over ten years ago when we started creating web sites and applications to manage biodiversity related information we needed a public website to act as a host for these projects. was created to provide web space for not for profit Biodiversity and conservation projects and provide resources for biodiversity projects.

To www or not to www

One of the trends these days is to lose the www. from your domain name.
Arguments for are usability (e.g. you don't have as much typing to do - it is easier to not have to say dubyadubyadubya every time you give out your web address).
There are counter arguments of course to do with cookie control and sites that have sub-domains etc.
What is important though is that you choose one and stick to it. In any event you should decide for one and not allow both.
Supporting both will cause duplicate content in Google and you may suffer in SEO terms.

htaccess Rewrites - Discarding the unwanted Querystring

I use the .htaccess file a lot on hosted servers. On our own servers I prefer to use the httpd.conf as it performs better and is not reevaluated on every request. But if you are on a hosted server the .htaccess is your earliest port of call for handling incoming traffic and can be more efficient than using modules for certain tasks. One common gotcha is how to discard the querystring for a redirect.