Bulk updating Cloudflare’s firewall rules

I’ve been using Cloudflare recently and overall it’s extremely straightforward, but there was one small fly in the ointment – the firewall settings. Currently you can only enter single IPv4 addresses at once (ranges like x.x.x.x-x aren’t valid either). Luckily they have a very easy to use API so I put together a quick form…

RegEx to match / link Twitter usernames and hashtags

One of the things we do at Helpful Technology is provide digital skills training. As part of that we have a sandboxed Twitter style social network platform that allows users to get used to the medium and practice in a safe environment. I’ve been re-building this system recently, and one feature we wanted to add…

Running the Gandi.net API on their PAAS

I recently setup a small server monitoring script using the APIs from Gandi and Monitor.us – both services I would recommend – to use as a module within Status Board. There was one small quirk – I decided to run it from a Gandi PAAS instance and discovered that the PEAR install they provide doesn’t…

Resolving wpautop and Shortcode problems


WordPress offers quite a friendly hybrid WYSIWYG / HTML editor that makes publishing easy even for those with no HTML experience. One of the ways it accomplishes this is through a function called wpautop. This runs on the_content as the page is drawn to insert <p> and <br/> tags as needed. By inserting them dynamically like this it prevents code creeping in to the editor and leading to potential confusion / corruption. However, it can sometimes lead to unexpected results – especially when combined with shortcodes.

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Advanced CPT Filtering in WordPress

Prior to WordPress 3.1 you could only use one meta_key : meta_value : meta_compare in a query_posts. This meant that you could, for example, get the custom post type (cpt) product, filter it to get only those products that have a price >= 100. However you could not then orderby department ASC. Neither could you get the products with a price over 100 and colour green.
Now you can do advanced CPT filtering in WordPress since 3.1 with meta_query. There’s a nice intro post to this which I won’t repeat, but here is the code I used last week as an example:

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Highlighting Custom Post Types in the menu

There seems to be a problem/oversight in WordPress at the moment (afaik). You can generate Custom Post Types (CTP) easily enough, and have them visible on any page using templates/the loop, but when you click through to a single CTP WordPress assigns the current_page_parent to the default posts page. For many that will mean highlighting…

Conditionally loading plugin scripts in WordPress

I’m a big fan of WordPress – it’s both easy to use as an author and easy to develop for. There are also a huge amount of free (and paid) plugins to extend the core functionality.
Unfortunately there is a downside – most plugins do not conditionally load their files only on pages that call them. It is all to easy to end up with every page loading a string of Javascript and CSS files slowing the site to a crawl, when they are only actually required on specific pages.

I’m going to show 2 quick examples of how to use the functions.php file in your theme to only load the scripts for a plugin on a specific page using deregister and remove_filter, which are built into WordPress.

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Tracking downloads in Google Analytics with jQuery

Google Analytics (and other similar services) aren’t 100% reliable, but they give a valuable insight into what the visitors to your site are up to. One thing they won’t do is track clicks on download links, unless you specify an onClick action for each link.

But here jQuery comes to the rescue – just a few lines of code will have all links to whatever filetypes you need tracked in Google Analytics as Events. Another common use of the same technique (with a few minor changes to the code) is to track clicks on outgoing links.

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MediaElement.js Joomla plugin released

Just a short announcement that I released a plugin to enable use of MediaELement.js in Joomla on GitHub recently. It is in it’s early stages – functional but lacking a couple of features. Hopefully I will be able to add more support for non-core MediaElement.js features of the next weeks/months.