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Senior Web Engineer. Open web / music. Remote DJ. Tall Dutch guy. #3million


Hide Trackbacks 1.1.4

Hide Trackbacks is a WordPress plugin that hides pingbacks and trackbacks from your website comments.

The minimum supported WordPress version is now 5.0 and I've bumped up the version to indicate it is tested against the upcoming 5.4 release.


Cuttlefish v0.4 Released

Cuttlefish is a PHP based hackable blog framework -- with the goals of being fast, easily hackable, and easy to adopt. I've been working on it since 2012, when it was known as Carbon. It can generate a static HTML site for uploading anywhere, or run dynamically.

Version 0.4 licenses the code as MIT, so anyone can build on top of the project. Cuttlefish now has API documentation courtesy of PHPDox, which is updated whenever code is changed. I've changed the code style from 'WordPress-like' to the PHP community default of PSR12. The project now comes with a Docker container which means getting up and running is even easier.

Install Cuttlefish is easy using the instructions. For a fuller list of changes see

Known issue:  I still have trouble getting Xdebug to work, if you're familiar with Docker Compose and Xdebug I could use your help.

For v0.5, now that the codebase is in a better state, I'm looking at adding more features again.


WordPress Canonical URLs for Category/PostName Permalinks

When the permalink format is set to %category%/%postname%/ then a post is available under category/postname links for all categories, as well as under all parent/child/postname links.

If you use Yoast SEO and have set a primary category, that  becomes the canonical URL that's used for SEO. If you don't then the postname for whatever category has a lower ID (was created first) becomes the canonical URL.


What is the meaning of a site's Last Updated property?

When running a WordPress multisite, in the site directory each site has a Last Updated property. I previously incorrectly assumed this reflected  when the site's metadata changed, for example the site's attributes. However, archiving and deactivating a site does not change the Last Updated value, so what does it do in WordPress 5.2.1?

As usual the best place to look is the WordPress codebase. It turns out that, on a multisite, this value is updated whenever a post is updated or deleted. It reflects the last content update, not the site's metadata.

By inspecting the html and looking up the property name, we find that the function that updates this is called wpmu_update_blogs_date and there is an action hook wpmu_blog_updated that receives the site_id variable. This function can be called whenever we want to update the value. It isn't used anywhere else.

If we're looking to update this date whenever the site's status changes, then via the same process it appears that he actions to hook into site attribute updates are in wp_maybe_transition_site_statuses_on_update so one could write a quick mu-plugin that updates the Last Updated property whenever these fire.


Hide Trackbacks 1.1.3

Hide Trackbacks is a WordPress plugin that hides pingbacks and trackbacks from your website comments.

I’ve updated the plugin to indicate it works correctly with WordPress 4.9.9 and earlier. It's now also up to PHP 7.2 compatible, and has a number of small fixes to improve code legibility and alignment with the WordPress Coding Standards.


Transitioning to Gutenberg

The WordPress Project says:

The Classic Editor plugin will be officially supported until December 31, 2021.


Since the Classic Editor plugin is central in this transition, we are considering including it with upgrades to WordPress 5.0.

In the context of my professional work with WordPress it would be beneficial to see the Classic Editor plugin be included by default into the installation package. This would signal to plugin and theme developers that we are in a transition phase but supporting the existing installations, until Gutenberg is more fully accepted by the wider community. Not doing do could put pressure on smaller developers to just test their updates for Gutenberg only, resulting in a lot of broken sites or a security nightmare where people won’t be able to update to the latet versions of WordPress or their plugins until the teams and processes are ready.


Hide Trackbacks 1.1.1

Hide Trackbacks is a WordPress plugin that hides pingbacks and trackbacks from your website comments.

I've updated the plugin to indicate it works correctly with WordPress 4.9 and earlier.


Hide Trackbacks works with WordPress 4.2

Hide Trackbacks is a WordPress plugin that hides pingbacks and trackbacks from your website comments.

I've updated the plugin to indicate it works correctly with WordPress 4.2.


Microblogging with WordPress and Twitter

Manton Reece has been having very interesting discussions about microblogging and content ownership recently. He's working on an unannounced project in this area and I've been following his progress.

A few days ago he wrote a post about Microblogging with Wordpress in which he describes most of the process of writing your status updates on your own blog first. As I had to adapt his process for it to work with my configuration of WordPress and as I am using Twitter instead of I thought it would be useful to detail how I went about, based on Manton's write-up.


  • A theme that supports post-formats.
  • an IFTTT and Twitter account.
  • A self-hosted WordPress installation, hosted using Apache.
  • (optionally) the DoNote app from IFTTT for your mobile device.

Step 1: Link a status updates feed to Twitter

In order to post only the status updates to twitter, we have to identify them in both WordPress and for IFTTT.

Create a dedicated category

In Wordpress, if you do not have a category for status updates, create a Snippets category (with the slug snippets). Note the category ID. In addition, create a new category called ifttt-status if you plan to post to Wordpresss from your mobile device later, as I did (this is a workaround to allow WordPress to convert from this category to the status post format).

Setup the RSS feed endpoints

With the category ID, we can now create a new feed by editing the .htaccess file in your WordPress installation directory, see my gist comment on manton's configuration. I had redirection issues with Manton's original setup so I amended it. What we do here is create two endpoints, one for posts without status updates (rss.xml); and one for only status updates (snippets.xml). We then point any requests to /feed (the default WordPress endpoint) to the first endpoint.

Update (26 June): I updated the gist comment after identifying issues in initial configuration. Please reread the gist if you had problems using the initial configuration.

Post new status updates to Twitter

Now create a new recipe that is triggered from the snippets RSS feed, with the action to post a tweet with the tweet text EntryContent.

You can now blog from WordPress to twitter (just leave the title empty).

Step 2: Post status updates from your mobile device

I'm using DoNote to post to IFTTT which then posts to WordPress.

Setup WordPress

Login to your WordPress blog and in the users section create a ifttt user with the role of Author (this allows the user to create posts).

Install the "IFTTT Post Formats & Post Types" plugin, it will convert posts with the ifttt-status category to the status post-format. It will also hide the ifttt-status category from showing up in your template for example.

Link DoNote to WordPress using IFTTT

Back in IFTTT, In the My Recipe's DoNote section, create a new recipe for WordPress (you might get asked to provide the WordPress username and password you created for this purpose) with the action to create a post with the following values:

  • Title: (leave empty)
  • Body: NoteText
  • Categories: Snippets,ifttt-status
  • Tags: (leave empty)
  • Post status: Publish immediately

You are not limited to using DoNote if there is a trigger for your service, and you are not limited to usin IFTTT at all if there are WordPress plugins for your status update service and WordPress support for your writing app, but these will require similar configuration as detailed in this post.

Hope this helps!


Switched to secure connection [updated]

I've switched this site to HTTPS, a secure connection, using a ssl proxy service provided for free by Cloudflare, for reasons. Let me know if you come across any issues.

For those using WordPress, changing the settings Site Address and WordPress Address to HTTPS may make your site unavailable. FYI, the solution I settled on is to install the WordPress HTTPS plugin. Then I set the Site Address to HTTPS. Finally, I cleared the cache. All is working fine now.

Update (06/02/15):
I've moved away from Cloudflare as my DNS provider and as a side-effect this means I'm no longer HTTPS for now. Sorry.