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PHP Login System

Following up on yesterday’s introduction to PHP Sessions, let’s talk about building a simple login system in PHP. To start, you will need to make sure that pages on your site that are behind the login page will have sessions enabled. This can be done for all of your pages […]

PHP Session Handling

Sessions, one of those necessary evils when building websites. They come into play whenever you need to have data available between pages on a site. These scenarios typically arise when you have login restricted areas on a site. Why do I refer to them as evil? Quite a few reasons […]

Sending Email from PHP

I remember one of my first paid programming gigs, it was to build a contact form for a friend’s website. Not one of those janky mailto: hacks that attempted to open the local email client. I’m talking about a form that would send mail from the server, you know, in […]

HitTail Review

One of the hardest things for me now that I have been blogging consistently for a few months is coming up with new topics to blog about. After I got pretty caught up on my queue I decided that it was finally time to give HitTail a try. HitTail is […]

Password Hashing Techniques in PHP

This post started as part of yesterday’s post on encrypting passwords as a subsection labeled “Salt? Pepper? When did this become a cooking blog?” The fact is, I felt that the section was a bit long-winded and warranted a dedicated post. Without further ado let’s talk about some techniques for […]

Encrypting Passwords in PHP

Not all hashing functions are created equally, some are considered more secure than others and yet all of them are more secure than storing plaintext passwords. In this post I’m going to discuss some of the common PHP hashing functions that can be used as an alternative to storing plaintext […]

Specifying a User Agent when using file_get_contents() in PHP

I recently encountered a scenario where one of my site’s login system stopped working. The piece of code that stopped working was the third-party login that leveraged GitHub for the authentication. It was one of those “it worked yesterday” moments for sure. After some research, I discovered that GitHub had […]

LESS Icons for easy styling and customization

Got a new project I wanted to share with everyone, it’s called icons.less (or LESS Icons) and it’s available for immediate forking and use over at GitHub. The project itself stemmed from my own desire to have a set of social icons that were easy to customize for different websites […]

How to Setup a LEMP Stack on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with a good ol’ LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) but in my experience, Apache doesn’t necessarily scale all that well with PHP. It’s really not Apache’s fault, the fact is that most of the time servers are configured to use the […]

Command-Line PHP

PHP is a powerful scripting language but did you know it can be used from the command-line as well? Using PHP from the CLI has many applications from checking what version of PHP is installed to being able to execute scripts and even check the syntax of a file. If […]

Browser redirect with PHP

Within nearly every web site or application there is a need to redirect a user to another page. Perhaps you want to route them to a login page when they aren’t authenticated or maybe because a page moved and you want to take them to the new location. To accomplish […]

How to Setup a LAMP Stack on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

It seemed fitting that the first post on PHP Avenue should be about setting up a new server with PHP. This particular post will focus on a traditional LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. I also intend on writing additional posts covering the setup of a […]

How I schedule my time

Being my own boss has some definitely advantages, like being able to take a beach day on a whim or go to watch one of my daughter’s dance classes. The unfortunate side of that is that you still have to manage your time if you want to get shit done. […]

Advice on Freelancing

A friend of mine recently asked me for some advice in regard to a freelancing project he was in the quoting phase of. I figured, what a great topic for a blog post! Keep in mind though, I haven’t freelanced in years, mainly because I am not a fan of […]

Don't be surprised by success

A trio of guys recently started to get into a space that I already have sites in. Their browser extension is called Babblr and it falls into the same realm as TumbleChat which is my chat site that uses Tumblr for the login (we also run one for Twitter called […]

Linode NextGen vs. DigitalOcean

A lot has happened since February when I originally blogged about Linode and DigitalOcean. First and foremost, Linode has finished rolling out their “NextGen” platform in all of it’s glory. Linode also experienced a break in to their manager that allegedly resulted in credit cards getting stolen. I say allegedly […]

Quitting Caffeine

Caffeine, the performance enhancing drug of choice of programmers, gamers and just about everyone else in America and abroad. I used to worship the molecule just like the next coder, and why not? Code longer, focus better and hell, it’s cheaper than most party favors! Hi, I’m Josh and up […]

How I use Redis

If you know me you know that I’m a huge proponent of Redis. I started using it in mid-2011 as the storage engine for a chat system I was building for SceneKids. Over the last year and a half or so I’ve utilized Redis more and more for many other […]

PHP: Built for the web

If you know me, you know I’m a pretty devout PHP coder when it comes to my own adventures in web development. I’ve been using it since version 3 (started with it in Y2K) and in using it that long, I’d be the last person to say that it’s a […]

Blocking Proxy Sites with JavaScript

Social websites don’t always attract the most desireable patrons and often times those users opt to hide their identity (as well as blocking banner ads) behind a proxy server. There are quite a few free web-based proxies out there (generally ad funded, some have premium tiers) and they typically have […]

Going Vanilla with MySQL

Over the last few years I’ve gotten down and dirty with MySQL’s config file, my.cnf. I read and re-read the MySQL documentation as well as any blog posts I could find on the subject. I was able to keep my connections low with caching and fought against the InnoDB buffer […]

The Accidental MVP

Over the last 10 years I’ve been a single digit employee at two startups in the Tampa area and both companies had completely different approaches to product development. At The Online Outpost we build an inventory management and listing platform for eBay consignment shops (remember those?!). The product was originally […]

Node.js for Web Apps? Not so much.

I’m sure I’ll catch some flak for this from the Node.js community (which does seem to be thriving) but I’m just not seeing Node.js as a viable platform for building web applications. When I say web application, I specifically mean websites. The platform seems great for building small servers and […]

How a kindergarten teacher impacted my life

If I were writing this at the time, it probably would have been more of a diatribe than an insightful look at how someone shaped my life. The year was 1986 and I had just finished up a short stint in Catholic school for pre-school. Kindergarten was quite a culture […]

Lessons learned about directory based sharding

“Too many files?” is what I said in disbelief when I was having issues restoring a Linode backup a while back. I was sitting on over 10 million files after I had moved a metric shit ton of data from MySQL to disk and restructured the data structure for the […]