By default most of the file types (eg: pdf, csv, txt, mp3, mov, mp4, jpg, png, gif, html, etc.) displayed in browser instead of download. But we can force browser to download these files instead of showing them. In this article we will explain how to force file download using either Apache or PHP.
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Tracking your site’s PHP errors is an excellent way to manage and troubleshoot unexpected issues related to plugins and themes. While there is no definitive method for handling errors, there are some "best practices" that should be implemented in all PHP applications.
An "error" is an expected or unexpected event that occurs when your PHP code is running. An "expected" error can be a database query that returns no result or an html form that is missing values for designated required fields. An "unexpected" error is one that assumes a particular application state which, for some as yet unknown reason, does not exist. The most obvious unexpected error is a database that is not running or a missing file that one of your scripts expects to find.
By using PHP to work with the very popular SQL column type DateTime, it is possible to format a timestamp in any configuration. PHP quickly and easily enables a simple, robust and handy function to represent DateTime in any format you see fit.
PHP’s time() uses Unix timestamps for its date functionality, but contains functions to convert any other timestamp into the exact date formatting (text or otherwise) you are looking to accomplish. This includes working with SQL’s popular DateTime format.
As mentioned PHP uses Unix Epoch time, or POSIX time, it is a system for describing points in time. It is the amount of seconds between January 1st 1970 00:00:00 (Unix Epoch) and the present time, to the closest second. It is widely used not only on Unix operating systems, but in many other computing systems including PHP and the Java programming language. PHP’s own time() uses Unix epoch time. This makes it necessary to convert DateTime into a format PHP is comfortable working with.
Using the power of PHP’s var_dump() displays structured information about one or more expressions that includes its type and value. By definition var_dump() is a debugging tool, which displays structured information about any PHP variable. Below is a handy bit of code using var_dump() to test and verify that a SQL query contains data and view the contents using PHP:
$sql = mysql_query("SELECT * FROM your_table WHERE key = 'value'");
$assoc = mysql_fetch_assoc($sql);
// Dump variable containing the result of the MySQL query
Continue reading Using PHP’s var_dump() to Display SQL Query Results
WordPress does not use sessions to hold any data being that it is a stateless application. This makes it quite a problem for tasks like a shopping cart, which requires data(the user’s selected product) to be remembered from one page to the next. This means that if you want to use PHP sessions in your plugins or custom modifications of WordPress you will need to do some custom coding.
Luckily the fix is a simple one that anyone can handle! You only need to do a little hacking to enable sessions within WordPress.
Utilizing URLs on your site that are search engine friendly is simple and easy to do thanks to PHP and Apache. We will be utilizing permalinks that get rid of all the nasty $_GET data that trails the end of most PHP scripts. An example of a SEO unfriendly URL we will clean is:
Using a combination of Apache’s ForceType directive, the PHP explode() function and PHP’s PATH_INFO variable we can easily turn the sample URL into:
This not only helps our website’s SEO (search engine optimization), but also accomplishes a security concept is known as “security by obscurity”. By obscuring the fact that our web site is using a PHP script, we may detract potential hackers from looking for exploits within our scripts.