Display PHP errors in Webmatrix

WebMatrix 2 - logoFor several weeks Microsofts development environment, called WebMatrix, is available in version 3. As already the first and second version was, WebMatrix 3 is ​​a free development environment for websites and web applications of different platforms such as ASP.NET, PHP, and HTML5.
I use WebMatrix from time to time to test, among other things, just one or the other PHP script. Sadly the provided/integrated web server shows by the default settings, so as it is delivered, no PHP error messages. So when the gremlins sneak in your PHP script and you have not caught all code in try-catch blocks, you only see a white page in browser. For productive environments this seems to make sense, but for a development tool, this is plain and simple said – bullshit!
To show the, in my opinion […]

TagKeywordFinder – a free WordPress SEO plugin

Last while browsing I came across a WordPress plugin called wpSuggest. This links Google’s autocomplete function (the thing called “Google Suggest”, which ensures that you get suggestions while typing your question) with the title field in the WordPress editor. So if you write an article in the WordPress backend and type the title wpSuggest will make suggestions for the perfect title.
I liked the way the Google Suggest feature was used here. However, I found that the combination of Google Suggest and the input field for the keywords/tags would make much more sense.  So in short I have developed a small WordPress plugin named “TagKeywordFinder”. This plugin works similar to the above mentioned wpSuggest, with the small difference that it is used when tagging the article. And this is how it looks like:

(If you’re not intrested in the setup process, skip it to 1:00.)
When you begin to assign tags for your […]

PHP workaround – how to use file_get_contents() without allow_url_fopen

php_artikel_logoI admit, the title of this article is somewhat misleading. The PHP function file_get_contents(), which can be used to read files from the internet into a string, just does not work with allow_url_fopen disabled. On that not even this article will change anything.
However, if you want to develop an application or a script, that should work on as many server environments as possible, such as a wordpress plugin, so there is a good workaround for all the environments where allow_url_fopen is disabled. And just this little snippet/workaround is what I want to show and explain to you today.

$file = "http://www.example.com/my_page.php";
if (function_exists(‘curl_version’))
{
$curl = curl_init();
curl_setopt($curl, CURLOPT_URL, $file);
curl_setopt($curl, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1);
$content = curl_exec($curl);
curl_close($curl);
}
else if (file_get_contents(__FILE__) && ini_get(‘allow_url_fopen’))
{
$content = file_get_contents($file);
}
else
{
echo ‘You have neither cUrl installed nor allow_url_fopen activated. Please setup one of those!’;
}

First, it is checked whether the cURL extension is available on the server. If […]

How to make simple syntax hightlighter in PHP

PHP SyntaxhighlighterIn the following article I will show you how you can write your own syntax highlighter with a few lines of PHP. By use of the following PHP snippet you can easily display PHP code on your homepage.
The whole thing is much more easily than you think. Most of the work is done by an internal PHP function named highlight_file. This function reads a file and formats the source code in color. We then merely have to count the lines of the file and output the line numbers, as well as preformat the font.
Since the snippet is not that long, I think the comments in the snippet itself are sufficient. If you still have any questions, just write a comment.

<?php
function highlight_sourcecode($file)
{
//Count the lines of the input file
$amount_of_lines = count(file($file));

//Create a list with all line numbers
$list_linenumbers = range(1, $amount_of_lines);

//Format line […]

How to use gzip on WordPress

gzipSo far I never worried about the page load speed of this blog. But so far I even thought WordPress would use gzip compression on it’s own. Like I said, so far. Today I realized that WordPress is not just doing exactly that.
For those who are lost in gzip, I’ll give a short explanation at first. Gzip is a compression method in order to minimize the size of a file. Today it is mostly used on Unix systems. In the website context, it is used to reduce the size of data which is transferred from the server to the user’s web browser. This not only reduces the traffic and, by implication, the overheads too, but also it brings a reduction of the website’s […]