Debugging Slow DNS Rollouts

Ever launch a new website and run into DNS delays? Ever curious what’s happening under the hood? Let’s take a closer look and DNS updates and some tips for troubleshooting the DNS rollout process. There are great – and not so great – DNS providers. The difference between a good DNS rollout and bad…

Downloading Backups From Previous Host Provider

Given the following scenario, you’ve just launched a new WordPress site by pointing DNS to the new server and you need to grab a backup file from the old web server. What do you do? There are many potential solutions, such as: Revert DNS Modify the local HOSTS file so that you can reach…

Dynamically Load WordPress Database

The file wp-config.php defines configuration before WordPress is fully loaded, and includes things like database credentials and unique authentication keys. Did you know these configurations can dynamically be loaded? The following custom code will dynamically determine a database name based on an environment variable. Multisite like mode using WP-CLI and shell variables Giving the…

Manually Merging Posts Between WordPress Sites

My recommendation has always been to avoid workflows that involve deploying staging to/from production. That’s because merging WordPress websites is really hard if not nearly impossible to pull off. There are just too moving pieces to track. 👀 Mergebot was a brilliant attempt at solving the merging problem. Unfortunately, that project has been abandoned…

Digging into Mailgun’s API with PHP

Mailgun is a popular transactional email service which I use on many WordPress websites. They have an official WordPress plugin and documentation for developers. I spent the weekend digging into their API in order to revamp an integration between Mailgun and a WordPress plugin I wrote. Interested to see what it looks like to…

Quickly Locate Unknown Disk Usage over SSH

Ever have a website’s disk usage grow over 100GBs unexpectedly? This week I did. This is how I quickly figured out where the extra data was located with the help of rclone and Kinsta’s ssh access. Good host providers let you know when you’re over your limits. I use Kinsta to host all of…

Disable Web Requests for WP-CLI Only WordPress

Did you know you can use WordPress exclusively from WP-CLI? The use case for doing this is pretty unique. Not likely something you’ll see in the wild. Generally you want WordPress to handle web requests however for a WP-CLI only WordPress site we’ll want to disable them. Let’s look at how we can lock…

Handing Legacy Static Sites with Kinsta

On occasion I need to host a PHP static website. This is typically while the customer is working on a new WordPress site and simply needs to keep their legacy site live until the new one replaces it. A good option for handling these sites would be to host with a cheap MediaTemple GRID…

Reusing Cookies for Automation

Previously I’ve wrote about using a Ruby script to automate fetching data from WP Engine’s portal. Recently that script broke due to the way WP Engine’s login process works. While it might be possible to fix, let’s look at bypassing the login process completely. This involves using a real browser to login first then…