Introducing the Strong Password Generator plugin for WordPress

Today I released the Strong Password Generator plugin for WordPress.

Last week I released a plugin called Expire Passwords which is meant to harden site security by requiring certain users to change their passwords on a regular basis.

The plugin got some early users straight away, one of whom suggested that it might also be nice to give users a way to generate a strong password, making it even easier to reset it when prompted.

What a great idea! So great, in fact, that I thought it could really be a standalone feature and plugin in it’s own right. And after a little research, I couldn’t find an existing plugin that provided the experience I was envisioning. So I built one myself.


Know the purpose of your product and listen to early adopters. You might discover a completely new idea just waiting to branch off into it’s own product for users to love.



Introducing the Expire Passwords plugin for WordPress

Today I released a new plugin for WordPress called Expire Passwords.

This latest product is a continuation on my streak of other plugin releases that also deal with the topic of user session security.

The idea here is pretty simple.

If you have registrations open on your WordPress site, chances are there is a decently-sized group of users that have simply gone MIA. They have accounts, and they might come back later, but you’re just not sure when that will be.

The fact of the matter is, the more active login accounts you have on your site, the more potential opportunities there are for break-ins. And once a hacker is authenticated inside WordPress with the right kind of capabilities, the more opportunities there are to do some real damage.

This plugin is meant to mitigate the risk of unauthorized access to those stale user accounts by requiring users to reset their password on a regular basis.

Expire Passwords Screenshot-2

Furthermore, the “freshness” of passwords for all the active users on your site will also be increased. Too many users have the bad habit of using the exact same password for nearly all of their online accounts. These types of users that register for your site should be thought of as increased security risks.

The Expire Passwords plugin is an effective way to deter users from engaging in this kind of blasphemous password behavior.

Lastly, there are some market sectors such as government, banking or healthcare where security regulations may even require that password resets be performed regularly. We want those types of organizations using WordPress too, so this plugin can help them line up WordPress as a CMS with their existing corporate requirements.

As always I would love your thoughts and feedback on my latest product creation.

Are there other benefits you see that I haven’t thought of?

Let me know in the comments!

So you want to be a web developer, huh?

I get this question all the time:

Hey man, how can I learn to do what you do?  -Random citizen

And I can probably guess why they are asking it too.

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The problem with relative time calculations in bash date strings

Today I was writing a bash script that needed to reference a time in the past relative to the current UTC date.

For instance, if today is March 31st, 2015 UTC, what month was it exactly one month ago?

Answer: February

However, I found it was less than trivial to actually get the correct answer using a relative time calculation with date.

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How to connect Apple TV to a hotel Wi-Fi network

Whenever my wife and I take an extended vacation I always bring along our Apple TV.

At the end of a long day filled with adventure and fun it’s nice to just snuggle up together and watch your favorite show on Netflix or rent a new release comedy.

I’ve found that hotel television is still so primitive and annoying. The on-demand movie rentals are limited and very pricey, the regular programming is usually in standard definition, and you’re forced to channel surf without a guide. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

When I book a hotel I always make sure there is free Wi-Fi and that they say there are “flat screens” in every room, this tells me that there must be an HDMI input on it somewhere.

Ah, but my Apple TV doesn’t have a browser! So when the hotel Wi-Fi splash screen pops up asking for confirmation that I “Agree to their terms of use” or to enter some sort of special login, I can’t.

It seems we’re left with no choice but to do some friendly hacking to circumvent this annoying speed bump! :-)

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