For those wanting free Wordpress themes, read this first!

13 replies
Apologies if this is a pearoast but I've just come across this blog post warning of potential dangers found in free Wordpress themes. Now, I'm not wanting to scaremonger by saying all free wordpress themes are a problem. I'm just saying it's something to be aware of.

I personally haven't come across any issues with any free WP themes I've installed.

Why You Should Never Search For Free WordPress Themes in Google or Anywhere Else - WordPress, Multisite and BuddyPress plugins, themes, news and help –
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  • Profile picture of the author reddiep
    I prefer using the paid themes. The support is better.
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  • Profile picture of the author donhx
    The team are top quality, both as WP programmers and as people. I, for one, would listen to what they say. The Base64 thing is a very serious issue.

    Notice they say is a reliable place to get free templates if that's what you want to use. Personally, I stick with the Thesis template on all my WP sites. It is well worth the price.
    Quality content to beat the competition. Personalized Author Services
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  • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
    It always happens with "free" themes...

    In this very forum there are hundreds of similar themes offered in two threads - and all of them have encrypted code in them.

    When asked why, their answer was: "the encrypted code just ensures that the backlink remains in the theme when used".

    That answer was good enough for a mod... and since then I stopped warning people about the encrypted links.

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  • Profile picture of the author JEKT
    Anyway, any free stuff has it's demerit.
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    • Profile picture of the author hilaryaustin
      this is what happens if you rely to much on something like free offers. A lot of them cannot be trusted nowadays and the damage can cause unexpectedly.
      Free things and services have other sort of hidden motive and agendas.
      skincare - having this is an advantage from others.
      best eye serum - try the best and tested.
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  • Profile picture of the author Patrick
    Using this plugin you can check the theme and use it or modify and get rid of the base64 part..

    WordPress › TAC (Theme Authenticity Checker) « WordPress Plugins
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  • Profile picture of the author jamjar919
    Look - These are links that are the only way free theme designers make money. The code makes sure the link stays put and can't be removed. Check the theme sponsorship services that are offered on sites like DP.

    Think about it this way - Without those links, there would be no free themes at all.

    Feel free to ask me any IM related questions or add me on skype :D
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    • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
      Originally Posted by jamjar919 View Post

      Think about it this way - Without those links, there would be no free themes at all.
      That's BS... sorry.

      What about the 1,314 free themes at

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      • Profile picture of the author rabbi
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        • Profile picture of the author sanssecret
          Thanks for this. I used to use free themes all the time and never gave it a thought that there would be malicious stuff hidden inside the code.

          I dont' think any of the free themes I used caused me any problems, but I guess I'll probably never know.

          Anyway, thanks for the heads up. Definitely worth spreading the word about it because I'll bet my ass there are very few folks who have any idea about it.

          The man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life. ~Muhammad Ali
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          • Profile picture of the author trishworks4u
            I actually just came upon this revelation in the past week and was going to start a thread about it. I have probably 250 sites with free themes and it occurred to me that there could be cookie stuffing code in some of them that is just completely overriding my marketing efforts. I don't know if I'm just being paranoid or not.

            I have no problem w/ the theme credits and even the footer backlinks that people sell for the themes. I know that someone paid to have their link there and I generally leave it. I'm talking about something much more sinister here.

            I did switch to Thesis earlier this year but it's going to be a big project to convert all of these other sites over.
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            • Profile picture of the author AnniePot
              I have also been warned that a lot of the free WP plugins are also self-serving to whoever wrote them. For example, Amazon and Clickbank plugins contain code that attributes a percentage of sales to the code writer.

              I have no proof that this is true, just passing on something I was told.
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              • Profile picture of the author JJPerkins
                That's an interesting blog post there,

                I've always tended to leave the developers links in the free themes I've used, seems only fair for their time and effort.
                It has crossed my mind that you can't tell what might be hiding in the weird code, but dismissed it as paranoia.

                Perhaps it's time to start listening to the little voices!
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  • Profile picture of the author NateRivers
    I use atahualpa on almost all of my sites. It's free and I love it. I hope there's none of these alleged problems with it...
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