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Why free WordPress themes are risky for new bloggers

in Blogging / 12 Comments

WordPress is the most easy to use and free CMS for blogging start ups. In early days of blogging career, several bloggers prefer to search for a free WordPress theme instead of paid or premium WordPress themes to save money. A large selection of pirated WordPress themes or nulled WordPress themes is available on Internet. One can find, download and install these themes at ease. It can save you some money. But there are some risks involved and it can kill your website and may be your entire blogging career too. One should keep his eyes open while using free WordPress themes to avoid any hazards.

Here are the risks of using free WordPress themes, and most of the novice bloggers usually don’t know about them because of their unfamiliarity with WordPress core structure or lack of PHP and JavaScript programming knowledge.

  • Free themes are mostly enriched with hidden Malware, iFrame and JavaScript codes to hijack not only your blog but sometimes your hosting servers too. Hijackers may use your hosting server for suspicious activities.
  • Severe damage can be done to your data files if the free theme or free WordPress plugin contains any virus.
  • Due to a lack of technical support for free themes and plugins, they can give you a tough time whenever you face any technical problem or try to modify something in them. Be ready to face some PHP errors or blank home page.
  • Almost 90% of free themes and 100% of pirated WordPress themes have no updates available whenever it is required to patch security loopholes or to add new features.
  • The company or developer of the theme may take a legal action against you or complain your hosting company to suspend your hosting account.
  • You never want your blog to be stolen or administered by some hidden thief.
  • Search engine giant like Google and others like Bing, Yahoo! etc are getting very serious about web spam and you could be hit very hard once they found your site involved in web spamming due to any reason. Now even if you are not directly involved and the reason is your infected WordPress theme.
  • If your a lucky enough to find a clean and Malware free WordPress theme then don’t be so happy. You are not the only lucky one. Several other bloggers will also be using same theme on their blogs.
  • In free themes, theme author usually place footer links and as per agreement you can not remove those links. Most of these footer links are pointed towards low quality or bad reputation websites.


It is far better to use genuine Premium WordPress Theme rather then using pirated theme and violating copyright laws. A good blog can help you earning thousands of dollars per month so why go for nulled themes and put your blog and career at risk?
So, by now you know all possible risks of hacking WordPress themes so its up to you that you want to save few dollars at start up and not investing them to secure your blogging career.

Samy is a Co-Founder of TheTechnoMAG.com. This blog is basically a brain-child of her.

  1. Vipin

    Hi Sami,

    Once i used a pirated theme on my blog, it got hacked twice in a week, Later i moved to a paid premium theme. Premium themes provides better features along with security.
    Vipin recently posted..Desktop widgets for ubuntuMy Profile

  2. bbrian017

    Hi Sam, you know one time I had a free wordpress theme and little did I know it had code it it that was tracking my stats and all the people visiting my blog. It’s ad someone would do this but it takes all kinds for the world to go round my mom would say.
    bbrian017 recently posted..Blogging Tips To Keep Your Motor RunningMy Profile

    • Samy

      Hi Brian!

      Thanks for sharing your experience about an infected WordPress theme. We should help new bloggers by highlighting such things to save their blogging career!


  3. Brian

    I remember I once tried using a free theme, and it had some hidden links in it. Something was wrong with the code, though, and the PHP code that inserted the links broke the website. It took me a few minutes to locate the problem, delete the malicious code, and move on. Ironic that the malicious cheat led me right to his own handiwork =)

    But a lesson learned. It’s easier to go to ThemeForest or somewhere, spend $30-50 on a decent theme, and get some peace of mind. Compared to spending hours hacking up a free theme and bending it to your will, it’s worth a little investment.

    Oh, and if you’re ever browsing through your theme files and looking for malicious code – obfuscated code is almost always a dead give away. You’ll see a bunch of random letters in a giant block of text, and probably the phrase “eval(” in there somewhere.
    Brian recently posted..Why Can’t More EdTech Solutions Be Open Source and Cross Platform?My Profile

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