I read an interesting article by Siobhan McKeown on WPMU.org last night about free WordPress themes. Siobhan went through the top ten results for free WordPress themes and ran security checks against them to see what they contained. (I don’t recommend doing this on your own as installing these themes could cause huge security issues with your website.) Being a tech guy I’ve known about this stuff but she did an excellent job providing descriptive examples of some of the problems with free WordPress themes.
Some of the things she found were:
- Themes that have been stolen and are listed as free (often out-of-date)
- Encrypted code including hidden links and potentially malicious code
- Irrelevant links (often hidden off the page)
- Broken themes that might install but wouldn’t work correctly
Of the top 10 sites on the Google results she found 1 safe/good site, 1 questionable site, and 8 sites to avoid. Not looking too good for those who want free themes…
At the end she lists free theme sites that are good and some premium sites that also have free themes:
Premium Sites with some Free WordPress Themes
I’d add wpmudev to the second list as they have a bunch of free themes on their site.
This is just a friendly warning to be careful. If you want to read the full article and you didn’t catch the link, here is the article on Why You Should Never Search For Free WordPress Themes in Google or Anywhere Else.