Signs That a WordPress Theme Is a Security Risk

WordPress Security 5 min read
Last Update on November 28, 2022

By choosing the suitable WordPress theme can make a big difference for your site. It gives you a way to get the right look and feel, style, functionality, and more.

With so many free and paid themes to choose from, it’s easier than ever to make a unique website that reaches your audience and helps you build a successful business, no matter what niche or industry you’re in.

In fact, you don’t even have to build a website from scratch anymore because you can change a theme instead.

But not all themes are made the same. The right theme will help your website stand out and improve your brand, but the wrong one could risk your data.

Yes, WordPress themes can be dangerous to your security. How do you know if the theme you’re thinking about is one you should avoid? Here are a few things to watch out for when picking a theme.

A Low-Quality Developer

There are free and paid themes out there, as we’ve already said. But no matter your choice, you should pay attention to the developer. Always use themes made by companies with good reputations.

That’s right; you shouldn’t use the free premium theme created by anyone other than the authentic developer (knockoff themes are almost always bad news).

Check the official WordPress repository or go with a theme developer who has been around for a long period and has a lot of happy customers.

Theme Forest, Elegant Themes, Themify, and CSSIgniter, are just a few of the high-quality developers we like.

Lacking Built-in Plugins

Most themes today already have a set of plugins installed. That’s good news because it means you don’t have to spend time looking for the right plugins, downloading, installing, configuring, and testing them.

But not all plugins are trustworthy. Make sure that the plugins that come with the theme you want to download are up to date and work with the most recent WordPress core updates. They should also have good reviews from a lot of users. If not, don’t use that theme.

No Developer Support

No matter how tech-savvy you are, you will probably need help with your WordPress theme at some point. If you can’t reach the developer, it doesn’t matter how many bells and whistles you have.

Make sure that the person who came up with the theme gives at least a little support. You should be able to reach them by email. A good developer will also offer online chat and even over-the-phone support.

Moreover, you should be able to find a FAQ section or a support message board that looks like a forum for each theme. If there is no support, it means that the developer isn’t perfect, and you should choose a different theme with these facilities.

Malicious Code

WordPress is a platform that has a lot of power and potential. It is also open source, which means that anyone can change the code and make it better for everyone.

Sad to say that the opposite is also true. Anyone can add malicious code and then share it, putting your security at risk. It’s one of the most usual ways that themes can make you less safe and secure.

There’s a good chance you’re not a coder, but even if you were, you probably wouldn’t want to look through all those lines of code for signs of bad behavior.

Instead, you can use a WordPress core scanner to find harmful code and protect yourself.

Free Themes

Okay, this tip does have a few caveats, but we thought it was still necessary to mention.

Who doesn’t love getting something good for free? We all do. This is why there are so many free WordPress themes from developers with no name recognition that look and feel just like some of the most expensive premium WordPress themes.

Most of the time, these copycat themes aren’t as good as they seem. Most of them have bad code (see above) that will harm your and your visitor’s data.

We recommend the Astra theme for WordPress and the Astra Pro plugin for more control.

The theme is easy to set up, looks great on all devices, is optimized to load quickly, and has a lot of premium add-ons that give you even more freedom to be creative.

When you add the easy-to-use page builder Beaver Builder, which we also recommend, you have a powerful base for making any kind of website.

Disclosure: This is not a paid endorsement, but we love Astra and Beaver Builder together and use them a lot.

The Theme Isn’t Updated Recently

Themes need to work well with the core code of WordPress, which can’t happen if the theme isn’t updated often. One of the basic ways to figure out if a theme is safe is to check when it was last updated.

You should avoid the theme if the changelog doesn’t show a series of regular updates. Even if a theme developer doesn’t provide a full changelog, they should at least tell you something about updates.

If it doesn’t, that’s a sign that the theme won’t be safe. Just avoid it.

Theme Has No Unbiased Reviews

A reputable developer wants their users to be able to comment on what they think about the themes they offer, even if what they say isn’t very pleasant.

If there are only 5-star reviews or no reviews (and the theme is not brand new), this is a sign that you should look for a different theme. Always look for a range of star ratings since no product is perfect, and no theme will be perfect for everyone who tries it.

In Conclusion

Ultimately, if you want a high-quality, safe WordPress theme, you should pay for one from a renowned developer.

It’s also essential to have the right tools to look for threats immediately and in the future. The best way to deal with security is always to be proactive. You can protect your WordPress site with WPFIX Pro.

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