Neither finding free themes is a big issue nor creating a blog. No matter, if you are using WordPress or just running a free blog on blogger. You can easily find theme templates for both platforms. Developers don’t panic when their themes are used on blogs without their prior permission.
You would face no difficulty but would get confused in picking best one out of plenty of theme available for free. Bloggers having advance knowledge know the side effects of using free theme might try to download pirated themes from some sources. But most of us are not aware that using pirated themes can be more harmful than using free one. We will discuss later.
Disadvantages of using free themes on Blogger and WordPress:-
Incidents happened with me when I tried to use free stuffs:-
1. Blog Hosted on Blogger started to redirect it to Parent Theme Website:-
Around 15 months back, I decided to start blogging just for fun. I always wanted to have a website of mine on the internet. So, without spending a penny, I started a free blog on blogger. Thanks to Google, for such an awesome idea. As newbies usually start their blogging career right from blogger and makes mistakes again and again. Hence, they get trained before getting into real blogging.
Well, I didn’t like in-built themes provided by Google itself as they look ugly. So after basics, I started to search for free themes and wasted times downloading, uploading them and doing custom settings for each themes individually.
Finally, chose a theme and started posting articles. After some days, my blog started to redirect itself to parent website of theme. It was so disappointing for me. I checked and re-checked template code but did find no solution. There were no link to that site but I was getting redirected after 5 seconds. This is what I’m talking about.
This thing proves that these themes contains some links and scripts which makes it to misbehave. Finally, I decided to switch back to default themes. After that, I got busy in my studies for examination.
2. Got New-User Registrations without any Notice:-
Later, I made my mind to start blogging with full dedication. So, back in December, I registered domain name www.www.weblogcentral.com on Bluehost servers. I was stuck in many problems after starting blog on WordPress as newbie which I will discuss another day.
I installed a free theme named Sparkling on WordPress and started to monetize it. Many times, it got crashed and I was left with White Screen of Death. I liked this theme as it was so simple. I had to consult with Bluehost support. I asked them to swap my account and restore it to initial stage. They did it for me. I again installed Sparkling theme. Then I don’t understand what happened to my blog. I started to get spam e-mails regarding NEW USER REGISTRATION on my website.
I had no idea why this was happening to me. I didn’t allow anyone to register on my blog but they were able to do same. This number kept on increasing day by day. I again contacted BlueHost support and informed them about the problem. After a long chatting, he was not able to identify the exact problem. He finally shut down chat suggesting to change the theme. I decided to buy a premium theme from developers. I checked it on various scales. I don’t know what the problem is. I still get e-mails regarding same issue.
Do Free Themes on WordPress or Blogger really affect?
Installing WordPress plugins and themes for free really harm you. You may face a new problem. Some side effects of using free themes or pirated themes:
Disadvantages of Using Free Themes:-
- Some free themes may not work properly as they do not come with warranty or assurance of working.
- Update is not as great as that of Premium themes.
- Not unique and you can find many similar Free themes look like each other.
- Not well-coded, not SEO optimized, heavy weight, which may make your site vulnerable or hard to rank high.
- Some free themes may come with spam links. The safest way to download free themes is to download from reputed provider.
Disadvantages of Using Pirated Themes:-
No doubt, these themes are premium one and bloggers feel so happy after downloading them without paying a penny. But they may prove themselves to be more harmful than free one:
- Hackers may steal data from your blog.
- Your WordPress may get AdWares controlled by a hacker and your blog will show unknown advertising.
- The anti-virus and anti-spyware software can block access to your blog.
- Google and other search engines may flag your blog as a harmful. They may blacklist you from indexing in search results.
- Your web host may suspend your hosting account because of suspicious activity noted.
- Theme companies may take legal action against you.
How to Choose a Proper Template/Theme Design for your blog?
- Only use themes or templates which are designed by trusted or popular designers.
- Keep it simple and neat.
- Theme should be SEO optimized, well-coded, and mobile version supported. Your site must follow certain requirements before indexing in Google search results.
- Try to use html as much you can. Google doesn’t support complicated codes.
Things to do if you can’t spend money on buying themes:
If you doubt that your blog may be hacked or controlled by anyone. Or you think that your blog is not working the way it should do then following are some security plugins which you can try.
This is the most important plugin I used to find errors on my blog. It supports features to check your WordPress blog for any modified files in the specified range. You can also change WordPress file permission with this plugin. It tells about invalid login attempts.
- Hackers usually apply a dictionary attack to assume the password of your blog by applying combination of different words. This method is called Brute Force Attack. If you noticed this,
- First of all, choose a different password of at least 25 words including one upper case letter, one number, one character. Use 2-3 words from completely different categories and combine them. Do this because you don’t need to log in daily into your laptop, so you don’t need to fill password again and again but it will give un-beatable password.
- Including this tactic, I use a plugin called “Limit Login Attempts”. This only allows anyone to enter password up to a limited number of time you specify and then blocks that IP address.
- Try to change your username. You can change it using plugin “Admin Renamer Extended”.
- WordPress Antivirus: This is another WordPress security plugins used to scan WordPress theme for permalink backdoor malware. This plugin also scans all theme files for malware injections and vulnerability.
Using premium themes, you don’t need to worry about anything. Your data will be safe. Your privacy will be maintained. You would not lose your hard work. So friends, better use premium themes and support the developers who work so hard for us.
Thanks friends. So what problems did you face?