Choosing WordPress Themes: Security Risks, Code Bloat and Other Issues

by Leora Wenger on May 5, 2015

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Years ago in the early days of WordPress, everything was free. You either chose a boring default theme, picked one someone else had created or wrote your own theme. Then two things happened: 1) people realized they need to make money and 2) hackers discovered themes are a way to create security holes.

Unfortunately, since one can get website code easily, it is easy for a hacker to use a particular theme to hack your website. Also, there is the do-it-yourself trend, in which someone who knows no coding wants to set up a whole WordPress site with only a click here and there.

However, if one also wants a complex theme or lots of choices, this can bring about what is called “code bloat” – lots of calls to the database that slows down your site or lots of short codes that make theme switching difficult. In this post we will discuss two issues: theme security and code bloat. Then the post will suggest a few ways to make good theme choices.

Theme Security

There are places on the internet where one can get free themes or plugins. They might even be copies of premium themes (ones that elsewhere cost money). However, user beware! Hackers use various methods to insert malicious code into those themes. Then your site is open to being hacked. Years ago this used to happen in the WordPress theme directory – now that directory gets moderated.

Code Bloat

When a web developer wants to add functionality or change the layout or styling, one simply adds code. If there is a theme that is close to what one wants, one can create a child theme. If the extra code is not related to layout or styling, adding a plugin is usually the best route. But for those that do not know coding, unfortunately one trap is to select a theme that has lots and lots of options.

What’s the problem with options? Too many options can cause code bloat. The theme may load too slowly. Or in order to add options, one might need to add shortcodes, and the shortcodes might mean content full of shortcodes. If you have content full of shortcodes and you switch your theme, guess what happens? Content that looks like ugly shortcodes instead of nice text! If you want to read an example, read about the Divi Theme.

Where to Look for Themes?

At least the themes in the WordPress.org Theme Directory have gone through some kind of theme review, but even then, I would look for a recommendation for a particular theme from another source as well. Read the reviews for themes carefully.

There are certain companies that have a highly-regarded reputation. So if you are willing to pay for a theme, you might want to take a look at StudioPress (Genesis framework themes), Woo Themes or Elegant Themes.

If you want a solid, secure theme that is updated often and free, be sure to check out the WordPress default themes. Starting with Twenty Eleven, the themes are all responsive. Personally, I like the simple look of Twenty Ten, and that one can be made responsive with a child theme. Last year I built a nice looking site for a real estate property owner using a child theme and Twenty Thirteen.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed various developers recommend these themes: Make, GeneratePress, X Theme, WooThemes Canvas, UDThemes, Enfold, _tk, BeTheme. But don’t take my word for it – check those out on your own. Good idea is to join WordPress groups on LinkedIn or on Facebook. Lurk for a while on those groups, read past posts on themes, and then ask questions.

One note I have found over and over again on WordPress groups are developers shaking their heads at themes people found on ThemeForest. It seems a user finds a theme on ThemeForest, pays money for it, gets all excited; then for some reason there are coding issues and coding messes. Maybe some themes there are perfectly fine, but user beware.

The best-selling theme on ThemeForest is called Avada; then I found this post: Why You Should Avoid Avada. Before you decide to avoid it, read the comments. Not so simple, is it?

Best Themes of All

What's the best WordPress theme for you?Personally, I find the best coding for themes are the WordPress default themes (see above), the themes based on the Genesis framework, or the ones built with the Underscores starter theme. Most of the sites I have built in the past year have used Underscores. For more details on these two choices, read this post: Genesis Theme Framework vs. _s (Underscores) Starter Theme.

Both Genesis and Underscores are built by highly-regarded developers who craft those themes with carefully chosen code. This is a post with a list of free Genesis themes (after you purchase the framework). But unless you are using the default themes or the Genesis themes out-of-the-box, all of these suggestions will involve some coding. If you do want a website with custom coding, that is a service that I offer. And a simple site may well be within your budget.

In Conclusion

I wish I could tell you: do this, and everything will be fine. But picking a theme is not an easy task. Review the options, remember security is most important, and then make your choices. When you are choosing, make sure your theme is responsive so it will pass the mobile test.

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Sharad Gupta
Twitter:
September 5, 2016 at 10:54 pm

Thanks Leora for sharing this Great Article about WordPress theme security , security is all important when it comes for making a website. Hackers can easily hack poorly coded website .

The only solution is to use a theme that is well coded with security standards and free of such risks . However WordPress users can also use security plugins with any theme to avoid such risks.

Gurunath
Twitter:
April 18, 2016 at 7:00 am

Hi Leora,

First of all, I have say this is a fantastic article from you ..:) I have tried some 100s of themes which includes Free Themes, premium themes and also Genesis child themes of all kinds. The major thing to keep in mind is the quality of coding whether it is Free or Premium theme. It is obvious that Premium themes comes with decent to excellent quality coding based on the Themeshop and developer. But there are few great themes in Free themes which really make me surprise how they are giving them for Free. You have explained each and every aspect well and I loved reading this beautiful post .. have a great day. Thanks for sharing this awesome post, Sherryl Perry 🙂 have a great day!!
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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 26, 2016 at 3:32 pm

Hi Gurunath,

First, I’d like to apologize for taking so long to reply to you! I have not been blogging much lately and had not checked my spam comments in a while. (Your comment was trapped there.) There’s really no excuse. I do appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts with us.

Thanks for letting us know that you thought Leora’s post was “fantastic”. I’ve known Leora for years. She’s a website designer who has done her share of designing and coding sites from scratch.

I had turned to Leora for advice on a WP theme that I was considering for a client site. When I asked her about guest blogging here, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity for her to share her thoughts with my readers.

One of the things that I appreciate is that Leora was not promoting any themes in particular. It was good to hear that she considers the default WP themes to be some of the best coded. Bloggers shouldn’t hesitate using them.
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Leora
Twitter:
May 27, 2016 at 5:23 am

Thank you for your response, Gurunath. It seems ages since I wrote this post! I want to mention two more themes: I really like Quark, which is built on top of Underscores. I am using it for a client. Also, I have learned some people absolutely LOVE Divi. It has a huge following. I’ve used it a bit, and it really is easy to build a WordPress site, especially if you have good design skills. But you do need excellent, fast hosting, as it is a builder theme.
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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 27, 2016 at 5:08 pm

Hi Leora,
Thanks for the update. I hadn’t heard of Quark. I considered taking Divi for a spin a while ago and instead used Hueman. That’s been working well but there’s been a lot of changes to it.

Good tip on considering our hosting. I recently upgraded my SiteGround account and that’s working really well for me. I really like having the staging area. It’s not cheap but if you’re hosting several sites, the numbers come down to make it comparable to other vendors.

I hope all is well with you!
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Akshat November 22, 2015 at 12:29 am

So which is the best place to download free wordpress themes that are safe to use without any risks?

Katrin
Twitter:
November 6, 2015 at 10:21 am

Picking a theme is indeed a burdened topic for many. Particularly website beginners face a huge learning curve with WordPress already, and then there is so much more to learn and understand about themes!

The way I choose themes has significantly changed in the last years.
Today I would recommend to people to look which theme style they like most. Maybe they have come across some site they really, really liked. Chances are is is a WordPress site, and there are a few tools available to figure that out. These tools will also tell you what’s the theme’s name and who’s the creator.
From there I would do research on the quality of the coding and the features of the theme – until there are 1-3 themes left.
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Nikhil September 8, 2015 at 4:21 pm

Hi Leora, You are really an expert. You differentiated the different kinds of themes. I was thinking that the free wordpress themes provided by the Wordpress itself are waster of time, but you introduced me with some of the error-free themes. Currently I am using paid theme. In future, If I need any free theme, I will choose them surely. Looking forward to read more articles from your site.ThanksNikhil
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Leora Wenger
Twitter:
September 9, 2015 at 12:08 pm

Nikhil,

Thank you for the nice compliment.

The paid themes by Genesis are well-worth the money; if you can afford to get a paid them by a theme company with a good reputation, then you are paying for updates as well as a good base. If you are not ready to make such an investment, then the default themes are good options. If you have specialized needs, then a custom theme would a good base like Underscores might be a good approach. There is no one size fits all!
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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
September 10, 2015 at 9:09 pm

Hi Nikhil,

I’m so happy that you found Leora’s guest post so helpful. One of the best things about having guest bloggers here is that they can cover topics that I wouldn’t normally blog about.

Leora certainly knows a lot about website design and WordPress themes. When we first started talking about her writing a guest post here, she suggested covering themes. All WordPress bloggers need them. So, I knew her input would be valuable.

Thanks so much for joining the conversation!
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Do You Want to Consolidate Multiple Websites?My Profile

Atish Ranjan May 18, 2015 at 9:37 am

Hi Leora,Themes should be bought from reputed vendor. I usually don\’t trust on free themes but there are many free themes which are great enough to be used.Elegantthemes mostly have business themes, blogging themes are not great though but their themes are well coded.Genesis and thesis are well renowned in blogging community.
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Leora Wenger
Twitter:
May 18, 2015 at 12:12 pm

Atish, the free default themes have a great reputation – no one should feel uncomfortable using those. I make themes built with Underscores – the developers that work on that one are numerous and attune to every detail – I started following their posts on GitHub. Of course, to use Underscores, you have to know code, so if you don’t you will end up paying a web developer anyway.

And yes, for premium themes, only go with the trusted developers! Unfortunately, Thesis is no longer recommended, as it is not responsive. Sigh on that one. It served many people well. Genesis and StudioPress seem by far to be the top rated ones.
Leora Wenger recently posted..WordPress Themes: Fun Features For Your SiteMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 30, 2015 at 11:05 am

Hi Atish,
I just read your guide to setting up a WordPress blog. That will be helpful to many people who are just getting started blogging.

Some free themes can potentially be risky and there’s always the chance that the developer won’t continue to support them. I agree with Leora that the free default themes that are installed with WordPress are trustworthy and a viable option for someone getting started.

Thanks for dropping by and joining the conversation. I hope you’re having a great weekend!
Sherryl Perry recently posted..SEO Resources Bloggers Can Use #FridayFindsMy Profile

Atish Ranjan May 30, 2015 at 11:37 am

Thanks For reading my post Sherryl. Glad you liked it. Thanks
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Ankit Chauhan
Twitter:
May 14, 2015 at 7:14 am

Most of the time I faced CSS stylesheet missing issues with free themes. SO It’s better to go with premium one. At least you get technical support if any issue occur.
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Leora Wenger
Twitter:
May 14, 2015 at 1:08 pm

Ankit, yes, it is true one gets technical support with a premium theme (although sometimes the web developer disappears – make sure it is a *recommended* premium theme). I am not sure what you mean by “CSS stylesheet missing issues” – one can always apply a child theme to a free default theme and add new CSS.
Leora Wenger recently posted..WordPress Themes: Fun Features For Your SiteMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 16, 2015 at 6:41 pm

Ankit,

A couple of weeks ago, I suddenly saw a “syle sheet is broken” error on the default TwentyFourteen WordPress theme. (This happened on a client site and it just came out of the blue.)

When I checked into her site using Filezilla, (the FTP program that I use), I noticed that the CSS file was missing completely. It was very weird. I uploaded a copy and we were good to go.

I haven’t seen that one before and I have no idea what caused it. Weird.

Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I hope you’re enjoying your weekend.
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Enstine Muki
Twitter:
May 10, 2015 at 2:42 am

Hey Leora,
Welcome to Sherryl’s home and thanks for posting on an important topic.

The worst thing for a blogger to do in this area is to download a hacked premium theme and use on his/her main blog. It’s the easiest way to expose your blog to bad eyes.

Like you mentioned, what most hackers do is deposit a piece of monitoring code so everything you do gets passed to their servers. You may not know this but it’s a easiest way to leak out sensitive information that definitely will compromise your blog.

Hey Sherryl thanks for bringing Leora over. Do have a wonderful weekend you both
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Leora Wenger
Twitter:
May 10, 2015 at 7:15 am

Enstine, yes, downloading a hacked premium theme could produce quite a shock! I’ve seen that happen to at least one person who soon after quit maintaining websites completely. But for those of us who are in the business for a while, it is the easiest issue to avoid. Choosing a good theme produces quite a few questions about needs and willingness to pay. Do you need something simple? Or do you want to impress with your theme? Will you want to switch your theme later? Will your theme load too slowly? Thanks for the comment!
Leora Wenger recently posted..What is a Responsive Theme? Mobile-Friendly Solution?My Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 11, 2015 at 3:06 pm

Hi Enstine,

Downloading a hacked premium theme is definitely a recipe for disaster. As Leora mentioned (in her article), the default WordPress themes are a viable option for someone who is looking for a free solution.

If a blogger has hopes of either monetizing their blog (or using it to promote a business), they need to recognize their website as an asset. Therefore, it’s worth investing time/money into it.

As always, thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. I hope you had an enjoyable weekend and best wishes for a great week ahead.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Ready To Take Your Blog to the Next Level? #FridayFindsMy Profile

teguh iw May 9, 2015 at 8:39 pm

i dont think that there is security risk beind the theme.. what about thesis frame work, is it safe enough?

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 16, 2015 at 6:45 pm

Hi Teguh,

I don’t believe I’ve ever heard of any security risks related to Thesis. If there were any vulnerabilities, I’m sure they would have been addressed with an update.

Thanks for taking the time to join the conversation.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Ready To Take Your Blog to the Next Level? #FridayFindsMy Profile

Jens-Petter Berget May 7, 2015 at 7:41 am

Hi Leora,

I started out with free wordpress themes and I was very happy with them for a long time. I didn’t think much about the coding or security risks, the only thing on my mind if it looked good. Now, I’m using Genesis and themes for Studiopress. This way I don’t have to think about if they’re any good or not. I just trust that they are “the best” at what they do.

I’ve been thinking about hiring a professional to get a custom designed theme, but so far I’m using a premium theme for Genesis.

Leora Wenger
Twitter:
May 7, 2015 at 7:55 am

Jens, you are smart to go with Genesis framework themes. If you hire a professional, you might just want a few tweaks to a Genesis theme. You might not need more than that. A custom theme needs a good base, and the Genesis framework is a fine one.
Leora Wenger recently posted..What is a Responsive Theme? Mobile-Friendly Solution?My Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 8, 2015 at 6:04 pm

Hi Jens,

Thanks for the endorsement of Genesis and Studiopress themes. Genesis seems to be the most popular theme among the bloggers I know.

I’ve been searching for a new theme and I had asked Leora for her advice. I was tempted to go with Divi but Leora sent me the link that she included in this post and I was quickly convinced that I didn’t want to go down that road.

In addition to the Genesis framework being coded well, there’s a community of bloggers who are supportive and there’s certainly a wealth of information on it. That’s an attraction as well.

Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with us. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.!

John
Twitter:
May 7, 2015 at 4:55 am

I agree with the quality of the default themes, there really are very good.

I understand the desire to stand out with more unique themes but most of the time I think choosing other themes isn’t worth the bother. For some blogs it does make sense.

The importance of security is huge. It is easy to ignore this until the worst happens at which point everything else is secondary. And bloated sites that are slow to load is another big issue (and an issue with adding many plugins – no matter what theme you select).
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Leora Wenger
Twitter:
May 7, 2015 at 7:59 am

John, businesses, even small blogs, need to stand out. But unique might just be how it looks and some functionality, not the underlying base. The default themes are fine, but if you want a little more tailoring for your site, Underscores and the Genesis framework provide a good base.
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John Hunter
Twitter:
May 8, 2015 at 1:55 am

I agree it is important to build your brand. A site people remember when they return is important (an indication they at least recognize your brand – even if they couldn’t name it – or your site…).

We evolved for a long time to recognize and remember faces (for lots of reasons). For personal blogs a photo of yourself prominently in the theme is very valuable. A photo of a person is one of the most memorable things just because of how our brains work.

Other graphic elements help (and really can be done perfectly easily with the default themes or other popular themes).
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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 8, 2015 at 5:51 pm

John,

What you just said, “they at least recognize your brand” is so important. If our sites look like everyone else’s (aside from the photograph we use in our header), we’re liable to just blend into the crowd.

One of the most basic marketing strategies that I can think of is to differentiate ourselves. Sure, we can use a common theme but we need to somehow make ourselves memorable.

I agree with you that using your photo is one of the best ways to be memorable. I know there are bloggers who like to use a company logo for their Gravatar but people buy from people. They may want a brand they trust but it still comes down to buying from someone you trust.

It was good to hear Leora endorse some of the default WordPress themes and then to read your endorsement of them also. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us. It’s always helpful to read experiences from other bloggers.

BTW – I just hopped over to Twitter to make sure that I was following you. (I was.) I started a new list called “Travel Bloggers” and just added you. 🙂 Have a nice weekend!
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Lorraine Reguly
Twitter:
May 7, 2015 at 4:01 am

Leora and Sherryl,

It amazes me how many people STILL don’t have responsive themes! I’m so glad that you are educating them! 🙂

I have always had a responsive theme on my main site, Wording Well, but had problems with a theme I purchased from CyberChimps for my author site, Laying It Out There. Needless to say, I switched themes. The funny thing is that I even switched to a free one, and I’m very happy with it.

On my main site, I recently changed the theme from a free theme to a paid Thrive theme, which I’m not exactly in love with but am tolerating for the moment. 😉

I also had some website work done recently by Harleena Singh’s hubby, Vinay, and am super-impressed with the changes he made. My site’s speed has increased a LOT! 🙂 Apparently, Vinay is now making his services available to others, too. 🙂

Anyway, great post, ladies. It’s good to see you over here, too, Leora. 🙂

Have a great upcoming weekend!
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Leora Wenger
Twitter:
May 7, 2015 at 8:07 am

Lorraine,

Sounds like Vinay is providing you a good service!

I can understand why many businesses do not have responsive themes. They have no idea what they are or why they are important. A few years ago, my gut told me responsive was the way to go, so I provide responsive themes only. Turns out, Google agrees.

Thanks for the kind words, Lorraine.
Leora Wenger recently posted..What is a Responsive Theme? Mobile-Friendly Solution?My Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 8, 2015 at 5:29 pm

Hi Lorraine,

I am amazed at how many sites I land on that aren’t responsive. I often buffer tweets in the morning using my smart phone. I use my Twitter lists. So, I know that these are all experienced bloggers who consistently produce quality content.

You would expect those bloggers to be providing a good user experience but that’s not true. What happens is I’ll land on a non-responsive site and if I can’t easily read the post, I’ll simply move on. That’s a missed opportunity for them.

Sounds like you’ve been really busy with your sites. I’m glad to hear that you’ve found someone to work with.

Thanks so much for taking the time to let us know that you enjoyed Leora’s post. I was thrilled when she accepted my offer to guest blog here. Leora really knows web design and it was time to have her over here lending a hand.

You have a wonderful weekend too!
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Ready To Take Your Blog to the Next Level? #FridayFindsMy Profile

Adrienne
Twitter:
May 6, 2015 at 9:29 pm

Hey Sherryl,

Great to see Leora over here and I know with you looking for a theme what she has to share is definitely important information.

So let me say, great share Leora. I’m also shopping for a theme and I still haven’t made up my mind. The reason is I know what I want but go figure, there isn’t one theme out there that has everything I want. So that means someone will have to take a theme and then build it out and the one person I wanted to do that for me isn’t available until mid July. So I’m not sure what I’m going to do at this point. Just getting more and more frustrated really about the whole situation because I do NOT know how to code. Not like that.

Sherryl and I both have Thesis, the older version, and it was easy to add code to the theme without having to dive into the theme and worry about messing things up. Most of the themes today don’t have that option which makes me nervous because I really don’t like to have to rely on someone else when I want something done.

But I appreciate you sharing this with us because I think everyone needs to be cautious with this moving forward. Security issues are not fun to deal with at all.

Great to see both you ladies here and hope you’re enjoying your week. Take care and have a good one.

~Adrienne
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Leora Wenger
Twitter:
May 7, 2015 at 9:56 am

Adrienne, you are right to be cautious about choosing a new theme. My suggestion is whoever does your new theme, make sure it has a good base. Good luck with those choices.
Leora Wenger recently posted..What is a Responsive Theme? Mobile-Friendly Solution?My Profile

Adrienne
Twitter:
May 7, 2015 at 10:12 am

Thanks Leora and I’m narrowing it down between a couple and they are reputable ones and you mentioned one of them here so that’s definitely the direction I’ll go. Now it’s just making that decision moving forward. I’m pretty set in my ways and spoiled with the one I have so change isn’t fun in this case. 😉

~Adrienne
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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 8, 2015 at 12:46 pm

Hi Adrienne,

I’m glad you found Leora’s post helpful. I’ve known Leora for years and she’s been a great resource for me when it comes to website design.

I’m a techie (of sorts) and I’ve done my share of coding but I honestly don’t enjoy it anymore. That’s why I loved Thesis 1.8x. It’s also why I was seriously considering Divi.

Well, you and I have been “chatting” (via email) about our concerns about finding a theme and customizing it. During that discussion, I shared my thoughts about Divi and then the link that Leora sent me about not being able to swap themes (which was a real eye-opener for me).

I’m glad that one of the themes that you’re considering is one that Leora mentioned. It sounds like you may be closer to making your decision than I am. I do know that , when I make the switch, I will be relying on Leora to help me. Tweaking CSS code is not the best use of my time and Leora is a pro at it.

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and insight with us. I know that it’s helpful to other readers to see what other bloggers are experiencing. I hope you’re having a productive Friday and that you make some time to have some fun this weekend!
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Choosing WordPress Themes: Security Risks, Code Bloat and Other IssuesMy Profile

Ryan Biddulph
Twitter:
May 6, 2015 at 2:42 am

Excellent reminder Leora, both for us bloggers, and us bloggers like me who handle all tech matters over to their developers because we are tech phobic lol….or, we know little to do with blogging outside of writing and publishing posts 😉

Ryan
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Leora Wenger
Twitter:
May 6, 2015 at 6:12 am

I suppose we all need to know our strengths and our limits, Ryan!
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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 6, 2015 at 5:54 pm

“Tech phobic” – I love that expression Ryan. 🙂 Even for people who are technical, sometimes, it’s just not the best use of our time to do something that we can/(should) outsource to a professional. Time is money right?

As always, it’s great to see you here. Thanks so much for joining the conversation.

Jeannette Paladino
Twitter:
May 5, 2015 at 5:59 pm

Leora — thanks for the “lesson.” It reinforces why I have a webmaster who takes care of these things for me. I met him several years ago in the LinkedIn WordPress Group and he was so helpful when I was starting out that I eventually hired him. I wish I could remember who, but someone recently did a post about a new theme that you can easily build yourself without knowing any code. I checked it out just to see what it was like. I fear that these do-it-yourself themes are just asking for trouble from hackers.
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Leora Wenger
Twitter:
May 6, 2015 at 6:10 am

Jeannette, thanks for the comment. Truth is, I have mixed feelings writing a post like this. I think you wisely have someone else building your website and making decisions on your theme. Most people who do it themselves are not interested in hearing that they should stick with simple if they don’t want to learn code. But I don’t see how one can build a (sophisticated or unique) website and not know code without having code bloat. There are startup companies working on this issue. We shall see how well they succeed.
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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 6, 2015 at 5:47 pm

Leora,

I for one am grateful that you wrote this article. I think a lot of people are still in the throes of selecting a new theme. What you have provided us with is information and options. Working with a professional website designer (like you) is definitely an option that we should consider. In the long run, it could save us both time and money . . . and opportunity. Our sites need to load quickly as well as look pretty. 🙂
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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 6, 2015 at 5:30 pm

Hi Jeannette,

LinkedIn groups can be a wonderful place to find helpful people and make meaningful (mutually beneficial) relationships. I believe that I met both you and Leora that way.

I wonder if the theme that you recently read about was Divi. I’ve read several glowing reviews about it and I was honestly considering licensing it. Thankfully, I asked Leora what her opinion was. She sent me the same link that she has in her post.

Divi writes the code for you but (as Leora has so elequontly explained to us) it would be very difficult if I wanted to switch themes down the road. Actually, Divi sounds an awful lot like the website builders that I’ve avoided for years.

As always, thanks for weighing in on this. I appreciate it.
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Jyoti Chauhan May 5, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Hi Leora,

Nice to meet you at Sherryl Perry blog. Yes, Security is most important thing in online world. I absolutely agree, there are some places available where we can premium themes in free, but there are no security and how we can trust when we are getting premium stuff in free, some bad activity involved behind this.

We can lose our complete website and our hard work while we are using such free themes. So always better to go with trusted brand like studio press and ThemeForest.

Thanks
Jyoti
Jyoti Chauhan recently posted..10 Best Responsive Genesis Child Themes For WordPress BlogsMy Profile

Leora Wenger
Twitter:
May 5, 2015 at 3:21 pm

Jyoti, I’m not so quick to trust all the themes on ThemeForest. They might be OK, but you might also get a bloated theme. That was part of the point of part of this article.
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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 6, 2015 at 1:31 pm

Thanks again for sharing your insight with us Leora. We really need to pay our due diligence when selecting a theme.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 6, 2015 at 1:30 pm

Hi Jyoti,

It’s always nice to see you here. I’m glad you found Leora’s post helpful. The thing is t hat there are good and bad themes out there. The biggest surprise to me was the issues with Divi.

I was about ready to commit to building my site with Divi when I shot Leora an email asking her opinion. When she sent me that link to the article (that she referenced above), it was a real eye open. Up until then, I hadn’t realized that Divi is basically a website builder that generates code. In the past, I had always avoided using them. I almost made a big mistake!
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Susan Cooper
Twitter:
May 5, 2015 at 1:44 pm

I had not thought of “Code Bloat” before Leora. It makes perfect sense. I asked my webmaster about it just now and he laughed and said that’s why we started from scratch when we created the new site look. We, or he does, work hard to keep the site clean and free od ‘crap”. It isn’t easy, but necessary. ????
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Leora Wenger
Twitter:
May 5, 2015 at 3:19 pm

I am glad your webmaster laughed! It’s not something you see, but when you deal with themes, plugins and code, you can understand why code bloat can get out of hand.
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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 6, 2015 at 1:26 pm

Leora,

Up until a few months ago, I was maintaining a static HTML site for one of my clients. It was a “code bloat” nightmare. I had never seen such a convoluted trail of code before in my life.

I finally convinced my client (who also has three WordPress sites) that it really wasn’t worth the time and effort to maintain it. She totally understood and confided in me that the code was the reason the woman before me was no longer maintaining it. (My guess is that the person who originally built it may have used some sort of website builder program that generated the code.)

Great topic Leora! Thanks so much for contributing.

Leora Wenger
Twitter:
May 6, 2015 at 1:43 pm

Sherryl, I have done several conversions from static HTML to WordPress – as long as what the person needs is basic (content, menu, sidebar, a form or two), conversion is super easy for someone like me. Now, if the old site has Flash or fancy javascript or lots of weird database queries, then easy becomes a headache.
Leora Wenger recently posted..What is a Responsive Theme? Mobile-Friendly Solution?My Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 6, 2015 at 5:05 pm

Thanks Leora. Some of the content that she had on that site has already been duplicated on her other sites. What we’re planning on doing is building everything under one cohesive brand with the content of that old static site being part of it. It’s pretty much simple text but if I need a hand, I’ll definitely let you know.

Old flash sites with lots of javascripts . . . I remember when they were the rage. I built a few of those myself and I don’t miss them. 🙂

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 6, 2015 at 1:21 pm

Hi Susan,

Sounds like (once again) you’ve been reassured that you made the right choice hiring someone to design and code your site for you.

I have heard of “Code Bloat” before and it is the perfect description Leora!

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