Are free WordPress themes really free?
Well, that depends. No upfront cost to you, but did the last person to modify the theme add anything nasty to it?
Even worse is when some kind of spyware code is hidden somewhere in all the theme’s files, code which could say anything, do anything. You have no idea unless you decode what they’ve hidden.
Real life example:
DO NOT DOWNLOAD and use this theme without rewriting the entire footer.php file.
It contains some code which starts with
and continues with a bunch of jumbled up letters and such. What does the code do? I don’t know, I’d have to decode it to find out but since it is code often used by hackers/spyware I don’t want it on any of my websites. So Do Not Download and use this theme as is from http://www.free-wp-themes.com/
In fact, I’d check any of the themes on their site very carefully before using, better yet, not use them at all. I checked out another theme they provide and found the same eval code in that footer too.
WordPress gets better all the time, you can now download free themes inside your wordpress admin panel under appearance. Next time you want a free theme, check out those. I’m not saying everyone that offers free wordpress themes embeds bad stuff into the code. Use caution, use trusted sources. I’d check out themes listed on Smashing Magazine, again, do your due diligence.
Free isn’t always free. Use caution, use trusted sources.