I stopped development on my themes a while back. I hadn’t had time over the last couple of years to continue updates, but I still have several out on WordPress.org that are available for download. From time to time I receive emails regarding one of my themes. I reply to some, but usually ignore requests for updates, customizations, and the like. I used to respond to requests politely explaining the reasons why I hadn’t (or won’t) update the themes. Responses from users were always varying between understanding and down-right rage over “lack of support” (for a free theme, really?). I mean, yeah, part of me wants to re-do them all, but that takes time and a lot of re-coding. I don’t have the heart for it anymore … or maybe just not right now. Who knows? So anyways, after a while I just stopped responding to those kinds of requests.
But every once in a while I get one that I feel needs a response, like this email I received over the weekend via the contact form on my site:
Hello Nicki Faulk, You are being contacted via Birthplace of the Process of Illogical Logic: Name: Theme downloader (Black Hat) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Message: Just to let you know, putting ads in a theme and not telling people about it so they can decide if they want ads on their site is a dick move. I have the knowledge to remove the bad code from your theme, but it's not worth my time, so I'll be blacklisting anything from you in the future. ----------------------- Additional Information: Site: Birthplace of the Process of Illogical Logic URL: http://www.nickifaulk.com/contact-me/ Date: April 20, 2014 @ 2:55 pm IP: ((SCRUBBED)) Host: ((SCRUBBED)) Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/32.0.1700.76 Safari/537.36
Had the user actually given me a valid email, I would have responded directly. But since he/she didn’t, I’ll respond publicly.
My themes do not have ads. EVER.
More than likely he/she downloaded that theme from a site other than WordPress.org. Unfortunately, the downside to providing a free theme is that anyone can download it, modify it, and host online with shady or malicious code hidden within. I can’t control who downloads my themes. (I mean, sure, I could go pull them all down from WordPress.org right now, but it’s likely they are hosted on other “free theme” sites and possibly have modifications done to them.)
I don’t have the time or energy to hunt them all down. However, had the above user actually provided me with the site from which he/she downloaded my theme, I could’ve investigated for myself and requested its removal from the site. But he/she didn’t, so I can’t.
Dear Theme downloader: If by chance you see this, please contact me again.
I really would like to help, but please be smart about where you get your themes.