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Choosing a secure WordPress theme

When creating a website, the first step is choosing a WordPress theme. Selecting the ideal theme isn't just about looks. Even if you find a theme that perfectly matches your design and feature needs, there's something critical you must consider: WordPress security. It's vital to ensure that the theme you choose is secure and doesn't open up vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit.

WordPress stands out as the world's most popular content management system, extensively used across a majority of websites, according to WordPress statistics. For this reason, the WordPress Core remains relatively secure due to frequent updates and patches. Cybercriminals often turn to target themes and plugins. Many third-party elements contain vulnerabilities that are easy for hackers to exploit. As a result, it's essential to thoroughly examine the reliability and security of your chosen theme before implementing it on your website.

By conducting thorough research and making informed decisions, you can proceed confidently with your web project. A carefully chosen theme thwarts hackers and is less likely to create conflicts with other components of your site in the future.

Secure WordPress theme selection criteria

Here are important characteristics to consider when selecting a theme to ensure a secure choice:

•  Update frequency
Check when the theme was last updated. Recent updates indicate active maintenance, which is essential for security and stability. Ensure compatibility with the latest WordPress engine version to prevent site issues and vulnerabilities.

•  Previous vulnerabilities
Investigate whether the theme has had any known security vulnerabilities that might allow an attacker to escalate privileges or exploit the system in other ways. There are many reliable sources that are excellent for identifying such issues. If the theme has been prone to security flaws in the past, verify that the publisher has resolved these issues.

•  Creator's reputation
Examine the theme author's history in addressing problems, whether they are minor compatibility issues or severe security vulnerabilities, to assess their security compliance efforts. No software is completely immune to attacks, but the responsiveness and efficiency of the developer in fixing problems is crucial.

•  Number of installs
A theme with numerous active installs is likely reliable, as many users trust it. However, be prepared to customize it extensively to avoid a generic appearance shared by other sites using the same theme.

•  Ratings
Opt for themes with high ratings, typically 4 or 5 stars, indicating user satisfaction and reliability.

•  Reviews
Reading reviews from other site owners provides valuable insights. Pay attention to both positive and negative feedback, especially any listed pros and cons, to make an informed decision about the theme.

•  Support availability
Look for themes offering robust support options, such as phone, email, or live chat. Having access to support can be invaluable for resolving any issues or questions that arise.

•  Active community
An active community or forum for the theme can be a valuable resource for getting help with security-related questions or concerns. A strong community also indicates the theme's reliability and the developer's commitment to its users.

•  Documentation quality
Comprehensive documentation can save you time and frustration. It should clearly explain how to install, configure, and customize the theme. Well-documented themes are often easier to use and more adaptable to your needs.

How to safely choose website themes

It's not wise to gamble with the health of your website. A good practice is relying on reputable sources offering more than theme uploads. Trustworthy platforms ensure the content they provide is secure and performs well. In particular, the official WordPress Theme Directory is a safe bet. You can be confident that every item available there has been thoroughly vetted and is safe for use on your website.

ThemeForest is also a reliable source for themes. While it might not offer as vast a selection as WordPress' own platform, and its vetting process may not be as strict, it's still a solid choice if you follow the guidelines mentioned earlier. Themeforest features a wide range of themes, from those suitable for personal blogs and creative projects to themes designed for corporate and e-commerce websites.

Another destination worth checking out is TemplateMonster. The team there regularly updates their content, ensuring you have access to a variety of modern and impressive themes and templates to pick from.

WP theme update and maintenance advice

Maintaining the security of your WordPress theme over time is crucial for protecting your site against new threats. Here are some tips to keep your theme secure:

•  Use child themes
When customizing your theme, use a "child" theme. This practice keeps your modifications separate from the "parent" theme, making it easier to apply updates without losing custom work.

•  Review customizations
Periodically review any customizations or additions to your theme. Avoid deprecated functions and follow WordPress development best practices to prevent security issues.

•  Update regularly
Always apply the latest updates to your theme. Staying updated ensures your site benefits from the latest security measures.

•  Backups, backups, backups
Before updating your theme, make sure to back up your website. This step allows you to restore your site to its previous state in case an update causes issues.

•  Disable theme editor
WordPress allows you to edit your theme files directly from the dashboard. Consider disabling this feature in order to prevent unauthorized changes and reduce the risk of security breaches.

Improving security with WordPress plugins

In the world of website development and maintenance, you can never have too much security. Every theme has the potential to be compromised by a skilled attacker. To significantly improve the security of your WordPress site, it's wise to install a powerful security plugin.

Most of these security tools come packed with a web application firewall, along with features like virus scanning, live file monitoring, alerts for security concerns, and logs of site activities. They also offer additional protections, helping website owners protect against brute force attacks, back up their databases, set up multi-factor authentication, and require strong passwords for all users. Among the many WordPress security plugins available, Sucuri Security and Wordfence Security are particularly notable for their dependable performance and stellar reputations.


WordPress security is about covering all bases to shield your site from various threats. Believing your theme is completely secure might invite hackers to prove otherwise. Even the most solid WordPress theme can have vulnerabilities. The key is to reduce these risks proactively.

Making informed choices is crucial, not just for safeguarding your site but also for ensuring a smooth web development and management journey. The guidance provided here will steer you towards safer WordPress practices, helping you make the most of your online presence.


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