Deceptive Template Downloads

Ancient MaskAncient MaskIf you run your own website, in particular a blog such as the one this article is written on, you’ve come across templates. A template may also be called a skin, or a theme. These templates add the design, colour, layout, and feel of a website, and are developed by creative web designers.

Some templates are free, others are bought or custom made. And there are websites that collect free templates to make it easier for non designers to pick and choose.

It’s recently come to light that some of these template collections have been tainted. The person (or people) collecting and hosting the templates have quietly edited them all and embedded some code to suit their own purposes.

One such deceptive template collection is They’ve been caught adding code to the footer in the themes they host to collect marketing data. What makes this even more deceptive is that they didn’t actually create any of the templates, they’re modifying other people’s work. Another website previously ousted for doing something similar is

So if you run a website, blog, or similar and hunt around for interesting templates on these collection sites, always go back to the original developer’s website and download it from there. This way you’re downloading it directly from the person who created it, and not risking downloading a tainted copy.

It’s unfortunate that as the Internet continues to grow there are always new threats appearing where you least expect them. Hopefully by reading this site and encouraging others to do to we can all avoid the dangers and use the Internet to its full potential. Education is always a good solution.