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WARNING: TemplatesBrowser dot com

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This is about a theme distribution site called Templatesbrowser dot com. I intentionally do not link to them. They are showcasing various authors’ themes and providing direct downloads for them. To make things much worse, they have added code to the footer of these themes that call the original site back and add hidden links to the themes once they are installed. It could also be used to run other malicious code. I strongly suggest that users stay away from downloading and using anything from them. This is pretty darn shady. Thanks to Milo, Derek and others for staying on top of this.

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Comments

  1. Jeff says:

    You have almost 20 advertisements and only one paragraph of actual content! Why does this spam site show up in my wordpress administration panel?

  2. Aeriff (1 comments.) says:

    Hi Mark, I think you will find the site is actually Templatesbrowser.com (note the ‘s’). I have read about this elsewhere, but thanks for the heads up.

  3. BillSaysThis (5 comments.) says:

    Thanks for the warning!

  4. Peter (5 comments.) says:

    Thanks to you (and the other people who looked into this) for the warning. Another reason to perhaps only get themes from a trusted source and to keep alert. If what they’re doing is link spam targeting Google, using a theme on your site could get you into trouble.

  5. Rick Beckman (15 comments.) says:

    Seems to be a Parked Domain page. No downloads that I can see.

  6. hso (8 comments.) says:

    @ Mark

    The site in question is templatesbrowser.com with an “s”.

    Just so you know, the site is also stripping designer attributions from our themes and adding their own.

  7. Jonathan (83 comments.) says:

    Seems that both sites, with the S and without the S, aren’t working.

    one is, as said, a sedo parked domain, the other just has the text…

    did they take the site down?

  8. A.J. (3 comments.) says:

    The site(s) aren’t working for me, perhaps they are done for a bit now that they are outted. Of course I wouldn’t be surprised to see a dozen like it popup tomorrow.

  9. hso (8 comments.) says:

    The themes are at templatesbrowser.com/wordpress-themes/, but there is no reason why it should be linked to from this or any other sites.

  10. Anon says:

    It’s templateSbrowser.com, not templatebrowser.com. Your title has the wrong info.

  11. Gary (1 comments.) says:

    I noticed wpthemesfree.com also adds hidden links to themes, I noticed they added a link back to their site in a hidden div on your theme:

    http://www.wpthemesfree.com/view.php?theme_id=391

    I don’t mind linking but not when it’s hidden like that, it is dodgy.

  12. Harri Nyman (1 comments.) says:

    Similar goes on with wpthemesfree.com – they’re using templates to SEO-spam some lawyer company.

  13. BlakkJakk (10 comments.) says:

    Thanks for the heads up. I have learned to stick to either the browser at WordPress or the theme updates on this blog. My current theme actually had a dodgy encrypted foot which I stripped and put the author’s link only. God knows what was in that footer before as it dropped from 40k to about 4.5k.

    But taking credit for other author’s theme is a real low.

  14. Kevin (6 comments.) says:

    @Jeff

    I suggest you take a peek at the archives, Mark and his crew (or whatever it is now) regularly post helpful information regarding WordPress themes and plugins.

    @Mark:
    Did you know you have an alexa traffic rank of 6,711, that’s better than the effin FBI!

  15. Siar (1 comments.) says:

    Gary and Harri, you probably missed that wpthemesfree.com already removed the hidden links as they announced yesterday with their homepage notification. They also updated their upload page with their new link rules…

  16. Jauhari (2 comments.) says:

    This is really bad habit :(

  17. Zen Zoomie (2 comments.) says:

    I actually read about this first at BracingYourBrand.com several weeks ago. Their ad-server (1.templatesbrowser.com) looks like it’s still up, but the template showcase is MIA as of 11:36 EDT on Aug 6th.

  18. Zen Zoomie (2 comments.) says:

    By the way, does anyone know of a WordPress plugin that can automatically check for and/or disable hidden links?

  19. Zorten (1 comments.) says:

    I don’t know what actually did TemplatesBrowser.com(I read all from here) but as far as I know all big firms are doing similar things.

    For ex: statcounter.com I am using them on my sites, I love them but their invisible counter also has a link to statcounter which ought to be invisible. That’s why they have a pagerank 10. But to spread the statcounter they should do this which is ok for me.

    Think about the bmw.com’s car history. I don’t know you remember, once upon a time when you search anything related with car, car insurance, car spare parts on google you see bmw.com ‘s homepage then what happened? google wiped them from their list. Now they are visible only for bmw related keywords… Don’t worry google knows and tracks everything on the net.

    A thing just remembered, do you guys know what was the google.com’s pagerank before they invented(“yes they invented”) adsense? It was not 11 or even 10 it was 9. Today all sites have adsense, adsenses have links to google and they have now a pagerank of 11.

    If I have a theme, skin, template whatever I don’t mind the site placing their own link on my theme BUT ONLY THE SITE’S LINK THAT I UPLOADED MY THEME! Because I know that my site will get downloaded more in case of their success on the net. Yes, removing my credit link as templatebrowser.com did is mean or more than mean.

    Anyway if you have the power you should use it that’s the way it is ok till 2002. Do you understand what I am saying? just deep search mybloglog.com

  20. Matt Ellsworth (4 comments.) says:

    thanks we blogged about this as well



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