Installing and Running the Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC)
There was a time when I first began working with WordPress that I would search through google for free WP themes and templates, then install the one I liked best without giving it another thought. It was only after I began having problems with one of them that I finally focused on how they’re designed, so that I could create my own.
I ended up learning a few harsh facts that could have saved me many nights of trial and error trouble shooting, and the headaches that went with them.
The bottom line is that some “developers” will embed encrypted code in various directories and files that will have some sort of effect on YOUR website for as long as it remains there. One of the most often used is base64. It doesn’t always mean there is something bad hidden there, but it is definitely worth your time to decode it and find out exactly what it is they’re hiding.
From my experience, base64 will be found in the footer.php, sidebar.php, and functions.php, most often. These are the first places I check before even unzipping the file on my desktop. The next step is to run the Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC) plugin which will complete a more thorough check, searching not only all of the files in a theme, but also any other themes you may have uploaded, active or not.
The Theme Authenticity Checker is a free plugin that can be downloaded at WordPress and activated through your WP Control Panel as outlined below:
1. Download the zip file from WordPress Plugins and unzip it on your desktop.
2. Upload just the tac.php file to your /wp-content/plugins/ directory:
3. Activate TAC through your WordPress Control Panel as shown below:
4. Go to Appearance -> TAC
5. TAC will automatically run and display the results of each theme
Now I will look at each of these result warnings individually, since they both had different outcomes after the encryption was decoded and also the second theme was one that I actually PURCHASED and there really is no good reason for ‘static links’ or encrypted code. In my opinion, anyway.
The following links will take you to each of the theme’s results: (In Progress)
I hope this helps a few, leave a comment if you have questions!
(please remember to share! :)