EDIT: The premise of this post is to specifically call attention to the nefarious practice of using base64_ and other php methods to hide links to 3rd party sites in a theme file. The average user has no idea what is going on: a base64_ function in a footer.php or sidebar.php file is a very very strong indicator that their theme designer is up to no good. It is only an indicator though. When in doubt contact your host or the theme designer and ask them to explain what’s going on. – strebel
We see a lot of themes at Page.ly. We see good themes and we see bad themes.
From our vantage point, hosting thousands of WordPress sites, we literally see everything.
MoPappy will host anything under the sun and could care less what app is running or what it is doing. At Page.ly we only manage WordPress, and we have a keen interest in the performance aspect of WordPress at scale.
base64_shit. You are a douchebag if you don’t.
A two hundred character string of HTML in order to encode and hide two backlinks is 75k. That is a relatively big file, and also adds overhead to the PHP process when it is decoded every time the page loads.
I would like to take a moment to tell all theme designers, everywhere: stop the
base64_encode shit. You are a douchebag if you do this.
If you run a WordPress site and use a theme that has
base64_ anywhere in it then there is a 99% chance that one or both of the following is going on:
- Your theme designer is a douchebag.
- You have malware.
Both choices suck.
A third option is that your designer may think they have a good reason for
base64_encode-ing something legitimate in the theme. I would venture to say the reason is not good enough.
In the near future we will begin calling out—by name and very publicly—any theme designers and shops that do this. I wish to also call upon the entire community to purge and publicly shame the clowns that do this.
Soon Page.ly will likely just disable
base64 functions system wide. If your theme or plugin uses this function and you want our thousands of users to use your stuff, it is time to refactor.
You are on notice.