In the wake of last week’s Pipdidg scandal, the WordPress blogger and developer communities have been working together to help the company’s customers get on new themes and ensure the safety of their websites. Pipdig has been reported to various UK and internet authorities and is currently under investigation.
Pipdig’s hosting provider has proactively disabled malicious code in certain files while the company conducts its own investigation.
Props to @kualo, @pipdig's hosting provider, for stepping in and commenting out (disabling) malicious code. To @pipdig's WordPress customers: make sure you're using version 4.9.0 and you'll be *okay*, for now at least. I still can't recommend staying with them, though. pic.twitter.com/V0c40A29lL
— Nicky Bloor (@nickstadb) April 3, 2019
Meanwhile, Pipdig has been denying customers’ refund requests, in accordance with its “no refund” policy. Customers have received responses from the company claiming that the recent accusations were either “false, twisted, or sensationalized.”
— Sophia (@sophiatranterxo) April 5, 2019
Customers who have purchased Pipdig products within the last 180 days may still be able to receive a refund through other channels. The Twitter thread below suggests lodging a payment dispute with PayPal or your bank or credit card provider, by referencing consumer protection laws and providing evidence of Pipdig’s false and misleading conduct.
— ⓘⓌⓡⓘⓣⓔ (@opinionhacker) April 2, 2019
Help for Affected Pipdig Customers Switching to New Themes
If you work in WordPress every day, you may not realize how much of a challenge it is for some users to switch themes. WordPress developers and bloggers are stepping up to provide resources to help those who want to transition to a new theme.
“I understand that bloggers using Pipdig themes for WordPress might want to switch away, but don’t have the time, money, or skills to do so right away,” Mark Jaquith said. “So here’s P3 Neutraliser — a plugin that will prevent the P3 plugin from updating or ‘phoning home.’” The plugin is available on GitHub with step-by-step instructions for downloading and installing it. It is intended as a stopgap measure for users to activate while they are in the process of transitioning to a new theme.
Former Pipdig customers are struggling to find new themes, as a large number of them fall into the fashion blogger demographic. This is a niche with specific requirements for design and functionality. Many are also confused about the findings in the reports and don’t know how to act on this information.
I need to change my theme from Pipdig to another safe one but I'm struggling 😭 I'm in love with my Pipdig theme now. However, I do like the 17th Avenue themes. Does anyone know if they're safe? #pipdig I don't want to do this all over again in a few months 😩
— Melissa 💫 (@rosymelissax) April 7, 2019
Not sure what to do i have a pipdig theme for my blog 😭
— 𝔼𝕣𝕚𝕟 (@Erin_Louisee) April 3, 2019
SO overwhelmed by all the #pipdig issues I'm reading & don't understand half of it… Defs time for a theme refresh but no idea where to start. Do I spend ££ designing one with a developer? V confusing for someone who has no coding knowledge at all. Anyone else feeling the same?
— Luisa-Christie 💘 (@luisachristie) April 3, 2019
Searching WordPress.org for fashion-inspired themes does not turn up many relevant results. Former Pipdig customers hunting for new themes will need a more curated list of recommendations. WordPress developer Tia Wood published a post with a list of both free and commercial alternative themes that may be helpful to those still looking. Freelance designer Rachel Sulek has a Twitter thread with options that are comparable to Pipdig’s theme designs.