There are many WordPress themes as well as plugins that you may want to download and use. However, you need to make sure that you only download trusted plugins and themes that provide safety and support for a long time.
One wise way to look for trusted WordPress themes and plugins is to view the WodPress plugin directory. This directory contains a large number of themes and plugins that are checked in detail by WordPress contributors. They act instantly on dubious plugins and themes by removing them while reviewing most of them before publication of their first iteration.
Another easy way is to view reviews displayed next to each plugin and theme. Registered users can provide reviews and ratings from 1 to 5 for all themes and plugins, and you can check them to understand satisfaction levels as well as know about possible conflicts with other plugins or themes. Since WordPress moderators keep an eye on ratings and reviews, you can depend on them.
Viewing download counts is another way to be sure that you are getting a trusted theme or plugin. Plugins with around 100,000 downloads can certainly be trusted, although the same rule will not apply for brand new plugins that will need some time to accumulate counts.
Checking support areas present in all themes and plugins will help you view the number of issues and bugs that have plagued others. You will also be able to view if the author has taken concrete action to resolve those issues.
Any theme or plugin that catches your eye should have also been updated at regular intervals. You need to make sure that you are downloading the latest version and that the author has engaged in regular updates while providing the required support at the same time. You must avoid themes and plugins that have not been updated since the past 2 years or above since they may have compatibility issues and may not provide any support.
Free themes that are not listed in the WordPress directory should not be downloaded. Such themes could contain coding that could create havoc with your security by tracking your every move, or worse, uploading your passwords and sensitive information to a chosen location.
In addition, you must scrutinize each theme or plugin that you download for “base64_”. This function allows insertion of encoded scripts by developers that are hard to find, but can easily be misused by hackers. One way to ensure your security is to get rid of all instances from all downloaded plugins and themes. Another way is to contact the author and ask for clarification as to the real reason for inserting the “base64_”. This function applies to other themes and plugins too including those offered for Magento.
You must also make sure that the author of any theme or plugin has followed the basic requirements inside the core code. Scripts that are based on weak development are sure to cause conflicts and errors that will be difficult to solve by the author due to his or her inexperience in creating a good theme or plugin in the first place. You should test the coding skills of the developer by looking at the code and testing the downloaded theme or plugin before actual implementation.
The above tips can help you identify trusted WordPress themes and plugins as well as stay away from dubious and shaky ones that will only cause a lot of pain once they are downloaded.