I was in two minds about whether to write this post for one simple reason: I’m in no way techie. Ultimately though, that’s exactly why I’ve decided that I should. The majority of bloggers that I know are in the same boat, we write about lots of interests but coding isn’t one of them. Beauty gurus? I follow plenty, but IT gurus? Only a couple.
When the Pipdig scandal first began seeping onto my timeline I assumed that the drama would blow over pretty quickly. It was only a week or so after that article, when my feed had been completely taken over, that I knew I needed to educate myself.
I bought my Pipdig theme in summer last year as a celebration of going self-hosted after a year of blogging. Some of the bloggers who I most aspire to were with them and I was immensely proud to finally be able to say that I was too. I followed the crowd not only for aesthetic but because even installing one of their themes was frightening enough. Looking into lesser known theme designers wouldn’t have even occurred to me. Even with my hand being held, I was scared of getting it wrong. Blindly, I accepted that Pipdig was a well-known brand and therefore must be reputable. I guess we all know how wrong I was there.
What I Did Next
Instead of paying much attention to the frenzy that was Twitter, I read dummy guides by experts on the matter. I haven’t the foggiest when it comes to coding so I’m afraid I simply had to place my belief in one side. When it became apparent that there were actually plenty of people verifying dishonest behaviour, it became clear.
Despite feeling incredibly overwhelmed by what my next steps should be, I was adamant not to make a hasty decision. I, like many other bloggers, have limited time, resources and knowledge. I’m also of the opinion that considering Pipdigs reputation, they’re unlikely to act in any way that may tarnish it further. While I’m no expert, I felt sure that my blog wasn’t going to vanish into thin air. Although I did take a back up pretty pronto.
Initially, I began to nosey around a few ex-Pipdig themed blogs and noticed that many were switching to 17th Avenue. Part of me genuinely considered following suit, but it just felt very much like deja vu. Whilst I’m sure they’re a reputable company with gorgeous designs, I was reluctant to follow the crowd again for a variety of reasons. Instead, I began browsing Etsy.
I had accepted that I might have to get my hands dirty and was prepared to invest a good few hours, if not days learning how to install and customise. To my complete astonishment, the majority of the themes bragged free installation or very high levels of support. Which leads us to Soph Hearts 2.0. It’s the result of a mere £11 and a morning spent on my laptop.
I’m going to be painfully honest and admit that without a coding expert, I have no way of knowing whether the theme I have now possesses any of its own issues. A few bloggers have switched only to find that the coding of their new theme is largely copied from Pipdig. Basically, I’m just crossing my fingers that I haven’t made the same error. However at an investment of only £11, I was more comfortable taking a risk.
What You Should Do If You’re Still With Pipdig
First and foremost, avoid panicking. Actually, that’s it.
I definitely don’t have enough knowledge on the matter to provide advise. I know that their themes are expensive and would never tell anyone to just throw one away based on scaremongering. I’m also aware that the allegations are serious. I’d suggest only that you do your research according to reliable sources in order to make an informed decision.
Whilst the panic is understandable, I think it’s safe to say that those who bought a Pipdig theme did so in good faith. Judging someone for still having a theme with them a mere few weeks after the scandal is unfair for a number of reasons. It’s also worth considering that not everyone has a strong presence on Twitter, particularly within the blogging circle. They may not even know what’s been going on so please don’t be too hasty to point fingers.
So How Is It A Blessing?
I really have every sympathy with anyone else who’s been financially hit by the scandal. I was lucky enough to get at least half a years use out of my investment; not as long as I’d hoped, but longer than some. What I’ve learnt from it though is to do my research and not to assume credibility.
I’ve also pleasantly surprised myself at my ability to follow a tutorial and get on with installing and customising a theme myself. I have to be honest and say that my purchase came with plenty of resources. This only serves though, to make me kick myself for investing so much money into Pipdig in the first place. Pay attention to the information provided, many designers offer continued support and also offer step by step tutorials on everything from instillation to how to customise various aspects. Mine walked me through quite extensively, including how to add my Instagram feed to my footer and how to add images to my sidebar categories.
I’ve come out of the situation with a new theme that I love and the knowledge that I can easily handle any future changes. I’m hesitant to recommend the exact provider I used for reasons already covered. However if you’re looking for a new one, I’d definitely recommend heading to Etsy.