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A Glass Half Full Approach To The Pipdig Scandal & What To Do Next

Pipdig Scandal
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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.

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  • Reply Margarida Vasconcelos

    I’ve no idea about the issue. It seems it turned out okay, well done you. Thanks for the tip.

    April 7, 2019 at 10:58 am
  • Reply Kim

    I like your new theme, it’s a simple clean design and displays perfectly on my mobile browser. When the Pipdig ‘scandal’ went down I was actually going to purchase a theme for them that day! So I was relieved when I saw Jem’s post. I’ve followed her for many years and she’s helped me after my blog got hacked before, so I trusted her judgement. But I understand it’s not always that easy to trust someone you don’t know. I’m hoping we’ll start to see more unique looking designs as a result. 🙂

    April 7, 2019 at 11:20 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you so much! Oh wow that was amazing timing for you then – really lucky you didn’t go through with it just a little earlier! I think we will you know! x

      April 7, 2019 at 8:54 pm
  • Reply Sophie Wentworth

    Great post! I only got mine the week between Christmas and New Year so I’m definitely in the camp feeling cheated out of my money. And I’m yet to find an alternative with a similar layout to the one I had which is only rubbing further salt in my wounds. So many people recommended Pipdig to me when I was looking, the blind faith some people still have is astounding. I agree that I didn’t think sites were about to start disappearing but the fact that they were using their customers sites to attack others really didn’t sit well with me and I wanted to distance myself asap. Your new theme looks lovely though! Onwards and upwards, hopefully we can all learn something from this x


    April 7, 2019 at 11:49 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you! Oh I completely understand why you’d be a little more put out then! Have you looked into getting a refund? I’ve heard bits and bobs about people trying to but I’m not sure how successful they’ve been. I agree, I think the biggest issue isn’t safety but the moral standpoint and not wanting to be implicated in something so underhand. Thank you so much! Good luck with finding another theme you love! x

      April 7, 2019 at 9:01 pm
  • Reply Gillian

    Such a well thought-out post, and a refreshing way to look at the positives instead of focusing on the negatives. Also, those your photos are gorgeous, such a pretty look 😍 loving your new site, and £11 is a bargain!

    – Gillian x

    April 7, 2019 at 12:01 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you! I’m so glad you like the new theme and I agree- much more affordable than my last! x

      April 7, 2019 at 9:04 pm
  • Reply Carly

    I’d looked at Pipdig themes loads over the last year and I’m so glad I never made the jump. The accusations are a little scary and it’s sad that such a reputable company would do that. I’m glad there’s been a happy ending for you though and have learnt how to do something you couldn’t do before.

    April 7, 2019 at 12:20 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Oh I’m so glad you didn’t too for your sake! I agree, it’s so worrying that we were all oblivious for so long. Thank you, me too!x

      April 7, 2019 at 9:09 pm
  • Reply Rhianna

    I got mine from Etsy too! I just can’t believe this whole thing with Pipdig. Call me naive, but I always like to think people’s intentions are good – however, there’s just no explaining for the malicious code Pipdig installed, and how they made their customers unwitting partners in their crimes! So wrong, and such a breach of trust.
    However, I’m really liking my new theme, and it was about £11 too!

    Rhianna X

    April 7, 2019 at 12:31 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      No I completely agree, it’s terrible that they’re still denying that they’ve done anything wrong too! I love your new theme and it sounds like a bargain too!x

      April 7, 2019 at 9:13 pm
  • Reply Sarah Dickinson

    Hey Sophie,

    I too was a Pipdig convert and so had to change my theme when it became obvious it would be harmful & detrimental to my blog to keep it. I only spent $6 on the actual theme and then £10 for installation/deletion/removal so all in all I got away pretty lightly. I am bummed about the amount i spent on my old theme but also pleased i had to change because i was looking for a new theme anyway!
    I am pleased you got a new one too and i really like the look of it.
    Best of luck with it all. X
    Sarah x

    April 7, 2019 at 1:38 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Hi Sarah! It’s great that it came at an okay time when you were looking for a new theme anyway, pretty good timing for you really! Thank you, I’m glad you like it! x

      April 7, 2019 at 9:17 pm
  • Reply Charlotte

    This is such a well written post. I spent ages over the last few days browsing the internet trying to find a new theme! It’s such a shame that so many people have been hit financially by this. Luckily I did get 2 years use out of my pipdig theme but it’s still frustrating. I’d never judge anyone for still having a pipdig theme though because we’re all in different situations 😃 Your blog looks amazing, I love the new look 💕

    April 7, 2019 at 1:57 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Aw thats lovely to hear. It’s great that you got 2 years out of it but I agree- it’s never nice to have the choice taken away from you is it? Thank you, I’m so glad you like it! x

      April 7, 2019 at 8:50 pm
  • Reply Emma

    Fab post Soph! It makes it that bit more real that so many of us are in the same situation, and like you said only a few are coding gurus! I’m going to head to Etsy and see what they have got. So did you install the new theme yourself?

    Emma |

    April 7, 2019 at 2:04 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you! They have some lovely themes so hopefully you’ll find at least one you like! Yes I did, honestly the process was no more difficult than Pipdig’s instillation process, I think there’s just a lot of fear of the unknown (which I’m definitely guilty of too) x

      April 7, 2019 at 9:39 pm
  • Reply Geraldine

    I have still yet to do my research as to what I plan on going with next, as I also had a theme from Pipdig. There are seriously so many themes to explore!

    April 7, 2019 at 2:35 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Honestly don’t rush it- it’s an important decision and time consuming too. Good luck with finding one you love! x

      April 7, 2019 at 8:47 pm
  • Reply Melissa

    I think this is really sensible advice for anyone to follow. Also your new theme looks great 🙂

    April 7, 2019 at 2:40 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      I’m glad you think so! Thank you so much! x

      April 7, 2019 at 8:42 pm
  • Reply Irena BookDustMagic

    I’ve heard about this Pipdig scandal on Twitter, and tbh still don’t know everything what was going on, but I am glad to hear you found the solution and your new theme.

    April 7, 2019 at 3:39 pm
  • Reply Alice

    It’s so odd because when the Pipdig situation first arose and it became apparent that it was serious and not just scaremongering, I thought this is the WORST thing that could happen for me and my blog. I, like you, am in no way “techie” in any shape or form. Pipdig did my entire installation for me as well as swapped my hosting over last year so I was highly grateful for their service and thought it well worth the money even for their helpful service if not the theme I loved so much. I was sure I wouldn’t find another theme that was a little bit quirky like mine, I’ve always wanted my blog to have more of an edge to it due to my style being like that but all I could find for so long was the same looking designs. Funnily enough I came across one and just fell in love! I installed it all myself and once I’d customised it (as much as I possibly could – that’s one thing I do miss about my Pipdig theme – the amount of stuff you could easily change!), I couldn’t believe how much more I loved it than my old one. It’s now quirky but also much more professional looking than my old one and I’ve had SO many compliments on it!
    Alice Xx

    April 7, 2019 at 4:33 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      It sounds like we’ve had really similar experiences! Your new theme does look absolutely amazing and I’m so glad you love it and that you can say that you installed and customised it all yourself! x

      April 7, 2019 at 10:07 pm
  • Reply Natonya

    Hey Soph thanks for sharing your experience. I’ve been seeing the pipdig chaos a over my Twitter😮 I’m still on the free version on WordPress but I’ve been trying to save up money for self hosting my blog and buying a fancy pipdig theme for a few months. I can’t believe this is happening, not sure if the claims are completely legit but like you I’m just going to avoid pipdig at all cost and choose something else. Will definitely check out Etsy for lifestyle themes.

    Natonya |

    April 7, 2019 at 6:17 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      I have as well- I can’t get away from it haha! Good luck in saving to go self-hosted, it’s definitely a great thing to do and it’s pretty lucky you hadn’t yet invested in them! x

      April 7, 2019 at 8:40 pm
  • Reply Steff

    I’ve been wondering what’s been going on with Pipdig, and I’m still a bit unsure if I’m honest. I’m not one of the affected people but I have read that blogs could have been lost and that is terrifying! We all know how much hard work goes into a post so that’s a big no-no!
    I’m glad you found a new theme for a small amount of money, your blog looks amazing! My first thought was how clean and minimalist it looks! Good shout! Xx

    April 7, 2019 at 7:52 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      It’s definitely pretty confusing for those of us who aren’t techies. Thank you so much, it’s really lovely to hear that you like it! x

      April 7, 2019 at 8:35 pm
  • Reply Lucy

    I think the Pipdig scandal was a big wake up call for all blogger’s, I think all our websites were all looking samey and it’s nice to see our blogs looking so different from each other! That’s one positive I’m taking from this xx

    Lucy |

    April 7, 2019 at 8:26 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      I totally agree! Thats definitely one of the silver linings of the whole situation! x

      April 7, 2019 at 8:30 pm
  • Reply Francisca Rockey

    I’m not the most informed on the scandal but for now, I’m going to keep my theme. I’m not self hosted but I think I need to know more on the situation before I make my complete judgement and jump ship. From what you’re saying, I should probably look into changing my theme for peace of mind, I wouldn’t want anyone thinking I’m condoning what they’ve done or what they’re doing. A lot to think about isn’t there!

    Fran |

    April 7, 2019 at 8:31 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      I completely agree. I mean I obviously chose to change mine because I just don’t want to be associated with what they’ve been accused of but I think learning more about the situation before making a decision is definitely the way to go x

      April 7, 2019 at 10:18 pm
  • Reply Madiha | Me VS The Odds

    This is such a well thought out post, and someone who’s not techy, i’ve enjoyed reading it! I’ve seen a lot about the scandal on twitter, but never having chosen pigdig (it was a bit too expensive for me) I didn’t think into it much! I do feel bad for those who are affected, i’d be a mess, especially since it’s more than just the financial slap in the face. I love the new theme you have, I think it’s much more user friendly!

    April 7, 2019 at 8:35 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you so much! I especially agree with you that Pipdig is too expensive now that I’ve seen the alternatives and how cheap and easy they are! I’m so glad you love the new theme, it’s been amazing to have had such positive feedback so far, I really appreciate it! x

      April 7, 2019 at 11:08 pm
  • Reply Hayley

    I changed mine on Saturday and like you, thought I will do a post on it because most people don’t really know what to do- whether to jump in and purchase a new theme. I went through the same process of trying to find a theme that was different – I decided it was time to establish my blogs own identity! You could tell in a split second if someone had a pipdig theme. It’s a frustrating situation but I would rather get a new theme rather than risk something happening to my blog that I have spent so much time on. The thing I find I funny is my theme was less than my pipdig themes * I had two – facepalm* and this new one I can customise so much of it. Even if someone buys the same, chances are they won’t replicate how I have set it up!


    April 7, 2019 at 8:39 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      I couldn’t agree with you more! Your new theme looks amazing and its so great that it would be hard for anyone to replicate- it’s so important to show a little individuality isn’t it?!x

      April 7, 2019 at 11:07 pm
  • Reply Shannon Baker

    I was so glad I moved away from Pipdig made blog themes a while ago when I was bored of everyone having the same themes and it was looking incredibly samey. I moved to have my own style blog theme created by my lovely designer. I think it was a great wake up call for bloggers to make a change. Loving your new look though – especially your logo!

    Shan x

    April 7, 2019 at 8:39 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      I totally relate to why you did that and it’s handy you did so before all of the drama! I love the look of your blog so you’re definitely doing something right! Thank you so much x

      April 7, 2019 at 11:02 pm
      • Reply Shannon Baker

        Thank you hun! I’m glad you like the look of my blog, it’s currently getting ready for a 2.0 revamp which I’m really excited for. You’re welcome x

        April 8, 2019 at 12:02 am
  • Reply Aaliyah

    I didn’t have a pipdig theme but I always wanted one as they were the themes that a lot of people had and they were the most aesthetically pleasing but when I heard about the issues I didn’t fully understand but the more I read didn’t sounds great! I’m glad that you were able to find a new theme that you love, I’ve also got a theme from Etsy and I love it and it was such a reasonable price! X

    April 7, 2019 at 8:53 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      You’re lucky you never bought in haha! Thank you, Etsy have some wonderful themes don’t they, I was so pleasantly surprised! x

      April 7, 2019 at 10:59 pm
  • Reply Nancy

    With the whole Pipdig scandal, It was upsetting to see bloggers backing up Pipdig even though there was evidence of their wrongdoing. “Because they have great support.” You don’t see people supporting doctors with a lot of failure rates. I am glad you jumped off the Pipdig wagon because even though they “fixed” their code, you can’t trust them anymore. They lost people’s trust. I am glad your website didn’t go down or anything. Go you :)!

    Nancy ♥

    April 7, 2019 at 8:54 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      No I completely agree, I’ve been very reluctant to either support them or to bad mouth them really because I’m just not knowledgable enough on the matter. I’m glad I did too to be honest, I like my new theme and it’s given me more confidence for sure! Thank you x

      April 7, 2019 at 10:42 pm
  • Reply Katy

    I’ve still got a Pipdig theme but it’s purely because I haven’t fallen in love with another one yet and don’t want to end up wasting any money. I hope there aren’t going to be loads of bloggers getting aggy about people still on Pipdig though!

    Katy |

    April 7, 2019 at 9:39 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      I completely understand, it’s a big decision and one worth taking time over. I hope so too, I’ve seen a few on Twitter but hopefully they’re in the minority x

      April 7, 2019 at 10:31 pm
  • Reply Tammy L Breitweiser

    I admire your ability to still be able to see the positive side of things!

    April 7, 2019 at 10:15 pm
  • Reply Jesica

    Can’t believe how positive you are staying even after this! Had this happened to me it would have sent me spiraling down to a slump, you are doing really great by facing the problem head on (and solving it!). Love your new theme btw, it’s so clean and simple and yet so lovely ❤️

    April 7, 2019 at 10:41 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you so much! I’m doing my best to look at the silver linings in things and the good feedback from my new theme has made me so happy!x

      April 8, 2019 at 8:52 pm
  • Reply JustSoElina

    Even though you aren’t techy this is such an informative post! I personally haven’t had the money to buy a theme I’ve just used free versions. Pip dig definitely was popular with most bloggers and I can see why, but in a way it’s better because everyone has a unique theme now. But my heart goes out to everyone that can’t afford to switch over or lost money and time in the process xx
    Elina |

    April 7, 2019 at 11:56 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      I’m so glad you think so! I completely agree, I just hope others are able to find a silver lining too! x

      April 8, 2019 at 8:55 pm
  • Reply Holly McCullough

    I had no idea about this scandal. Thank you for the information. Luckily it’s nothing I’m involved with. Good info!

    April 8, 2019 at 12:22 am
  • Reply Radi

    This is the first time I hear of this Pipdig scandal. Thanks for informing us!

    April 8, 2019 at 7:11 am
  • Reply Tina

    Wow, to be honest the scandal did not really reach Germany and I haven’t read about it before – so thanks to you for sharin this! I read some news/ posts now about the scandal and still not sure what to think. As they updated the plugin in question, I might stick with my theme a bit longer as I just bough it 3 months ago and don’t want to waste money again (and I’m not good ad coding – as many other bloggers probably too lol)
    But thanks so much for sharing the insights♥


    April 8, 2019 at 2:34 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      See that’s so interesting to see because like I said in the post- I genuinely think there will be so many people affected who haven’t yet even heard about the issue. I’m glad you found it helpful lovely x

      April 8, 2019 at 9:54 pm
  • Reply Margot

    Oh I didn’t heard about this scandal before. I didn’t even know about Pipdig haha,
    But I really like your outfit here. 😘

    April 8, 2019 at 3:12 pm
  • Reply Lisa

    Thank you so much for writing this post. I still have my Pipdig theme because I just can’t find one I like, despite spending over ten hours trawling. I’m so sad about this whole issue because for me getting a Pipdig theme felt like I’d made it as a real blogger, you know? I will be changing just as soon as I can find one I like (yours is gorgeous BTW) but as I know how long it took me to set up my theme in the first place, it’s not something I want to rush into. I don’t have time to install a free one, I only want to have to do the job once. Great post, Soph, sorry for the ramble! Lisa x

    April 8, 2019 at 6:12 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      You’re so welcome, I’m glad you like it! I was sad about it too and so shocked as well to be honest. Honestly, take your time, it’s a big decision- I hope you find one you love soon!x

      April 8, 2019 at 9:50 pm
    • Reply CandyHolladay

      Hi Lisa! I LOVE your site, did you end up keeping pipdig? I JUST bought it, can’t believe I didn’t find out about all this til now, but it seems like the best designs out there.

      October 22, 2019 at 5:04 am
  • Reply Katie Dolan

    I think it’s nice that we now all have different themes and not everyone’s blogs look the same. I was like you and got so confused over all the coding/techy lingo but ended up browsing Etsy and have found a template I’m really happy with! Fingers crossed they’re all ok!

    Katie | XX

    April 8, 2019 at 9:20 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      I totally agree. I’m so glad you found one you love from Etsy too- I’m so glad I looked there, they have so much choice and most of them look super supportive too x

      April 8, 2019 at 10:06 pm
  • Reply Eena

    Ahhh, the infamous pipdig scandal! Nancy informed me about the whole thing and I was initially adamant about changing my layout and about the whole thing but after a few days of thinking about the whole thing, I switched my site back to an older theme I had purchased and spent my entire day off fixing it up! Kinda bummed about the whole situation but regardless if you blog for income or as a hobby, it’s always best to have a theme/host that’s reliable and doesn’t like to add shady codes into their php! Oh well! Your new layout looks fab 🙂

    Eena ☼ cabin twenty-four

    April 9, 2019 at 4:07 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      Indeed! I actually really like the older theme and your site looks really good- I completely agree that reliability is super important but I’m glad you took your time with the decision! x

      April 9, 2019 at 9:13 pm
  • Reply Rebecca

    Thanks for sharing this post, Soph, I will definitely check out Etsy. They have some amazing stuff on there for much lower prices. I’m particularly gutted as I have only gained around two months of usage of my theme. A lot of my friends read my blog for the first ever time and complimented me on how professional it looked, so I was really pleased with it. Onto the next one though, as you say, the best thing to do is not to panic!

    Rebecca |

    April 9, 2019 at 7:59 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      Of course! Oh that’s such a shame, I’m so sorry that you spent all that money for only two months. I agree, I hope you find a new theme you love just as much! x

      April 9, 2019 at 9:14 pm
  • Reply Cate

    i hate this whole pipdig situation – for some reason when I moved from blogger to wordpress and I was on the hunt for a new theme ( I had pipdig on blogger!) I didn’t want to have the same of everybody else and this saved me.

    I love coding and html but I am no expert and themes always seem to be problematic when I upload them. Apart from this, I really loved pipdig themes but I also always loved to find prettier ones. Not to mention, I’d love to learn creating them !!

    Cate // 35mminstyle

    April 9, 2019 at 10:30 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      I do as well! Oh that’s a stroke of luck isn’t it?! I’d love to learn more about the tech side of things too! x

      April 9, 2019 at 9:29 pm
  • Reply Liz

    I haven’t heard of this scandal,it is such a shame that people were negatively affected… I find my themes on Etsy, there are a bunch of beautiful and well-designed templates for websites.

    Lots of love ♥ January Girl

    April 9, 2019 at 10:58 am
  • Reply Ashley

    Thank you so much for sharing this post. I was reading bits of info on Twitter and had no idea what was happening! I’m lucky I have my brother who is more tech specialist than me to help. It can be so confusing with all the problems we bloggers encounter.


    April 9, 2019 at 12:33 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      You’re so welcome. Oh thats so handy for you- I wish I had someone techie to help me- the people around me help as much as they can but they’re no experts either! x

      April 9, 2019 at 9:23 pm
  • Reply Chloe Chats

    I have been following a little about this whole pipdig scandal, I guess lucky for me I have never used their themes but I still wanted to find out what was going on as like you say, they were a loved brand for themes and very reputable and others can easily be the same. I have done a coding course myself so I could see for myself that some of their codes were not right, glad you have found a new theme that you love on Etsy! I don’t know why but I never thought of looking on Etsy for one!

    Chloe xx

    April 9, 2019 at 8:29 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Ooh it’s so interesting that you’ve done a coding course- what a handy skill to have! Thank you, I hadn’t until recently either but I’m so glad I did!x

      April 9, 2019 at 9:18 pm
  • Reply Mercy

    Good to be aware about what happened to Pipdig. Nice on you to be on top of everything and try to learn the tech side. I also moved from Blogger to WordPress though I haven’t used Pipdig.

    April 10, 2019 at 3:50 am
  • Reply Amita

    This is such an informative post! I was lucky because I was about to buy a pipdig theme but changed my mind because I didn’t like them that much. But I really do feel bad for the people that did, especially since a lot of them didn’t get much use out of it. Such a shame for Pipdig to do what they’ve done xx

    April 10, 2019 at 10:32 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      I’m glad you think so! That is lucky- I’m glad you didn’t end up investing, I completely agree x

      April 13, 2019 at 9:07 pm
  • Reply Samantha

    This is a very informative and interesting post. I spent some time reading up on this whole saga, the infamous Wordfence article as well as Pipdig’s responses. I must admit, I was hosted by Pipdig and have used their themes since I switched to self-hosting my blog three months after I started. I’ve since been informed by Pipdig that they no longer offer hosting but I’ll remain covered by the company they were using as a 3rd party host anyway so in theory nothing changes to my service.

    To be honest, I’ve been watching the “big bloggers” who use Pipdig to see if they switch. It’s difficult as some of this comes down to ethics too but for now, I’m staying put with Pipdig. I’ve had loads of dealings with Phil over the years and although there are always reasons and two sides to a story from what I’ve read (as a non-coder) some of the code was put in place for specific reasons of which I have little understanding so I can’t sit in judgment of the whys and wherefores..

    This will all blow over and let’s see where we go after that. I know my blog is safe as Pipdig won’t do anything further to damage its good name. I’ve updated my P3 plugin which has removed the affected code so I’m happy to continue as I am for now. x

    Samantha |

    April 10, 2019 at 11:04 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      I’m so glad you think so. I’ve been watching the big bloggers too and a couple who I really aspire to are still with them. I don’t blame you for sticking with with them to be honest, especially after only revamping your blog recently and how lovely it looks x

      April 13, 2019 at 9:15 pm
  • Reply Bexa

    I love your new theme, Soph! It’s gorgeous! I was on a blogging break when the whole pipdig drama kicked off so have only just been catching up. Now I’m struggling to find a new theme I like, it’s very frustrating, argghhh. I never thought of Etsy though so thanks for the suggestion, I am going to take a look. Also, thanks for sharing your thoughts, it’s really helpful to read a post on it all as I feel like I’ve been out of the loop for so long. Lovely photos as always <3 xx

    Bexa |

    April 10, 2019 at 12:49 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you so much! It’s pretty overwhelming isn’t it, but I hope you find Etsy as inspiring as I did! I’m glad you found it helpful lovely x

      April 13, 2019 at 9:19 pm
  • Reply Melina Elisa

    I actually love this them…maybe more than the pipdig one. Not that the pipdig one wasn’t beautiful, but it’s just more unique? Seeing the same layout over and over again was definitely a bit exhausting. I will say that I did consider more than once on investing in a pipdig theme, but because of the cost I thought about it a lot. I found loads of themes that I might switch to that was not pipdig for the main reason I told you. While I wanted a super clean and beautiful theme, but not the one everyone else had.
    I’m sorry to hear you had to go through this, but I’m happy to hear that you figured it out! Like I said before, it all looks lovely xxx

    Melina |

    April 10, 2019 at 5:31 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Aw thank you so much! I bet you’re extra glad now that you didn’t invest in one! Thank you, that really means a lot x

      April 13, 2019 at 9:38 pm
  • Reply Tiffany

    Personally, I’ve never used anything from pipdig. I only heard about the pipdig scandal through a coder/develop that I followed for years because of her fanlisitng script Jem, I think personally I just got lucky because I do have some coding and tech skills, not a lot but enough to understand why this was such a big deal. I think that it’s really good that you mentioned that people shouldn’t panic, but if someone can’t afford a new theme I think the wordpress theme repository is a good way to go. Since in order to have a theme there they have to be inspected and passed by wordpress’ team.

    I feel really bad for you and anyone else who was deceived by this because it’s so messed up. I can’t imagine that very many people download their theme and then look at all the coding to make sure there is nothing malicious there. This theme you currently have is so nice, I actually prefer it to any of the pipdig themes 🙂

    April 11, 2019 at 5:19 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      Oh that’s such useful information, thank you! No, I agree, the majority of the bloggers I know (including me) wouldn’t even know how. Oh thank you so much, I’m rally glad you like it x

      April 13, 2019 at 9:45 pm
  • Reply sonia // daring coco

    I only happened to find out about this a week later via Twitter and someone’s reply to another. Without that I would have no idea myself. I too was hoping it would blow over and I also have zero knowledge on the subject of coding too. I’ve been panicking over this disaster because I haven’t found any themes I am happy with nor want to spend the kind of money they’re asking for. It’s been so hard trying to find something. Pipdig also had plugins which I brought and use and rely on and again, can’t find anything or anyone who has anything similar which is so frustrating. There’s still time and everyone is saying not to rush because others are having issues with themes not working properly (mostly because they have trouble installing it to begin with). I did just discover 17th Ave this morning and found maybe one or two I could consider but I’m still unsure. I’ll have a look at your etsy find now. Fingers crossed.


    April 11, 2019 at 6:55 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      I only found out via Twitter too! I panicked initially too but try your best not to, as long as you’ve done a back up you’ll be absolutely fine for now. I hope you find a replacement you love when it comes to it! x

      April 14, 2019 at 9:38 am
  • Reply Gemma

    I got a 17th Avenue theme and I haven’t seen anyone else with one, everyone seems to have gone with Kotryna Bass from what I’ve seen!

    April 12, 2019 at 9:54 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Oh I’ve seen a few people with them in my circle. I understand why to be fair because they’re gorgeous! x

      April 13, 2019 at 9:31 pm
  • Reply Nicola

    I still haven’t changed and I have no idea what to do!

    April 13, 2019 at 10:29 am
  • Reply Kirsty Marie

    Lucky it didn’t impact me but it’s awful for everyone that has been!

    April 13, 2019 at 9:44 pm
  • Reply Joyce

    My first theme was off Etsy, but the current one I have I bought 3 years ago from Kotryna Bass! I was going to get pipdig too!



    April 15, 2019 at 4:16 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      I really like your theme- lucky you didn’t go with Pipdig huh? x

      April 16, 2019 at 12:15 pm
  • Reply Cynthia

    Such a great post – I love the new layout of your blog! I have changed my theme over to one of Kotryna Bass’ – I love it!

    Cynthia xx

    April 16, 2019 at 11:15 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you so much! I really like your theme too x

      April 18, 2019 at 6:41 pm
  • Reply Lucy

    I literally bought a pipdig theme about 2 days before the scandal happened and I was so gutted as I’d spent the best part of £50…not good. I did decide to switch to another theme but it cost me, so I was pretty annoyed not gonna lie! Plus pipdig won’t do refunds, so thats great!

    Lucy | Forever September

    April 16, 2019 at 7:54 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Oh that’s such unlucky timing, what a shame. I’d have been super annoyed too! x

      April 18, 2019 at 6:47 pm
  • Reply Katrina Frances

    Thank you for writing this!
    I’ve been browsing Etsy for a new theme – just been trying to figure out when I have time to change it! x

    April 17, 2019 at 1:20 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      You’re so welcome! It took me the best part of a morning and I managed to do EVERYTHING so I’d factor in a few hours if possible! x

      April 18, 2019 at 10:11 pm
  • Reply Country Gypsy

    I only just bought a theme from Pipdig a few months ago after saving up for one, and I wouldn’t not be able to afford switching at the moment with new baby and hubby just changing jobs. 🙁 Guess I will just have to stick it out for the moment. I went on a 4 week holiday to visit family and missed the whole drama while I was away and only just now found out about it all. Ughh.. I spent so much time picking a theme I could work with as a beginner blogger..and now this. Murpheys Law is totally my life these days.

    April 29, 2019 at 5:30 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      It’s such an awful situation isn’t it, I feel particularly awful for people who haven’t had theirs for long! x

      May 2, 2019 at 9:17 pm
  • Reply Christina Miller

    I really appreciate this post. As a blogger who started in 2010, even I was totally confused about what to do – for the exact reasons you describe here. I’m a creative person not a techy one! Often describe myself as the world’s most technophobic blogger. 😉 Anyway, appreciate the Etsy heads up. And your blog is fab. X

    July 7, 2019 at 8:12 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      I’m so glad! Haha I reckon we could fight for the title of worlds most technophobic blogger because that definitely describes me well too! Thank you so much!x

      July 9, 2019 at 12:01 pm

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