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

Pipdig Scandal

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.

Pipdig Scandal

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 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!

    Hayley | hayleyxmartin

    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
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