If you know WordPress, then you know these WordPress themes; Default, Kubrick, Twenty Ten, Twenty Eleven, Twenty Thirteen, Twenty Fourteen, Twenty Fifteen, Twenty Sixteen, and now Twenty Seventeen. Those are the names of current and previous default WordPress themes that have been included with every installation of WordPress.
Before 2012, WordPress default themes were simple. A text or image box has the header, a basic side bar, and a simple layout of text and headings. Within those years, people were using these simple layouts for blogs, but then realized WordPress had greater potential to be more than just a blogging platform.
Now, WordPress has over 3000 themes. Within that number, consideration does have to be taken in whether all of those themes are still active, and are compatible with current versions of PHP, especially with the recent release of PHP7 and WordPress 4.5 (or WordPress 4.5.2 at the time of writing this (which is now WordPress 4.7 as this is being updated)).
But were not focused on how many themes WordPress has. Were focused on how many WordPress themes you have within your WordPress website. Many times we came across WordPress websites with too many themes. In that list of “too many”, some themes have not been updated, and many of them had exploits. We would also see a few WordPress websites with all the default themes supplied by WordPress (Default, Kubrick, TwentyTen, TwentyEleven, TwentyThirteen, TwentyFourteen, TwentyFifteen, TwentySixteen, TwentySeventeen) sitting inactive in the themes folder. A simple and safe step that many overlook is deleting inactive themes.
When you use WordPress, the safest practice when it comes to WordPress themes is to have two themes; your active theme and a clean emergency backup theme, which in this case could be the TwentySeventeen Theme. The practice of having an emergency backup theme is in the event that something should happen to your active theme, or you need to do troubleshooting, an emergency backup theme will allow you to switch over and see if the issue was theme related. Everyday WordPress websites across the internet are scanned for outdated or exploited themes. If someone should find your outdated or exploited theme, there’s a good change they will enter your site through those security holes and do as they please. Delete inactive themes.
At the start of each year, the WPCycle team will contact all their customers and ask what emergency backup theme they would like to have in place. After that, we backup all inactive theme files and supply our customers with a copy of that backup. Then, we delete all the inactive themes except the emergency backup theme. It’s just one more step from WPCycle team to ensure that your WordPress website is operating safely.