So today I got an email from Alian Schiavoncini of AstroThemes.com asking to be included in the Theme Shops Directory here on ILOVEWP.com. A concise email with a reasonable request.
I opened their website and was surprised to see that this is a new WordPress theme shop dedicated to a niche that I’m heavily involved in: WordPress themes for hotels.
I’m the owner of HermesThemes.com, a theme shop that I started in 2013 and started creating WordPress themes specifically for hotels and inns.
It looks to me that the people behind AstroThemes decided to simply steal content and code from HermesThemes.com: full pages and blocks of content as well as full CSS files.
It would be irresponsible to not present any proof to back up my claims, so here’s some of it:
Exhibit 1: Homepage Content
They have “borrowed” the exact same 6 features and have only changed a few words around. The “Dedicated Support” block is a complete copy/paste, they didn’t even bother to change a single character.
Exhibit 2: Theme Landing Page
A few months back I did a complete redesign of HermesThemes.com and decided to create hybrid theme landing pages: present the themes but also explain how some of the things are built in the demo.
So in my copy I’ve highlighted the section and widget titles that are visible in the theme screenshots, so that people can easily find what everything is.
You can also do a live comparison of my theme landing pages and theirs. I took screenshots of most of their website, so even if they quickly some stuff around, I’ll have the screenshots to back up my claims.
Exhibit 3: FAQ Page
They’ve also copied the FAQ page that I’ve worked on for some time. The questions and their order, the wording and explanations, everything was stolen. As a non-native English speaker I can always spot if someone stole the sentences that I’ve poorly constructed in my mind.
Exhibit 4: aMember Custom Theme
To this point I have addressed content issues and design considerations. OK, let’s admit that two people can write the same sentences at the same level of English.
Now let’s look at aMember, the membership software that both HermesThemes and AstroThemes use to handle users and payments. In aMember you can create a custom theme to style the software.
Stealing this was easy: they saved my theme.css file and simply uploaded it to their server. It is a 100% copy of my file, with the only difference of commenting out the Poppins font that I use now. They didn’t even delete the Poppins font-family lines, they just commented it out.
Imagine the odds of having the EXACT same CUSTOM CSS code as someone else: same CSS classes, same color HEX codes, etc.
It is painful to look at people shamelessly stealing. But it is outrageous when people steal from direct competitors.
I can understand if you get inspired by someone selling themes for photographers and adapt it to your business selling themes for news websites. But when you are in the exact same niche and simply lift complete blocks and pages of content, steal CSS and other stuff, then this is outrageous.
Alian Schiavoncini of AstroThemes.com should be ashamed of this outrageous behavior.