Astra Theme Suspended From Wordpress - 1 Millions+ Users Maybe Affected

Last Update: August 08, 2020


Astra Theme Suspended From The WordPress Theme Directory.

l wanted to create a new website and searched for my favorite theme ''Astra''. Unfortunately, only a theme called 'Astral' popped up when l searched for the Astra theme inside Wealthy Affiliate Site builder.

My next step was to search for the Astra theme inside the WordPress repository and again the theme was missing https://wordpress.org/themes/astra/ . After searching around the web, that is when l learned that Astra theme was penalized and removed from WordPress theme directory for adding affiliate links inside their theme.

This is what l gathered from Wordpress, the exact wording of the suspension;

''18 months ago you started adding affiliate links in your theme.

…We have this requirement against this:
Themes are not allowed to have affiliate URLs or links.

We added this requirement more than 18 months ago, specifically for this kind of issue.

We also asked other theme authors to remove such links from their themes and discussed this topic, on Slack & the blog, for many weeks.

We don’t understand how you can miss something like this, and it’s also not the first time we have to come and tell you something is wrong with your theme.

Because of this, your theme will be suspended for the next 5 weeks (until September 11th, 2020).”

Astra theme owners are refuting the allegations although there is rumor that they had some snippet of 'Shareasale' affiliate link in the Theme's code.

Implications of Astra Theme's Suspension from Wordpress Repository.
  • It may mean that the theme can not be up-dated for the next 5 months.
  • This may imply that the theme will be susceptible to security breaches which may lead to websites being hacked.
  • No one can install the Astra Theme for the next 5 weeks unless one has downloaded it already.
  • Those with new websites may consider changing their themes to other popular themes such as Genarate Press.

So, if you wanted to use the Astra Theme for your blog like me. It is time to reconsider the choice on time before you download a theme which may have security risks if it is not being updated regularly. For established websites, consider contacting Astra Themes and WordPress support before changing your theme as it may be detrimental to the website's rankings.

(This article is for informational purposes. For any questions kindly get in touch with Astra or WordPress support.)

Please share your opinions, comments and experience with the Astra Theme below?

Like, comment, Share with Astra users that your know.

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Recent messages
PKraenzel Premium
Hi! Thank you very much for the info.

I am a astra user. Just started a new web with that theme. For now I have backed up my file and I will wait and see what happens. I have also watched some YouTubers regarding their take on this theme.
Surly the Astra people are going to do whatever it takes to resolve the issue with wordpress. I mean it will be a big loss if they don't, they have millions of people using their theme.

This is my personal opinion and everyone should do whatever they feel is right.
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onlinegeek Premium
l totally agree. It is a wonderful theme. The suspension is for the mandatory 5 weeks. In any case there are lots of premium themes that are not listed inside WP directory and they are working well.
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keishalina Premium
*** appreciate you posting about this and sure glad I didn't build using Astra ... even at the time, it was considered the 'fastest' indexing theme around ... and it truly was as I did a few experiments to find out .... keep well & thanks! ... ****
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onlinegeek Premium
l am glad you followed your instincts. They have dented their image though.
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keishalina Premium
... it's all ok ... i didn't end up using Astra as a theme for any of my sites ... and yes, appreciate your words of encouraging support as it is vital to 'follow one's instincts!' ...

you, too, please do keep well, stay strong, all the best ...

cheerio ... ⭐️😊⭐️ ...
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bosco50050 Premium
I have built 2 websites on the Astra theme. What should I be doing?
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AbieAJ Premium Plus
You can try GeneratePress. Read below comments for more options.

Hope that was helpful, do let me know if you need anything else. Have a nice day.
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Dave07 Premium
I would simply move to another theme.
It's usually a good idea to make a backup of your site before you change theme - although I have changed theme many times without a problem
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keishalina Premium
hi Bosco ... yes, it's too bad about Astra .... it's such a fast-indexing theme ...

Perhaps consider switching themes to Generate Press ...Jay recommends it and I like it ... simple, clean, mobile-friendly ...

Looks like Abie & Dave have some good suggestions for you ...

Hope it all works out well for you ... cheerio ... :)
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bosco50050 Premium
thanks for feedback. appreciate it.
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bosco50050 Premium
thanks for the input. truly appreciate it.
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petardz Premium
I find Ocean WP to be the best for me.. even though speed isn't the fastest, but it's easy to customize and looks good.
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onlinegeek Premium
Indeed Ocean WP is a great theme too. l hope the developers will improve on it and make it lightweight.
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Mark K Premium
Seems they are just as bad. If you use ocean extra...

https://plugins.trac.wordpress.org/browser/ocean-extra/trunk/ocean-extra.php#L178

Line 178
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petardz Premium
Wow, Astra has been banned because of this.. I guess I'll have to find another theme then haha.. But this is the only one I can design it the way I need.
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feigner Premium
i think it is a fantastic theme - very customizable for a free version
the pro version looks even better
shame they have pushed the boundaries too much - but it appears that you can download the latest version without aff links on their site
they will hopefully keep it updated and hopefully there will be reminder that there are updates within your site...
i really hope they manage to sort this out and carry on with that theme...
phil
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onlinegeek Premium
If they had the guts of uploading a theme with an affiliate link inside the regulated WordPress Theme depository, l doubt if they would refrain from doing so on a theme that they self host. There is nothing wrong in adding affiliate links, l guess they just need to let users know (affiliate disclosure). As for the updates, the only way will be by sending emails to users since this is no longer possible via WP updates.
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feigner Premium
looks like they have messed around with the coding as Parthas blog shows michael has had a lot of problems with his site
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