No one likes spending more money than necessary – it’s a human thing. Recently one of our client asked us if it's okay to use nulled WordPress themes and plugins? Nulled themes and plugins are pirated copies of premium WordPress products. In this article, we will explain why you must avoid nulled WordPress themes and plugins, specially if you’re serious about your website.
What are Nulled WordPress Themes & Plugins?
There are various definitions around the web when it comes to the term nulled. As we define nulled it refers to premium WordPress plugins or themes that have been hacked or contain modified code designed to cause harm or collect information. These are obtained from a third-party website (not the original author or creator) and sometimes are made to work without a license key.
While that’s true, often this comes with big cost. Not only does it cause good WordPress companies to lose money, but most importantly it compromises the security and integrity of websites using these nulled WordPress themes and plugins.
Yes often these nulled themes and plugins are the reason why your websites get hacked.
Here are some of the top reasons why you must avoid using nulled WordPress plugins and themes on your website.
Nulled WordPress themes and plugins are extremely dangerous for your site security. They are know to carry malware.
The malicious code can spread across different files and folders to multiply itself which makes it hard to detect and fix when your website is hacked.
You could also lose your site data in the hack process. Last but not least, your site may get de-indexed from search engines like Google, Bing, etc. for distributing malware.
Nulled WordPress themes and plugins can have malicious code hidden inside. This can include code that steals information from your WordPress site and makes it available to hackers on the dark web.
This information may include your username, email address, and passwords. If you are running online store or membership website, then the personal infomration of your users can also be at risk.
This kind of hacks are hard to detect and may go unnoticed as your WordPress site keeps functioning normally.
Bad for SEO
Nulled WordPress themes and plugins can completely destroy your WordPress site SEO and can even make your site blacklisted from search engines. Nulled plugins and thems can add spam links in your pages or hijack your users and redirect them to bad websites.
These activities are hard to detect by human eyes as the links are well hidden in the code. You will likely not be redirected when you are logged in to your WordPress account. However, search engines will be quick to notice that and penalize your website by dropping your search rankings or de-indexing your website completely.
You will have to spend months to recover your website’s SEO rankings and sometimes you may even have to make a new website from scratch.
No Access to Updates
Most WordPress themes and plugins regulary release updates to fix bugs and add up new features and close security issues. Nulled WordPress themes and plugins can't receive those update as they dont have valid license key.
This leaves your WordPress site with an outdated version of plugins and themes which may be buggy and insecure.
Since nulled theme or plugin can’t be updated, your website may start misbehaving or become inaccessible.
Many WordPress themes and plugins are open source, but some of them are sold with mixed licenses. This means that some parts of the code are protected by copyright laws and if you are using a nulled WordPress theme or plugin, then you don’t have legal permission to do so.
Pirated WordPress themes can result in data theft, data loss, or distribution of illegal material. All of these can lead to legal proceedings where you may end up paying huge sums to lawyers.
What to keep in mind?
There is no reason for anyone to use nulled WordPress themes and plugins. No matter which WordPress theme or plugin you choose, there is always more than one suitable free alternative available for them.
WordPress.org has thousands of free plugins and themes. Some of them are even better than many premium products. Most importantly, you can use them legally with no burden on your conscience and without affecting WordPress community negatively.
We hope this article helped you learn why you must avoid nulled WordPress plugins and themes.