For months and months, Our readers have been asking which theme we’ve been using, till now I (okay) was hesitant in telling you all. Nulled Products is the most dangerous thing that you can do to your site.
But it’s clear that you want to know, so it’s time to spill the beans. It was alright if we were just starting out as no one knew yet but after so many months of blogging, my conscience has been eating away at me.
I feel terrible letting you down like this without warning you. So sorry for the trouble I caused! The next week our readers asked if it was okay to use nulled WordPress themes?
Nulled themes and plugins are copies of premium WordPress products. A copy is an illegal, pirated version of a product that has the same source code, design, or development as the original one but is sold at a much lower price.
So is it okay, to use Nulled version themes on my wordpress website?
In this post, we’re going to tell you why you should never use nulled WordPress plugins or themes. It could put your website at risk and hurt your business.
SUMMARY: Why Avoid Nulled Themes & Plugins ?
- Security Breach. Nulled WordPress plugins and themes can be dangerous for your site if used. These plugins and themes come along with malware that is detrimental to the performance, (SEO), and security of your site.
- Pirated Codes. Attackers are getting craftier that’s why they have developed techniques to do their dirty work way better. To safeguard their malicious code, attackers take advantage of corrupt developers and in the end all website owners are affected.
- Privacy Leak. Nulled WordPress themes and plugins can be injected with malicious code. This code may steal data from your website and then claim it on the dark web for hackers to buy, copy and paste.
- Copyright Issue. Many WordPress themes and plugins are open source, but some of them are sold with mixed licenses. This means some parts of the code are protected by copyright laws and using a noncommercial WordPress theme with a fake license you could eventually face legal problems
- SEO Down. If you buy a pirated WordPress theme or plugin, you can get malware on your website. Buying pirated WordPress themes and plugins can hurt your website’s SEO.
- No Support. If you’re buying software that’s free and open source, you can’t expect the same level of support from the developer as someone who’s paying for a license.
What are Nulled Themes & Plugins Considered?
There are various definitions when it comes to the term nulled. As we define it, any torrent that needs a username and password to unlock your download is nulled.
What Is Nulled Theme or Plugin?
A nulled script is a term referring to an illegal copy of a proprietary software/plugin or theme that has been modified with harmful code. It’s often obtained from third-party websites (not the original author) and sometimes works without a license key.
Though this definition isn’t exactly accurate for all purposes, it is one that will help you understand what we’re getting at and why we don’t condone the practice of sharing torrents that have prevented access to a user unless they provide you with private credentials from their purchased account.
Using these can be very helpful in gaining access to valuable media files from paid memberships or subscription services because oftentimes these are hosted on websites that have been hacked or hijacked by malicious individuals/groups.
If an individual who created a premium plugin or theme has their site hacked, anyone who subsequently downloads their productions without logging in instantly becomes vulnerable to vulnerabilities like malware so it is not recommended to follow the original developers’ rules!
The majority of WordPress themes and plugins are open source, thereby making them accessible to everyone.
Thankfully, most developers relish the opportunity to share their work but unfortunately, there are certain opportunists who take advantage by removing the license requirements from the themes and plugins, creating a pirated version that can be copied for personal or commercial use without acquiring the desired rights first.
What happens when this is used by you, there is a real danger that your site may become enhanced as a result of greater security but there can be issues with money being lost while making your website get hacked easily.
Are Nulled WordPress Themes and Plugins Illegal to Use?
Long story short, Definitely nope, using any nulled themes and plugins is not illegal to use unless you are using them for commercial purposes and are involved in customer data security.
Let’s say you’re creating an eCommerce site and you have no money to purchase a theme called “Xtreme” but what if it doesn’t have the features that are crucial for an eCommerce business? How do you know Xtreme is worth spending your money on or investing in?
EXPERT TIP: It’s next to impossible that the FBI kicks down your door if you use a WordPress theme or plugin without paying for it. In fact, the government doesn’t usually go after people who are simply using themes or plugins that were released for free.
But, it is possible that you could end up in hot water if you pirate material from other copyrighted sources (i.e., music, movies).
SUMMARY: It is crucial to understand this because the GPL(General Public License) allows for open-source access. Open source technology is typically free, like stuffing for a Thanksgiving turkey. It’s available online for anyone to see and download. Anyone can do anything with it.
That’s the beauty of open source! It can be used by anyone – yes – even those who use premium open source software (GPL licensed software).
WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems (CMS and GPL is a huge part of WordPress. It is open source and uses a General Public License (GPL) to allow users to modify its functionalities, themes, and plugins.
However, it has also been in great demand because of its usability features such as plug-ins. While every aspect of WordPress is free, you need to pay for premium themes and premium plug-in functionalities.
In cases where you’re undecided about how the new theme would work or not, it is certainly worthwhile to consider downloading a free version, if not free (Nulled theme works), and see it with your own two eyes. After that, a purchase will be an easy decision because
After you are convinced, you can purchase the theme in no time because:
(When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.” — Elon Musk)
Eight Reasons Why you Must Avoid Using Nulled Themes and Plugins (Even if They’re Legal)
Nulled WordPress Themes are pirated copies of the real thing distributed illegitimately on the internet. Nulled WordPress Themes and plugins can add spam links to your website and hijack your users to bad websites. These activities are often hard to detect by human eyes because they are well hidden in the code.
Just because free extensions are legal, that doesn’t mean you should use them at your WordPress website.
No, don’t do this! Here are some reasons why you should avoid using unlawful nulled WordPress plugins and themes.
- Security Breach
- You don’t know What Else is in the Code
- Privacy Leak
- Copyright & Legal Issues
- Bad for SEO
- No Access to Support from the developers & Updates
- No Support and Documentation
- Unethical use Discourages Innovation
1. Security Breach
Nulled WordPress plugins and themes are extremely risky for the security of your website. They are known to install malware onto your system which can negatively affect the different aspects of your site including performance, SEO, and security.
You can use the tool called “VirusTotal” which is a free online based tool to help you scan a plugin or theme’s files to detect any types of harmful malware and viruses.
One way you can protect yourself is by acquiring digital products from trusted sources.
2. You don’t know What Else is in the Code
When you download something from a third-party site, instead of getting the extension from the original author or from a trusted repository like WordPress.org where everything is monitored, you’re more likely to end up downloading something that has already been compromised, it’s akin to downloading the pirated extension.
BONUS TIP: Using a better hosting provider can also lead to something going wrong on your website. Beyond that, some hosts do not offer certain services or support.
For example, if you need to offer a free hack-fix guarantee (for cPanel servers and all the other management options kinsta offers for free, but this guarantee doesn’t apply if your WordPress site is hacked due to an external attacker using what we
Attackers like to put their malicious content into harmful plugins or themes. Typically, this happens with the help of corrupt developers and results in an increased risk for website owners.
3. Privacy Leak
Nulled WordPress themes and plugins can be injected with malicious code. This code may be meant to steal data like usernames, email addresses, and passwords from your website and then claim it on the dark web for hackers to buy, copy and paste.
A security breach can be devastating for an online-based business. Not only can hacks result in sensitive information like credit cards being compromised,
But they may compromise actual user accounts and/or content. This is why you should have a wordpress security plugin that automatically scans your address each moment of the day.
4. Copyright Legal Issues
Many WordPress themes and plugins are open sources, 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 noncommercial WordPress theme or plugin that doesn’t have an appropriate license, you could eventually face legal problems ranging from data theft to negative consequences for your reputation should the owner choose to take legal action.
5. Bad for SEO
To get high search engine rankings consider using only premium WordPress themes and plugins. When you do so, you’re ensuring that your site will retain search engine optimization and prevent any spam from being added to the website plus keep your users safe from landing on unsafe domains.
Pirated WordPress themes and plugins are an SEO disaster. Nulled WordPress themes and plugins can clog up your website with spam or redirect you to unsafe websites.
Search engine bots are very efficient at spotting and trending new links, however, as users, we may not initially notice them at all. These sneaky redirect links are invisible to human eyes unless you were to look into your code.
That’s why they’re known as “hidden text links.” However, search engine bots will take notice of these right away and punish your website by dropping it in SERPs or simply removing it from the index altogether.
6. No Access to Support from the developers & Updates
When you’re installing a GPL-Licensed plugin or theme you have the option to connect with the developer directly if you need help. When you pay for a product, you get access to high-quality support from the developer in addition to the software itself.
Not all developers will offer support for their products but those who specialize in open source or those that want to increase customer loyalty will usually offer this essential feature.
If you’re purchasing software that’s licensed under the General Public License (or GPL), don’t expect to have the same level of support from its developer as someone who’s paying for a license.
While free nulled software seems like a great deal at first, there are just too many risks involved with taking such a course.
With nulled themes and plugins you get no support. If the plugin you using has a paid version in the WordPress repository, you might be able to get a response there. But let’s be honest, it’s pretty much like playing the lottery. And that’s simply because developers simply can’t afford to work for free.
If a theme or a plugin has been customized and modified by the use of custom coding procedures, then it won’t be updated which can cause the theme or plugin to malfunction and that could mean losing access to your website.
This results in your WP site remaining unprotected and vulnerable to malicious attacks.
7. No Support and Documentation
WordPress suffers from a lack of support via its themes and plugins. It’s true that not all extensions have an active forum or blog, which is where they should post updates and important information regarding their product.
However, it isn’t an excuse as to why developers of premium WordPress themes and plugins don’t provide enough support for their products.
Even the most seasoned WordPress users need support and documentation when they come across a problem while attempting to use premium WordPress themes or plugins.
If you decide to use a nulled WordPress theme or plugin, you’re not really buying anything. That means if anything goes wrong or if you ever have a question while using it, you’re not entitled to support from the developers who created the product.
Free products also come without access to documentation and tutorials so it can be difficult getting the most out of them.
8. Unethical use Discourages Innovation
Some may argue that it’s only a little application, or that they’re uncomfortable paying the price. The truth is, these developers work very hard to hone their skills so they can create software.
Like any other business owner, they need to make a profit out of selling their wares – but they’re also selling something intangible like their talent and skill.
“Developers Need Money To Continue Improving Their Products”
While most developers do in fact enjoy creating WordPress products, most of them will also tell you that an important part of the job is to be able to afford a roof over their head so they don’t freeze to death and can get something to eat.
One thing that developers need to know when creating new products is that their time will ultimately be spent writing code for it, providing support for it, making a website for it, hiring support staff for its growth, and so forth. The use of nulled software hampers their business and hurts their profits.
Never use Nulled Themes & Extensions on Data Production Sites
If you’ve got a clue about what you want, then you might as well buy one because, in our opinion, there’s no better way to go. Even if you find a source for legal, clean GPL plugins and themes, you’re still going to waste extra work because,
On a regular basis, you’ll have to manually update your plugins and ensure it’s all set up correctly. Due to how long these upgrades take, it can be hard to make sure everything is working exactly as it should when each release comes out.
Time is money. Purchasing a plugin or theme will allow you to save many hours of time by having instant access to an extension that’s already been developed and tested by the author, which is much more efficient than starting from scratch.
When you purchase a premium extension or theme, the developers receive contributions that keep them motivated to further improve this original product, as well as to create additional premium products in the future.
When it comes to cracked or modified versions of a premium theme or plugin, think twice before you go ahead with it in the long run as they can cause more problems than they solve. Especially if you’re building or working on someone else’s WordPress site.
How can I check if a WordPress site is using an originally paid theme or just using a nulled theme?
Nulled themes will also seem genuine on the most obvious parts of the theme (style.css, layout.php).
So there’s no way of knowing if you have the original version or a nulled one unless you check your backend and look for a license key as well as an indication that the theme has been registered and is recognized by the network/marketplace from which it was downloaded.
If there is none, don’t rush your judgment 🙂 Reach out to your web hosting service provider, and ask them to send you the key to register the theme, which you own basically if it was part of the agreement.
RECOMMENDATION: Google has a preference when it comes to ranking websites; they rank the websites whose loading time is faster than its competitors. WordPress has been improving fast and so does their themes and plugins because of this, you can have better speed for your website as well.
We Recommend Astra Theme as one of the light-weight SEO Friendly WordPress theme.
A) Ensure that your WordPress website is secure
This can be done by installing a free plugin called Wordfence. You’ll need to visit the ‘ManageWP’ section in your WP-Admin and add the key there.
When you run the scan you should find no malicious content on your site which would suggest that someone has downloaded or copied a nulled theme onto your server.
Any unlicensed themes would have been detected as any types of malware during this scan.
An average site owner might not be able to tell the difference but if you are very familiar with gfx and when something looks different but similar enough then it may become noticeable over time.
B) Style.css Coding
The only way to really know if a theme is “nulled” is to inspect its elements and look for tell-tale signs found in the style.CSS coding of the template. With the help if style.css you can also find out which WordPress theme particular site is using.
Usually, when a “nuller” (person who creates a nulled theme) removes the author’s watermark from the final version of their product, they will leave traces of that original credit in this.CS stylesheet. If you see something suspicious like:
To check the credentials of a theme, you have to open the source code of the website’s home page in your browser (you can do this by right-clicking on it and then selecting “View page source” from the menu that appears).
Search for “style.css”, or the simpler way is to install the nulled theme in the demo website and head over to appearance > theme file editor.
Now, open the file and you’ll see a section called Theme Author info at top of the file. This will reveal all the info that matters!
If you decide to use a premium WordPress theme or plugin, there is no need to go for a pirated version of it. There are always going to be free and open-source alternatives available that will suit your needs just as much.
You might not be able to afford plugins or custom development, but there are still options out there that can make a real difference to your site and business.
There are just over 55,000 free plugins available at WordPress.org and thousands of free WordPress themes can be found on their official website too!
WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms and like any other platform, it has its pros and cons. So here’s our pick of premium WordPress themes that offer top-quality features at prices anyone can get behind.
We hope this article helped you learn why it’s important to avoid nulled plugins and themes and instead use quality ones. You may also want to see our article on the best WordPress backup plugins with tips on Best Website Builder For Small Business.
Did you enjoy this article? We would love to know what you think of our work so far. Have your say in the comments below!
Should I use nulled theme? FAQs:
Are nulled WordPress themes illegal?
In the WordPress, nulled themes and plugins aren’t illegal, but they aren’t well regarded either. To be honest, as much as we like to save a buck, we’d rather spend $100 on a premium theme/plugin than spending only a dollar or two on one that contains malware. You could spend $0 but you’ll have hours of work ahead of you fixing all the security issues that come with using illegal products.
Should I use nulled theme?
Don’t Use Nulled/Free Plugins and Themes in Production Sites – It’s Not Worth It. Straight up, it might seem like a great deal to get a premium plugin or theme for free – but in our opinion, it’s just not worth it.
Can I update a nulled WordPress theme?
You can’t upsell an outdated theme without the secret key or serial number. Since outdated code can contaminate your website by infecting it with viruses, you need to make sure you’re using a good host until you have enough money build an online store and hire a development team to maintain the theme. This way your business is protected from cyber attacks.
How can I tell if a WordPress theme is nulled?
First check if the theme or plugin that you are using is completely free without any strings attached or not. You can do this by simply googling the name of the theme and ensuring that it comes back with only positive results. If the theme looks really good, next step would be to make sure whether or not there is a license key (a must-have for paid themes) attached to it as well.
Can you pirate WordPress plugins?
The WordPress community has had a debate about whether plugins and themes that are pirated versions of paid products should be removed from the official repository. The WordPress license allows anyone to create derivatives of existing works and distribute them.