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Nulled themes and plugins. Yes or no?

Home    Plugins    Nulled themes and plugins. Yes or no?

Being a developer or a user, you surely came across nulled WordPress themes or plugins. “Nulled” means they are available for downloading for free but not legally – you can’t find them on official market places like Envato Market. Usually nulled themes can be found on suspicious websites which are full of ads and can lead you to another websites with similar content.

When you want to “download Premium WordPress theme for free”, you have to remember that using a theme or plugin without paying for it – is illegal. You just steal someone’s work and became a “partner in crime”.

In addition to the moral side, using nulled themes or plugins may cause you a lot of problems and here are a short list of them.

Risks of using nulled WordPress themes or plugins:

Do not work properly

One of the most common problems of nulled software – it doesn’t work properly and some of the functions are missed. Some elements can be broken or look in a different way.

No updates and support

This problem is generated by the previous one. If something works wrong – the support and updates are not provided for nulled themes or plugins as they are not bought officially. So you will have to fix everything by yourself and spent time on it, and that’s not the guarantee that you will succeed.

Malware

Nulled themes or plugins are usually cracked by frauds and contain lots of additional content which is usually malware. Typical problems that may occur are: advertising, pop-ups, and different viruses. You not only put yourself under the risk, but also the visitors of your website.

SEO

When your website is damaged by hacked theme or plugin it can be used as a platform that leads to low-ranked pages like loading, betting or other questionable websites. This is called black-hat SEO. The consequence of such activity is dropping of your search rank. Google will also ask you to rehabilitate your website which is not a simple task.

Control

Downloading nulled themes and plugins it not that safely as some may think. If you find yourself logged out of your admin panel after installing such products – don’t be surprised. That means that hackers got total control under your website. Moreover, they can also get control over your computer or server. That’s the price you can pay for “free” software.

Security

You may think, what is the motivation of the frauds that distribute nulled themes and plugins? Money. With the help of malicious code included into the product, they can get access to the database of your users – get their personal data, number of credit cards and so on. And remember – that will be your responsibility!

Solution

What if you have downloaded nulled theme? How to protect your website from possible risks?

The first step you must take is checking the zip file via all possible . There are also special services like VirusTotal.com. If you know PHP, you can try to check the code by yourself but remember, that you can miss some suspicious elements.

The best solution in this situation is downloading free themes  and plugins  directly from wordpress.org or buy premium.

Always remember that the developer spent time and money to launch the product. That’s why downloading cracked version of the product on sale – is stealing.

Ilya Pavlov

Ilya Pavlov

Creative director, web designer, developer and founder of Fruitful Code.