Have you ever been tempted to use nulled WordPress themes and plugins?
If you answer YES, then you are among the thousands who face this challenge at any given moment. This is because the ease in finding nulled WordPress themes and plugins online has made it an option that is quite appealing. The popularity of this option is further driven by the promise of receiving a ready-to-use WordPress site, which eliminates the need to hire developers.
Before you rush to embrace this alternative, it is crucial to understand what it entails.
What are nulled WordPress themes and plugins?
The simplest definition of a nulled WordPress theme or plugin is that it is a pirated version of an original WordPress theme or plugin.
You are probably wondering how this is possible when WordPress is an open-source platform that anyone can use. To get your facts right, there is a need to realize that:
- WordPress is freely distributed and licensed under GPL.
- WordPress has a broad range of free themes and plugins that anyone can use to create a website.
- WordPress users also have the option of choosing from thousands of premium themes and plugins to customize their sites further. This is dependent on how much they are willing to spend and the costs of these products.
While these themes and plugins are meant to make it convenient for WordPress users to build websites, most people want instant results. Nulled WordPress Themes and plugins come into the picture as they are modified/cracked versions of existing websites (most of which use premium themes and plugins) distributed freely or at a small fee.
At the surface, using WordPress nulled themes might look like it is saving you from the challenges of building a site or hiring professionals to handle the technical stuff. However, deep down, they lead to lots of problems as these products are made available after bypassing the licenses used by legitimate users. This leads to the violation of the copyrights and the terms & conditions linked to the original themes and plugins.
The dangers of using nulled WordPress themes and plugins
There are several reasons not to use nulled WordPress themes and plugins as a blogger or entrepreneur who wants to make the most out of this platform. Some of the risks associated with these products are:
1. They are linked to security and privacy problems
The excitement of using WordPress theme nulled will quickly fade once you realize how easy it will be for your data to leak or be stolen. This is due to the malicious codes in them that hackers can use to steal important information from your site. Some of the data that can be easily accessed include; your email address & password and personal information of your clients (for online stores or membership sites).
Using these malware-filled products also leaves you vulnerable as there is always the risk of losing everything on your site without warning. It becomes worse, considering that it is never easy to detect or fix these malicious codes as they are disguised to look normal. Search engines are also continuously de-indexing sites that spread malware, and you could become a victim.
2. They can lead to legal issues
Opting to use nulled WordPress themes and plugins is essentially accepting to take a slippery path with the law. Arguing that WordPress is a free platform will only get you so far as most themes and premiums are sold with licenses protected by copyright laws. Since you did not have the legal permission to use such products, there is the ever-present risk of being charged for theft.
As such, a solution that was supposed to be a free ticket to owning a beautiful website could see you end up in court. Legal proceedings are never cheap, and by all evaluations, not worth the risks of using pirated WordPress themes and plugins.
3. They are not SEO-friendly
There is no value in owning a site that will not rank highly in search engines as this is the ticket to attracting quality traffic. Nulled WordPress Themes and plugins will hold back your SEO efforts as they are injected with codes and scripts to run unwanted ads and spam links.
This means that it does not matter how much traffic your site will get, as visitors will always be redirected to malicious websites. This is a severe problem that will damage your site’s reputation since it causes high bounce rates. The average internet user has equally become more intelligent and will keep off any website that redirects them to another page.
It is more worrying as most people who use pirated WordPress themes and plugins never realize this problem as these malicious links are embedded deeply into the site’s structure. The only way to detect these underlying issues is through an extensive audit and clean-up that is best performed by professionals.
4. They cannot be updated
The joy of using any WordPress theme or plugin is that they are continuously updated to add new features, make bug fixes, and add security patches. This keeps users at the forefront of an ever transformative landscape, which enables them to become competitive.
Unfortunately, using WordPress theme nulled is the complete opposite of this.
Instead of having the flexibility of having improved versions of the used themes and plugins, you are stuck with a static version. Since the internet is ever-evolving, after some time, you will have a non-responsive site.
Another problem you will have by using themes and plugins that cannot be updated is incompatibility with the latest WordPress version. This translates to a site that will become inaccessible or one that is continuously misbehaving.
5. There is no support from the developers
It does not matter how well-versed you are in using WordPress themes and plugins; there are times when you need support from the developers. Using nulled products limits you from this privilege as the developers do not have access to your site.
Therefore, the decision to use pirated WordPress themes and plugins is accepting to be on your own. This means a lack of access to vital tutorials and documentation that offers guidance on using these tools. You will also not have a trusted specialist to answer those pressing questions you will have from time to time.
6. They kill the spirit of innovation in the industry
Anyone who is contemplating using nulled WordPress themes and plugins tends to think that it is just a piece of software that looks similar to another. But, this is not the complete picture. Beneath the surface, there is the reality of a team of developers who invested their skills and time to create the original site.
Having someone else steal these individuals’ original work and give them to you on a silver plate hurts the entire ecosystem. On the one hand, there will be highly skilled and passionate individuals who will have their efforts flushed down the drain. On the other hand, there will be a growing culture where no one wants to be innovative as there are free shortcuts to achieving their goals.
By corrupting the WordPress industry, everyone loses as originality becomes a concept that no one believes in. Instead, most people will opt for unethical methods that will eventually lead to the platform’s downfall.
How to avoid using nulled WordPress Themes and Plugins?
We all prefer the quickest solution to any problem. When thinking about building a website, nothing sounds better than nulled themes and plugins. Imagine not having to purchase the premium versions of these tools or spend days on end using them to create the desired site. Still, all these enticements do not prepare you for the shocker, which is bound to cost you much more.
A simple way to work your way up the ladder while using WordPress is to start with the basics. The open-source software offers lots of free themes and plugins that can be used to create secure, bug-free, and appealing websites. Even for the premium versions, you have the option of signing up for their free trials and only subscribing after using them for a while.
The key takeaway
The risks of using nulled WordPress themes and plugins are not worth the value it promises. This black-hat alternative does no good to anyone as it is an unethical practice that adds no value to any blogger or business. They have equally become riskier as more people try them out, and stiffer measures are put in place to bring them down.
Most importantly, creating a website should be a move that is meant to give you long-term value. Opting for illegal shortcuts implies that you have accepted failure since there is no stable platform to support your activities.
Finally, why would you go for back-alley products that have never delivered credible results and turn a blind eye to the endless options that WordPress provides?
Joe has been using WordPress for many years, building many different types of websites along the way. Joe now enjoys working as a freelance content writer and is available for hire.