Nulled wordpress plugins and themes are plugins and themes that have been hacked from their original source code.
These plugins and themes are often found on free, hacked, and other illegal websites. They are often packaged together to sell, and can also be found in torrents.
Nulled wordpress themes and plugins seem like a good deal. But they are not. Nulled wordpress themes and plugins not only have a higher risk, they can cause more damage.
This blog will cover every details about nulled wordpress themes and plugins, why you should avoid them and what kind of risks you may face in the long run.
What are nulled WordPress plugins and themes?
As a website user, you might have heard the term ‘nulled WordPress plugins and themes’, some may have faced the consequences of installing them on their website.
Before we go deeper, first, we have to understand what ‘nulled’ mean. Nulled means void. And ‘nulled WordPress plugins and themes’ mean the modified copies of original premium WordPress plugins and themes that are pirated or cracked and are available for free or cheaper than the official rate.
These nulled products are delivered and sold by unauthorized third-party websites without paying for the license.
Cracked WordPress plugins and themes will harm your website in many ways i.e.: your website becomes unsafe, the SEO is badly harmed, affects your website design, and so on. Stay with us till the end to know more about this.
Are nulled WordPress plugins and themes legal?
Considering the cases of cracked software, nulled WordPress plugins and themes are not legal, though there are many of them found online. Whoever uses such products makes their site unsafe and vulnerable to hackers and loses their valuable information.
There’s one thing you have to be conscious of, and that is the GPL. The WordPress CMS itself uses GPL. GPL allows original software as well as, unfortunately, void ones. Some wicked-minded providers take advantage of this option of GPL. Here, we have a new term ‘GPL’. We will focus on it now.
GPL and its purpose
Let’s see what GPL is and its purpose. GPL is an important factor for WordPress but it has some inconveniences and some immoral providers take this chance to deliver nulled products to customers who are unaware of this kind of product.
What is GPL?
GPL is the short form of ‘General Public License’. It is a big part of WordPress. Authentic premium products of WordPress are often licensed under the GPL.
GPL gives the following four freedoms to the end user:
- Use the program for any purpose
- Study how the program works, and change it to get your desired output
- Redistribute and make copies to help others
- To improve the program and release new improvements
What is the purpose of GPL?
The purpose of GPL is-
- To allow for free and unrestricted distribution of the software it covers.
- Online products require a GPL license for being featured in the WordPress marketplace whether it is original or pirated.
- It gives permission to any developer to obtain a premium version of a product, modify its code, and deliver it to the public as their own.
The bad intention of nulled WordPress plugins and themes providers
The immoral providers take the advantage of GPL. As GPL implies that anyone can use and distribute online products without the owners’ consent, and they catch it as a piece of butter.
Using the GPL licensing opportunity, they obtain the cracked copy of the original verified online products, modify them, and distribute them publicly without the authorized license as their own product to achieve their mean intent.
- modify the codes to redirect your blog’s links to other harmful spam websites.
- want to collect the user’s details without permission.
- want to add ads and banners to your plugins and themes.
- use the nulled products to send spam emails.
Reasons why people use nulled WordPress plugins and themes
Many people use nulled WordPress plugins and themes either mostly without knowing about them or deliberately. Here are some reasons given below:
The primary reason for using them is, they are tempting. Providers mislead users by offering charming facilities for their products. Not everyone is conscious of it and some fall into the gap and face the consequences.
They are mainly free or cheap
Providers offer these products for free or at a cheap rate than the original company rate. No need to purchase a license to download, install, and use this kind of product. It’s a matter of anxiety that people can effortlessly get them for the availability on many websites.
Offers advanced features
Providers distribute only premium versions as nulled products. They offer people advanced features of a premium tool that people can get at lower costs.
Easily accessible to exclusive features
You need the permission of the authentic provider of the plugins and themes if you want to go to exclusive features of your site.
But, nulled ones are the pirated version of premium products. So, when you integrate them into your website, you get easy access to all the exclusive features of your site.
Easy to browse multiple sites
Official premium plugins and themes require licenses for the validity period and the number of websites. Suppose, you want to surf a specific number of websites for a specific period of time, you have to use a provided license key for that.
On the other hand, there are no such limitations for the nulled products. So, users are allowed to surf unlimited websites for a lifetime.
As you can see, there are many charming and wonderful facilities of the nulled WordPress plugins and themes.
But still, it’s not safe for you to use them on your site.
The reasons are given below:
Why you shouldn’t use nulled WordPress plugins and themes?
There are a good number of reasons you must avoid using nulled plugins and themes. You will face many difficulties and problems. Even the existence of your website will be at stake. You may encounter many unexpected harmful situations. For the favor of keeping safe and sound, take a deep look at these points:
Security breach occurs
A security breach occurs if you use nulled plugins and themes on your site. As this is a threat, some developers warn users not to download nulled versions of their products.
Using the opportunity to do anything with a nulled product, some developers modify it by inserting malicious code and spammy links, redirecting to harmful websites granting unauthorized access to your data, allowing malware to steal confidential information, and even crashing your entire website. The possibility of damage will virtually increase in a bad way.
Think about the scenario- After starting a website or business, your first concern is to attract visitors to spend much time navigating your site by setting it upright. You used plugins and themes for it without investigating them. After landing on your website, your visitors are unable to browse smoothly through your site, incidents of crashing happen every few seconds, unwanted obstructions waste time, and pop-ups appear frequently to irritate you, which makes you disappointed to use the site.
Why does this happen? It happens exactly when you run a WordPress site with nulled plugins and themes. Undoubtedly, nulled software affects the proper functioning of your website. It’s very difficult for an amateur user to catch, detect, and resolve the problem because these harmful codes and scripts can be spread across the site through files in hidden and mysterious ways. You may have to spend a big amount of time and money after the expert for the solution.
When a new update comes with the new release of an official plugin, a nulled plugin user doesn’t get it for a good reason and the site becomes buggy and susceptible to harmful attacks. While you use cracked plugins and themes, they make your website vulnerable and security breach happens, and hackers and malware can easily attack your site.
No updates are available
If you use nulled plugins and themes, you will not get any updates. As you know, updates are a part of life, and it is essential for online products.
Officially, at least once a month, plugin and theme developers release updates to address security accountabilities, remove bugs, and launch new features. Naturally, you will lack these updates if you use nulled plugins and themes.
You must avoid using outdated WordPress software, because-
- They negatively affect your site’s UX and performance. Nulled products make you stuck with the current features.
- They create common security hazards. Normally, these issues are recorded in public changelogs. Hackers can reference these logs and target your site run by outdated products.
You will not get any support from the developers
Developers of the official plugins and themes are ready 24/7 to solve your issues and offer product support.
On the other hand, if you’re a nulled product user, you will not get this aid from nulled developers ever. The reason is, these products are obtained at low or no cost from unauthorized third-party, and they have no intent to help you but only harm. As a result, it’s all up to you to solve when you encounter any issue while using such a product.
Inevitable threat to SEO
Your target for starting a website is to make a legal position in the online market. To do this, you have to build an authorized stand in search engines. SEO helps your site make a position online.
If you use nulled plugins and themes, they make an inevitable threat to SEO and your site position will go down or disappear from the SERP. Then, you have to spend a long period of time to regain your position online. Because these products often contain spam links and covert outbound links to harmful websites.
Make a bad user experience
Nulled products make a bad user experience which is a red signal for your site. They display undesired advertisements and pop-ups across your site demanding what the developers want and you have nothing to do with that. As a result, visitors who have come to your site don’t find what they are searching for and instantly make an u-turn from your site.
Your visitors may have seen these ads and pop-ups before you do unless you try to find and remove them which may result in a bad user experience. Moreover, advertisements have a huge negative impact on page load time. When your visitors surf your site and encounter slow page loading, they leave the site immediately and switch to the faster one.
Developers face financial loss
The reason behind it is, only official premium versions are the target of nulled product providers. Nulled products harm not only your site but also the official developer community. Nulled products actually snatch money from the developers related to the original product.
Developers invest their education, talent, hard work, and skill to build plugins, themes, and other products for the benefit of the users and to earn money.
On the contrary, the nulled version of these products takes away their credit and money and they end up losing money. You have to remember that, the developers are individuals like you and me, not Google with huge resources.
Incompatible with WordPress
Updating products to make them compatible with the current version of WordPress is a normal and regular task for the official developers. They keep this process running as time passes or the products will become outdated. If you don’t update your product, your site may underperform or break and leave a negative impression on your users.
Nulled plugins and themes are pirated copies of the original product that is apart from the developers. With this, they are deprived of any updates and tend to become outdated quickly. As a result, they become incompatible with WordPress.
Troubleshooting bugs is difficult
It is acknowledged that nulled plugins and themes contain bugs, and everybody knows what bugs do- harm your website. What would you do about this? You have to troubleshoot bugs.
Can you do it yourself? If you’re a developer, yes; if not, then the answer is no.
If you don’t have coding knowledge, you will be unable to solve the problem. If you want to solve it in another way, like checking out the changelog and try yourself to make the changes, won’t work either.
Considering the above condition, there’s one thing to say- troubleshooting bugs is difficult. And the only solution to this problem is to use the official plugins and themes, where developers always try to clean bugs immediately. Moreover, the support team is at your service 24/7.
Create a block having a legal license
Nulled plugins and themes create a block having a legal and unique license. As you know that nulled products are cracked copies of the original product, and they are unable to provide you with the legal or valid and unique license key.
Thus, you become an illegal user when you run your site with nulled products. The reason behind it is that you aren’t listed in the register of the original company as a verified customer due to being apart from the company.
On the contrary, you will be provided with a valid and unique license key and 24/7 customer support if you choose to stick to the original product available online. You will not be charged for offensive activities because your contact and details are stored as a verified customer in the company’s register and they can track you.
Restrict accessing new features
Nulled WordPress plugins and themes restrict accessing new features. When you choose nulled products for your site, you are deprived of automatic updates, and eventually, you are not allowed to access new features and functions from the developer.
Generally, new features of the original product add more functionalities to your site, increase your performance, and drive more traffic and sales. You can come to know these things only when you are connected to their newsletter or blog.
Risk of malware and spyware attack
Your site can be at risk of malware and spyware attacks if you select nulled products for it. You are unaware of updates, new features, and protection, and developers don’t support you while you use nulled products.
At this point, your site becomes highly unprotected and spyware, malware, and viruses, and if cases get worst, hackers can easily attack your site. If your site belongs to the marketplace or membership websites, it can be harmful. Hackers can collect your confidential information and cause a great disaster for your business.
Lose personal data
Nulled plugins and themes create the option of losing personal data i.e.: usernames, passwords, email addresses, credit card numbers, and payment data; yours as well as your customers hacked by malware, spyware, or hacker. Losing customer data is the worst thing for your business. This can happen so fast that you can’t detect it while happening and retrieving those data is very hard.
Once you lose customer data, you lose customer faith as well. And they would never trust back your business again. Business runs on customer trust and it is a determining factor, without it, a company suffers in strength and competencies. A website can be badly reputed by losing personal data which may result in decreased traffic and sales.
Can be caught for illegal movement
You can be caught for illegal movement if you use nulled products. Depending on the level of illegal movement, you will be liable to be punished under civil or criminal law. This is especially for that cases where a developer has copyrighted the codes of his product. The individual or a company charged with piracy and breaking of the copyright can be forced into serious penalties by federal law leading to civil or criminal cases.
Unable to know what’s in the code
There’s a maximum chance of containing malware inside the code of nulled plugins and themes. And since you’re unable to know what’s in the code, you better not use the nulled products for your site.
Nulled products may contain harmful things in the code that can be spread through your system in the blink of an eye, collect your as well as your customer’s vital data i.e.: personal details, usernames, passwords, and account details using malware, break down the system, or even hack your site.
So, it’s safer not to use nulled WordPress plugins and themes on your site. You will make a big mistake if you use nulled products even after knowing this terrible thing. By doing so, you literally open the gate to let the hackers enter your site.
Every individual and company has their own confidential matter and they don’t want to reveal it to others. But, using nulled products on their site breaks confidentiality and their vital information falls into the hands of wicked people resulting in worst consequences.
Block documentation access
Documentation is a very important factor for a website. Because it catches the eyes of new visitors and converts them to customers in systematic steps.
Documentation helps the users to know about any new plugins or themes before using them. Even the most experienced WordPress users need it. Developers work hard to create documentation.
Nulled plugins and themes block documentation access for the user and deny responsibility for it. Official developers don’t have a say here.
Nulled products prevent innovation made by official developers in the online market field. When you’re using a nulled product, you’re snatching revenue from the developers who invested their talent, skill, time, and hard work that make them reluctant to create something new.
Developers not only write code but also create documentation, provide support, make a website, hire staff support, and incur a lot of money to operate their business. The use of nulled products inhibits them from being innovative.
List of some nulled WordPress plugins and themes you should not use
Nulled plugins and themes are available online and provided by some websites. For the safety and protection of your site, you must have to know and deliberately avoid these websites.
Check the list of some websites that offer such products:
- JOJOThemes – Download Free WordPress Themes & Scripts
- Mh Themes download
- Nulled Themes – Download Nulled WordPress Themes 2020-2021
Manage nulled WordPress plugins and themes in 2 methods
So, how will you manage nulled plugins and themes? First of all, it’s wise to avoid using nulled products on your site. But, in the case of using them unknowingly or for other reasons, there are two methods you can follow:
Method-1: Choose alternative valid WordPress plugins and themes
In this method, you can stop using nulled products and choose alternative valid ones. You can use the authorized premium version of WordPress plugins and themes.
You don’t have to worry if you are unable to purchase premium products due to a shortage of budget, you have a good chance to obtain them for free on WordPress.org.
You will be happy to know that WordPress has over 59,874 plugins and over 9,916 themes, absolutely free. The best way to deal with nulled products is to choose valid free WordPress plugins and themes available online.
Method-2: Detect and clean malicious codes
It is strongly recommended that you always use valid official free or premium WordPress plugins and themes on your website.
But, if it, unfortunately, happens in rare cases, that you are using nulled plugins and themes already, and can’t find a suitable alternative on WordPress.org, you can follow this method. In that case, you have to bear yourself all the responsibilities for all the loss due to the use of nulled products on your website.
For this, you can try to detect and clean malicious codes. There are several free plugins i.e.: MalCare WordPress Security, Wordfence Security, Sucuri Security, etc. to detect malware.
Reasons for using valid original plugins and themes
It’s clear that using valid original plugins and themes on your site is a better and safer option and these products are easily available and within your reach online. There are many good reasons for using such products on your site. These are given below:
- By using the authorized products, you’ll be safe from copyright issues.
- Access to all the latest updates and features will be available.
- If you need any help, you’ll get full support available 24×7.
- Data privacy of your website will be well maintained.
- Your site will be completely secured and you don’t have to worry about it.
- You can request to add new features to the plugins.
- Moreover, you will get discounts on related products on several occasions.
Grab the valid and original plugins and themes
There are many valid and original plugins and themes easily available online. These are very helpful for your website and you can use them by keeping your eyes closed. So, instead of using nulled products, grab the valid and original plugins and themes to use on your website.
List of some valid and original plugins and themes:
Here are some plugins and themes developed by BdThemes that you can choose from.
- Element Pack
- Prime Slider
- Ultimate Store Kit
- Ultimate Post Kit
- Live Copy Paste
- Rooten Theme
We have focused on nulled WordPress plugins and themes and discussed the harmful consequences of using these on your website. We believe that you will take the right decision. We hope that you will be conscious of the negative effect of nulled products and avoid using them on your site if you want to keep safe and sound.
Don’t use nulled WordPress plugins and themes- always use original products on your site.
Thank you for reading this article patiently.