Table of Contents Hide
- What is a nulled WordPress theme?
- The pros of using a nulled WordPress theme
- The cons of using a nulled WordPress theme
- Is it safe to use a nulled WordPress theme?
- Should you use a nulled WordPress theme?
- What about nulled WordPress plugins?
Is it safe to use a nulled WordPress theme? If you’re looking for a premium WordPress theme, but don’t have a lot of money, a nulled WordPress theme might look appealing, but, is it safe to use on your WordPress website?
With over 42.4% of the market share, WordPress is the most popular CMS used to create websites in 2021. The easiest way to build a beautiful-looking WordPress website, without coding, is to use a WordPress theme. Some WordPress themes are available for free online but might be too limited for your needs. In that case, your best bet would be to buy a premium WordPress theme that offers more features and looks exactly the way you want.
That’s where nulled WordPress themes come into play. Some people illegitimately distribute premium WordPress themes online for free. If you want to build your own website, but don’t want to spend money on something that’s available for free, a nulled theme might be appealing. However, you might wonder – is it safe to use a nulled WordPress theme?
What is a nulled WordPress theme?
We know that nulled WordPress themes are illegitimate copies of a premium WordPress theme, but how does it work exactly?
In most cases, a nulled WordPress theme is an exact copy of the original premium WordPress theme, without the connection between the developers and the theme. Usually, after installing your theme on WordPress, you’d need to enter a license key to activate it and use it. That’s how theme developers prevent people from buying the theme once and using it on an unlimited number of websites. However, a nulled WordPress theme would prevent the theme from communicating with the developers which lets you activate the theme without a valid license key.
But, before you run out and download a nulled WordPress theme for your website, you should keep reading to learn more about the risks of using a nulled WordPress theme.
The pros of using a nulled WordPress theme
If you’re looking to download a nulled WordPress theme for your website, it’s probably because you’re tight on money. The only real advantage of using a nulled WordPress theme is that it’s actually free.
On average, a WordPress theme costs about $57.54. By using a nulled WordPress theme, you can get (almost) the same exact thing, for free. But, the real thing you should be wondering is: Is it safe to use a nulled WordPress theme?
The cons of using a nulled WordPress theme
Even though using a nulled WordPress theme might seem appealing, especially if you’re trying to save money, there are a lot of cons to using a nulled WordPress theme.
1. Security risks
That’s right, someone had to change the code of the theme to break the license system and they had the ability to change a lot of things at the same time. 90% of all hacked CMS are WordPress websites, and that’s for a reason. It would be fairly easy for someone with bad intentions to add a small line of code that could carry malware, spread across different files in your system, hack your website, and even de-index your website from search engines for distributing malware.
You don’t know who the source is and what their intentions are. They might be a kind stranger trying to save everyone a few dollars, but they’re most likely trying to trick you into installing malware on your website.
2. Privacy risks
If the nulled WordPress theme has malicious code running on it, it could very well be stealing information from your WordPress website to resell it. Things like usernames, email addresses, passwords, or even credit card information (if you’re accepting payments on your website) might be stolen.
This kind of malicious code is extremely hard to detect and you might never notice it.
3. Bad for SEO
Some nulled WordPress themes can add spam links to your website or redirect your users automatically to malicious websites. Most of the time, this is impossible to see since you won’t be redirected if you’re logged in and the spam links are only visible in the code of the website.
However, search engines will see this right away and de-index your website completely. If that happens to you, you’ll have to either spend years building that trust with search engines again or start a new website from scratch.
4. It’s illegal
If developers are selling the theme, the code is probably protected by copyright laws, and using a nulled theme would be illegal. If you get caught using a nulled WordPress theme, you can get sued for it and you’ll lose.
Willful copyright infringement can result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense.
5. You won’t get any updates
Most likely, by preventing the connection between the developers and the theme, you won’t be able to get updates for your theme. Keeping your WordPress theme updated is extremely important because it fixes bugs, and security issues, and might add new features. Not updating your theme might leave your WordPress website unsecure, unstable, and buggy.
Also, when WordPress releases new updates, your theme might need to be updated to stay compatible with the latest changes.
6. The developers won’t get paid
Someone spent days working hard to create a theme with the goal of selling it and building a business. They’re also working on keeping the theme up to date and helping customers with issues they may have. By using a nulled version of the theme, you’re basically taking money away from these developers.
In addition to that, the average earnings of a WordPress theme are around $12,000 a year. If you’re using a nulled theme, you’re most likely taking money away from developers earning below the poverty line.
7. You won’t get any support
If you buy a WordPress theme, you get free support along with the theme. If you have any issues, the developers will help you fix them and get your website up and running again. However, if you’re using a nulled WordPress theme, you won’t have access to the support.
This means that you’ll either have to find a way to fix the issue by yourself or hire a developer to fix the issue. In most cases, buying the theme will be way cheaper than hiring a developer.
Is it safe to use a nulled WordPress theme?
If you can live with all the cons of using a nulled WordPress theme, is it safe to use one? The simple answer is no. It’s not safe to use a nulled WordPress theme and you should never install one on your WordPress website. You don’t know who created the nulled WordPress theme and what their intentions are. There might be malicious code in the theme which might cause security and privacy risks.
Should you use a nulled WordPress theme?
If you care about the website you’re working on and want it to succeed, you should never use a nulled WordPress theme on it. Nulled WordPress themes can carry malicious code, steal sensitive information, and add spam links to your website that might get you de-indexed from search engines. In addition to that, it’s illegal, you’re taking money away from the developers who made the theme, and you won’t get any updates or support.
For all these reasons, you should never use a nulled WordPress theme on your website.
What about nulled WordPress plugins?
Using a nulled WordPress plugin on your website would not be recommended either. If you want to read more about it, check out this article about nulled WordPress plugins.
To conclude, you should never use a nulled WordPress theme on your website because it’s not safe, you’re not supporting the developers, and it’s illegal. So, what’s the best way to get that premium WordPress theme you wanted? Just head over to ThemeForest and buy the theme you want! It’s only a few dollars and it’ll pay for itself when your website starts generating revenue.
If you want to learn more about WordPress, you can check out our blog, and if you want to have a beautiful website without having to build it, you should take a look at web design agencies!
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