If you haven’t used nulled WordPress themes and plugins yet, the best advice is to stay away from them. And if you’ve, you must remove them right away before it gets too late. Why? Well, this is what we’ll discuss in this post.
If you’re here because you’re about to download nulled plugins or themes and aren’t sure about them, then you did the right thing.
Because nulled themes for WordPress are never going to help. And the same is true with plugins.
Let’s find out how by first discussing what is nulled WordPress plugins and themes.
What Are Nulled WordPress Plugins and Themes?
WordPress repository offers thousands of themes and plugins for free. No matter what your requirements are, you can always find a tool. Whether you need a popup plugin, advanced Gutenberg blocks, or whatnot, there’s always a tool to satisfy web designing needs of any kind. And fortunately, the developers of these fantastic tools also offer premium versions with additional features.
Yet, unfortunately, due to the GPL licenses, these premium plugins and themes get pirated. And people who are looking for premium products for free, download these pirated/nulled products, ignoring the risks these products can bring.
To understand what nulled WordPress plugins and themes are, it’s essential to know about the GPL license.
What’s a GPL License?
The GNU General Public License, aka GPL, is a free software license that allows the end user (you, me or anyone) the freedom to run, study, share and modify the software however they like. And because WordPress is built under GPL, the plugins or themes someone would develop primarily will also come under GPL.
Now, some people, for their gain, purchase premium products from the developers, and because GPL provides the freedom to modify and share, they add a bit of their code in it to either crack the product or present it as their own and upload it to the dark web. Some even have their platforms (we’re not going to name any) where they re-sale these plugins and themes at low prices.
Likewise, you can find cracked software for Windows or macOS on the internet; these are cracked WordPress themes and plugins, also known as nulled WordPress themes and plugins. So, basically, nulled WordPress themes and plugins are pirated copies of premium or paid plugins and themes by taking advantage of GPL.
Is Using Nulled WordPress Themes or Plugins Illegal?
Ethically no, technically yes. But if something’s legal or free, it doesn’t mean it’s right to use it. Because as Richard Serra said, “If something is free, ‘you’ are the product.” When people upload cracked plugins or themes, they add miscellaneous code to them. Now, that code could be anything – a link to advertisers, mirroring your actions, and what else.
And even if you’re an expert, it’s hard to find what’s secretly hidden inside the plugin’s code you’ll download and install.
Above all, it hurts the efforts made by the developer to build something priceless. Think for a moment, how would you feel if someone traded your creation for free or for their own gain? You’ll be irritated and probably get angry because someone else is taking advantage without compensating you for your hard work.
And that’s not all; there are multiple reasons why you should stop using nulled themes or plugins anywhere – not specifically WordPress.
7 Reasons You Should Stop Using Nulled WordPress Plugins and Themes
Vulnerable to Hackers, Viruses, and Spam
When adding code to crack a plugin or theme, online pirates interfere with the original code’s structure. While doing so, they open many backdoors as well as affect the security snippets added by the original author.
The one pirating the plugin or theme won’t be concerned about your security and privacy over their gains. And for hackers, viruses, and spam, those backdoors are enough to wreak havoc. When you install nulled themes or plugins, your website is at 100% risk.
Additionally, if ever the website gets exploited, which probably will, you won’t get support from most of the hosting providers. For instance, Kinsta doesn’t offer any support to their customers if their website has a nulled WordPress theme or plugin.
No Automatic Updates
Automatic updates in WordPress ensure your website’s security, functionality and performance. When you use nulled products, there’s no way you’ll get those updates. And if the update was for security purposes, then indeed, your website will get compromised. Also, with outdated plugins or themes, your website won’t have the latest designs, making it old in the market. And people mostly like to interact with online platforms that look fresh and support their browsers.
No Customer Support
If you’re not purchasing a plugin or theme, you won’t get support from the developer. Customer support is essential in WordPress, regardless of your experience or expertise. There are instances when you’d need help to either overcome a problem or understand the product effectively. But if you’re overwhelmed by a cracked WordPress theme or plugin, you are on your own.
WordPress Compatibility Issue
If the plugin or theme is outdated and your WordPress gets updated, there’s a surety you’ll face incompatibility issues. Why? Because when WordPress plugin or theme developers release updates, they ensure it’s compatible with the latest version of WordPress. Moreover, developers sometimes release updates to make their plugin or theme compatible with recently released major versions of WordPress.
Using nulled plugins or themes for WordPress make this clear that you won’t receive updates. This directly makes your site incompatible with future WordPress versions, and you end up with a broken website.
Compatibility Issues With the Theme or Other Plugins
Not only WordPress but developers also release updates to make their themes compatible with plugins, and plugins compatible with themes and other plugins. Many plugins work to improve the functionality of other plugins or themes. For instance, GeneratePress Premium adds more functionality to the GeneratePress theme. Likewise, FireBlocks adds an additional blocks library to the Gutenberg editor.
So, if you’re not receiving the update, which you’ll definitely not when you use nulled products. It simply means there will be incompatibilities that would lead to a broken website or even a breach. In the latter, you won’t be able to compensate for your loss.
Bad for SEO
Nulled WordPress plugins and themes include many unwanted codes and text beneficial to the pirate only. And these alien components in the original product aren’t placed keeping the SEO guidelines in mind.
Moreover, most of the code and texts aren’t even legit; you can say spam. So, they’re not helpful for SEO.
When search engines crawl your website and find those additional unwanted codes in the plugin or theme’s file, they downrank your web pages. Or if the code is spam, your website would get penalized for having illegitimate material.
It Leads to Legal Proceedings
The prominent reason why WordPress plugins and themes are nulled is because of the GPL. But, not every plugin or theme is released under GPL. Yes, most are, but different WordPress products combine source code that isn’t open source. So, if you use a nulled product not under GPL, it could lead to legal proceedings.
You could face many charges and probably end up paying heavy dues or fees that aren’t comparable to the actual price of the plugin or theme.
Therefore, what’s best is you get the original plugin or theme from the original developer, saving yourself and your website from all the risks mentioned above.
Best Platforms to Get Official Versions of WordPress Themes or Plugins
If you want to download and use the best WordPress plugins and themes, the following are the best platforms to find excellent tools to help your website perform to the fullest.
With around 70,000+ plugins and themes, the WordPress repository is the #1 platform where you can find original plugins and themes. The best thing is each product here is available for free. So, you might be able to build your dream website without investing in pro themes or plugins.
The repository is huge; you’ll definitely find an amazing solution to the requirement without looking any further.
If you don’t find the solution in the free one, you can try the premium version of the products available at the WordPress repository, if the developers provide it.
And even if the premium doesn’t have something solid to offer; you can visit Themeforest.com. It’s the hub to get paid WordPress themes and plugins. Here, you can look for themes regardless of your profession. Plugins, regardless of experience. And even extensions of popular WordPress products at a reasonable price.
Building your website entirely on Gutenberg? Then, there’s no better place than FirePlugins. We offer Gutenberg-based plugins that allow you to supercharge your website with design, functionality, and performance without compromising speed.
In addition to the splendid Gutenberg plugins, we also offer a 30-day Money Back Guarantee. So, you can try our products risk-free. You can do that right away.
In today’s time, a website is an essential asset of a business. It can make a failing business grow at the same time growing business fail if you ignore the crucial web safety precautions. And not using nulled WordPress themes and plugins is one of those safety and security precautions you shouldn’t miss.
I hope what I’ve shared in this post will help you build a secure and healthy online platform that will help you serve your customers without undermining their data protection. And for Gutenberg-based powerful plugins, you can always visit FirePlugins.
Vishvendra believes in the keep learning process and applying those learnings into work. Other than technical writing, he likes to write fiction, non-fiction, songs, and comic ideas. He loves what he writes and writes what he loves. Search his name with “Nathawat,” and you’ll easily find him over the internet.