On the internet, now and then there
are sites that offer free downloads and installations of paid themes
or WordPress plugins. Do you sincerely think that this is done by
altruists, whose goal is to save your money on the purchase of a
template or a plugin?
What they offer is usually nulled software. And if you download a paid theme for free, you are allowing yourself to hack the site. Here are some reasons why you should not install paid themes and plug-ins on the site for free.
Most often, nulled plugins and WP
themes contain malware. Malicious code can be scattered across
different files, which makes detection and correction very difficult.
Due to the hacked nature of the plugin, you can generally lose site
data. Moreover, the virus can spread to other sites on the server or
hosting platform. Thus, by installing a paid theme for free, you can
lose all of your sites or client sites. An extra bonus – your site
can be removed from the index for distributing malicious code. You
will see more on this later.
Nulled themes and plugins may contain
code that steals data from the site. This can be names, emails,
passwords, and other personal information of users who are registered
on the site. This hacking is difficult to notice, because at first
glance the site will work fine, and there will be no external signs
#3 Bad for SEO
Nulled WP themes and plugins
completely destroy your SEO efforts and use your website for
so-called “black” SEO. Remember – not only a newly created
website can be damaged, but also your other sites located on the same
Hacked WordPress themes can add spam
links to the site or redirect your visitors to other sites. It is
difficult to notice with the untrained eye, as the links are
carefully hidden inside the code. It may happen that you, as the
admin, will not be transferred anywhere when you log in to your WP
account. As a result, you will not notice anything, and when you see
it, it will be too late. Search engines will quickly notice strange
activity and lower the site’s search rating, or even completely
throw your site out of the index.
It may take several months to restore
lost sites. Moreover, it is possible that instead of fixing the
affected site you will have to build an entirely new site.
#4 Legal issues
When you use a nulled WP theme or
plugin, you do it at your own risk, as you have no legal basis for
it. In addition, as mentioned above, the use of hacked templates can
lead to theft of personal data or the distribution of illegal
materials. All of this can end with courts and lawyers.
#5 No access to updates
Compared to what was mentioned
before, this is probably the smallest problem, especially if you have
sufficient programming skills. However, the inability to update can
be a real problem when your nulled theme or plugin becomes
incompatible with the next WordPress update.
#6 Issues with support and
Even the most advanced WordPress
users require support and documentation in order to use premium
themes and plugins in the proper way. The developers of such products
provide support and manage documentation for users and spend lots of
time on this. They hire support specialists to regularly answer
questions. If you are using a nulled WP theme or plugin, then you are
on your own. When you need help, you can’t ask developers to help
you. You also do not have access to documentation and manuals, since
they are presented only to paid customers.
#7 New features
As we have already mentioned, WP
themes and plugins are updated on a regular basis, and rather often
such updates include fresh features. If you use a pirated product,
you cannot receive updates automatically, and will not even hear
about these new features. They can greatly improve the site and help
you make more money. However, you will not be aware of these changes,
but rather stuck to the outdated version.
#8 Ethical or unethical?
Did your mother teach you that
stealing is bad? Someone will make the argument that this is just a
tiny piece of code, and then download it for free because they don’t
have to spend money on it. Think about the fact that developers have
invested their time, work, and abilities into this tiny piece of
Using nulled WP themes, you are
robbing developers. Yes. Remember that they not only write code, but
provide technical support, write documentation, create and maintain
the site of this product, and do many more things we do not suspect.
Mindlessly using paid templates for
free can prevent programmers from making new developments that may be
useful to a lot of other people besides you.
What to do?
And what if you just want to check
before buying how much the paid WordPress template suits you? First,
paid themes often have free counterparts with more limited
functionality. Most likely, you will see what interests you.
Secondly, due to the fact that the
competition in this market is huge, sellers of themes offer a
money-back guarantee. And if they do not offer it, then immediately
there are doubts about the quality of the proposed theme.
There are lots of free plugins
and themes on WordPress.org. Some are even cooler than many premium
offers. Most importantly, you can legally use them without stressing
your conscience and without negatively affecting the WordPress
community. There are lots of sites created on WordPress that don’t
use nulled themes and plugins – for example, WriteMyEssayOnline.
These sites don’t face any risks and work in the proper way.