This is my story of using nulled WordPress themes and a lesson I learned the hard way.
When I was starting with WordPress, I was 14 years old and of course, I didn’t have much money. More than that, I was clueless about how to pay for something online.
No debit card, no PayPal, no nothing.
Searching for better WordPress resources I quickly realized that the better ones are all premium.
This made me find alternative ways to get these amazing themes and plugins that would have made my websites look awesome.
A quick Google search showed me websites that offer themes and plugins for free. What a deal! I thought.
For lots of new users it can seem great to have these resources uploaded and shared for free, but what the majority of people don’t realize is that the ‘free stuff comes with a very high hidden price.
Read also: Are Nobuna themes and plugins safe?
What is a Nulled WordPress Theme?
Nulled WordPress themes are premium themes that have been hacked to work without a license key. It is important to note that these themes are illegal.
A lot of times these themes come with added scripts and modified code, that can harm your site and your visitors in many ways.
This is also true for plugins which can also be found for free on those websites offering nulled software.
Not to mention these products do not have support or updates, something very important for every webmaster or site owner.
My experience with nulled WordPress themes
My first bad experience with a nulled theme came a few months after I first installed it on one of my flash games websites.
All of a sudden one day I visited my domain to see it was hacked. The homepage was displaying a dark background with some nonsense messages.
I contacted my hosting provider to ask for help, they restore a backup and deleted the infected files, but a few months later the same thing happened again.
Another story with a nulled theme I had was when random links started to appear in my articles, links to gambling, or adult content websites.
These sorts of things can lead to your whole domain being penalized by Google forever.
My ‘favorite’ story with a nulled theme is when I decided to build a website for my friend’s wedding day. To save the couple some money I pick a theme and found it for free.
I created the website and forgot it.
A few weeks before the wedding day, my friend called and told me:
“A guest tried to register for the wedding and told me the website redirected him to a manhood enlargement pills website. It was also filling the Google calendar of visitors with spam events.
And this is just the ‘funny’ side of using nulled themes or plugins.
Stay away from sites like:
You can seriously damage your whole hosting account!
If you use a nulled WordPress theme, you better download a malware scan plugin like Wordfence and scan your website ASAP.
Other negative consequences of using nulled software
The reality is that you don’t know what to expect and when to expect it. Some of the scripts that got injected are so advanced you can even not realize something bad is going on.
- they can redirect your pages to spam URLs
- put backlinks on your pages (again to some crapy website)
- inject pop-ups on your pages
- dig bitcoins
- steal sensitive information about your users
Nonetheless, you can have legal issues because using such software is considered piracy. You are harming the developers and stealing their work.
You also won’t get any updates and support, compared to using the original product, which can be crucial at times.
Final Thoughts and Suggestions
Using nulled WordPress products is just not worth it. Today there is a huge variety of themes and plugins. The market got so big and the competition is furious, thus leading to great offers for customers and regular discounts.
Check my page for Discounted WordPress Themes & Plugins, where I try to keep a list of the best products and offers on sale. These sites run regular sale campaigns and you could find great deals there as well.
There are even absolutely free WordPress themes that come with demo content and custom elements, which work and look just like premium ones.
With WordPress page builders like Elementor, you can build a custom website, even with a free theme.
The options are so many today and using a nulled theme is far from the smartest one you can make.
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