The websites built on content management systems (CMSs) like WordPress or Magento require users to install a theme or template. The themes determine the appearance of your site, and it impacts how the end-users observe the content on it. And obviously, every website owner wants to have an attractive theme for efficient marketing of the services.
The premium themes are expensive, and the free themes aren’t that efficient and attractive. Hence a lot of users go for a nulled theme. The nulled themes are actually the pirated copies of an original premium theme, that are hacked and sold illegally on the internet at a lower price or for free.
More than ten thousand nulled themes are downloaded every day for WordPress sites. You get premium WordPress themes for free, but what you don’t know is that nulled themes come with a big cost, affecting your website. The nulled themes are also one of the reasons your website gets compromised by hackers.
Below are some of the key reasons to not use nulled themes for your WordPress site.
1. Website Security & Privacy
The providers of nulled themes hack the original premium theme using nasty and malicious coding. These themes usually have backdoors, and when you use them, the hackers can enter from backdoor to infect the website.
In fact, some nulled theme providers deliberately keep the back door so that they can use your website to get backlinks to their sites without your knowledge. They can also redirect your site to spam links, push ads on your site, and might completely hack it to demand ransom.
While you install SSL for the privacy of confidential information that your visitors submit on your site, the nulled themes can make the SSL security of no use. The malicious code can allow hackers to steal the private information of your users, which may include contacts, username, passwords, email addresses, etc.
Therefore, you have to avoid the use of nulled WordPress themes which are very risky for the security and privacy of your WordPress site.
2. Nulled Themes Are Illegal
The nulled themes are stolen premium themes that don’t come with any license or copyright. The providers of nulled themes remove the copyrighted resources to make them free or offer at lower costs. There is no doubt that the nulled themes are stolen premium themes, and anything that is stolen is illegal.
The use of pirated themes can lead you to legal proceedings if the original developers of them file a complaint against you. In such scenarios, you might need to pay huge sums to lawyers.
The site owners make the mistake of installing such themes especially when they start a new blog or don’t want to invest much in the site.
3. No Support from Theme Creators
When you purchase the services related to computers and websites, the support from the service providers and warranty for the services are must for you. But if you buy the nulled themes, nobody is responsible. Hence, there is nobody to provide support in case you face any issues with the theme.
Even if you are an experienced user of WordPress, the support and documentation are needed for proper use of WordPress themes. With premium WordPress themes, you get the support of the theme creator so that you don’t get stuck
The creators of themes create detailed documentation and provide support so that their users can easily get things done.
4. Nulled Themes Affect SEO
While you try your best to rank high on search engines like Google and Bing, the nulled themes terribly affect the SEO of your site. As mentioned above, the nulled themes contain spam links and malicious code, which create a clustered environment on your site. Using the spam links, the attackers can redirect your visitors to other websites that can harm them. Thus, the users will start leaving your site.
Also, the spammy links and clustered environment reduce the readability of the site, resulting in poor user experience. Google ranks the websites lower in search engine rankings that contain malicious content. You might be using hundreds of SEO tricks and blogging tips to improve the rank of your site, but you have no idea that the pirated theme you are using is not letting the site become optimized.
5. Can’t update WordPress
WordPress releases new versions regularly to improve the security of the platform, fix the bugs, enhance the performance and add new features. But if you use the pirated WordPress themes, you won’t be able to update the WordPress version. This is another big issue that can result in website hacking as the attackers know about the vulnerability in out-of-date versions.
Also, you can’t get improved performance without updating the WordPress. You will have no idea about the new features in WordPress that could actually help you attract more traffic or make more money.
6. Discouraging innovative developers
The premium WordPress themes are the result of hard-work, talent, coding and designing skills of a theme developer. They invest their time and money to design such attractive themes. They also need to have a website, create documentation, assign people to support the users, and do a lot more for a successful theme.
But when you use the pirated copy of that theme, they don’t get anything for the amount of time, hard-work and money they invested for the theme. It can discourage such innovative developers from building such beautiful themes.
The use of nulled themes is a substantial risk to the reputation of your website and business, that can also lead to website hacking. The use of premium themes has several advantages, not forgetting the SEO benefits. If you can’t afford the expensive premium themes, then sticking with cheaper premium themes or even the free themes is a better option.
Also published on Medium.