Although they are very risky, nulled WordPress themes and plugins are regularly used by countless web designers on their clients’ websites. The practice has been in existence for years, but many business owners aren’t aware of the threats that this practice poses to their website and their business.
The aim of writing this post is to state the reasons you shouldn’t allow such themes and plugins to be installed on your business website. But before that, let me explain what are regarded as nulled WordPress themes and plugins.
So what are nulled WordPress themes and plugin?
To make you understand fully, I will start my explanation with the process by which most websites are built nowadays. When you ask a web designer to design a website for your business, he or she uses a software called WordPress for the project. By using WordPress, the web designer doesn’t need to write a line of code to do the job.
But he or she needs to install a theme and some plugins on WordPress, so as to be able to customize the website and increase its functionalities. The challenge is that most themes and plugins used for designing a website aren’t totally free.
At some point – or to use premium features – themes and plugins users are required to upgrade, and the upgrade is usually expensive. In order to circumvent upgrading, many web designers resorted to using nulled WordPress themes and plugins, which are the cracked versions.
The cracked or null versions often work, but they can cause serious harm to the website because their codes have been altered by a third-party. Below are the reasons you shouldn’t allow your web designer to use them on your business website.
Why You Shouldn’t Allow Them on Your Website
- The website can easily be hacked
The first, if not the main reason, you shouldn’t allow nulled WordPress themes and plugins to be installed on your website is because of security. To be credible, the original developers of themes and plugins constantly make sure that they are safe for use on websites.
But once crackers turn them to null, most of the time, the layers of security are removed and a backdoor is left on the themes and plugins. The backdoor allows hackers to bypass security check, and through it, they can inject malicious scripts into the website and totally take control of it.
- Visitors and customers information can be stolen
The second reason you shouldn’t allow nulled WordPress themes and plugins on your website is that they can render a website’s SSL certificate useless. Normally, when an SSL (HTTPS) certificate is installed on a website, the information of the visitors is protected, in that the interactions between the website and the users are encrypted.
However, if the website runs on nulled WordPress themes and plugins, the certificate can be rendered useless. Personal information of users such as their names, home and email addresses, passwords – and even bank card information – can be stolen.
- Ranking of the website on Google can be negatively impacted
In today’s marketing landscape, Google and other search engines are the cheapest sources of getting customers. But in order to deliver an excellent experience to their users, the search engines have made it clear that don’t like deceitful websites that redirect visitors to spammy websites.
They have also stated that they don’t like websites with malicious codes. But, sadly, lots of nulled WordPress themes and plugins contain malicious codes and redirect visitors to unwanted spammy websites. No matter the amount of search engine optimization (SEO) best practices deploy on a website, if its theme and plugins are suspicious, Google and other search engines wouldn’t send traffic to it.
And that means you have to spend lots of money on other channels in order to bring visitors to your website.
- No support from themes and plugins developers
If the free or paid version of a plugin or theme is installed on your website, you can get the necessary support. On the other hand, if you have a nulled version installed, there is nobody to support you if you have any technical or non-technical issue. No warranty. No guarantee. You are on your own.
Nulled WordPress themes and plugins are also known for not getting updates. Once they are installed, they can’t get the latest security patch, bug fixes, and added features.
- You can be sued
This hardly happens – but it can happen, especially if your business is big. The original developers of a theme and plugin can take you to court if they find out you are using the nulled version. They can do these because nulled WordPress themes and plugins are illegal.
Be safe and avoid the unexpected. Don’t allow your web designer to use nulled WordPress themes and plugins on your business website.