WordPress is one of the best content management systems at the moment. It gives an advantage for people who cannot build websites on their own. However, the benefits do not end there. WordPress provides plugins and themes for the users that will help improve the performance and efficiency of their websites. There are multitudes of plugins and themes available, ranging from free to paid services. However, sometimes users turn to nulled plugins and themes for their websites which is an unethical practice.
Using nulled plugins and themes will not only cause a disadvantage to the developers of the particular plugin, but it might also even harm your website. In this article, I’ll tell you about nulled plugins and themes, the reason why we shouldn’t use them, and how using them can harm your websites.
What Are Nulled Plugins And Themes?
Nulled plugins and themes are the pirated copies of the premium WordPress plugins and themes. The premium plugins will be modified so that the functionality of the plugins remains the same to an extent, and you will not be required to pay the license.
These nulled/pirated versions are distributed on the internet. Sometimes, the WordPress users willingly install these plugins to their website, while some mistake the nulled version to be the original and install them.
How Do You Know If You Are Using A Nulled Plugin Or Theme?
If you have bought a theme or plugin from a website other than the official website, it probably is a nulled version. Sometimes, you might get attracted to the huge discount, or the word “free” might catch your attention. The price cut is directly screaming that it’s a nulled version of the original plugin and theme, and it is better to keep them away from your websites.
Why Should You Avoid Using Nulled Plugins And Themes?
There are various risks involved with using nulled plugins and themes. They are usually backdoors for hackers and malware that can immensely affect your website’s performance.
Here are some reasons why you must avoid taking the assistance of nulled plugins and themes.
Using a nulled plugin and theme can have a severe impact on your website’s security. Nulled versions of plugins and themes are often embedded with malicious code that can modify the performance of your website.
The malware can creep into your files without your knowledge and cause a lot of damage to your website. You may lose your data due to a hack, and the data lost will be hard to retrieve.
A nulled plugin or theme can have varied malicious code that can impact your website in different ways. Sometimes, a nulled version can contain code that will help the hacker steal valuable information from your websites like usernames, passwords, financial information, and more. If your website allows users to create accounts on your website, then your website’s user data will be in danger too.
Reduced SEO Rankings
SEO rankings are very crucial for your website to show up in the search engines. No matter how hard you work, if your SEO ranking is not good, your hard work will not be recognized.
The malicious code in the pirated copies of the plugins and themes can spam pages and phishing pages to your websites. You may not notice these pages, but the search engines are quick to discern these things. It will result in the dropping of your SEO rank, and rebuilding the lost position will be difficult.
While most of the WordPress plugins and themes are open source, the premium versions are licensed. The nulled versions will not provide you with the license, and most of its code will be copy-righted.
So, sometimes you might have to face legal actions for using the services without any entitlement, and you might have to pay in cash as a penalty for that.
Lack Of Updates
Most plugins and themes always provide updates that help in improving their performance. These updates also contain security patches that fix the security issues known to the developers.
The updates are also in sync with the updates of WordPress, and most outdated plugins or themes will not be compatible with the newest version of the WordPress software. Using incompatible plugins and themes will cause the dysfunctionality of the website and slow down its performance.
All the plugins and themes will provide support to the users, and whenever they face any issue with their service, the developers will be quick to find a solution to the problem.
However, if you use a nulled plugin or theme, you cannot contact the developer, and resolving your issue will be difficult.
There are various WordPress plugins and themes that provide free alternatives for their services. For example, the Hide My WP security plugin has a free lite version called Hide My WP lite.
Hide My Wp is a security plugin that helps in protecting the website from various security threats. Here are some features of the Hide My WP plugin that help to strengthen the security of your website:
- It lets you hide or rename the themes and plugins folders.
- It can hide your WordPress.
- It helps you change WordPress permalinks.
- It will help you hide the login page of your website to prevent brute-force attacks. This feature will help you set up a login query and login key.
- It has a firewall that can block attacks like SQL, XSS, CSRF, read arbitrary files, and brute force attacks.
- It informs the user about:
- Value (How they hack you?)
- Page (Which plugin did they use?)
- Impact (How dangerous is that?)
- IP/ users (Where are they from?)
- It will assist in hiding or renaming WP-admins.
- It will disable direct access to PHP files and directory listing.
- It will let you minify HTML and CSS.
- It will allow you to change anything in your source code.
- It has anti-spam included.
- Nulled plugins and themes are pirated copies of original ones that can compromise the well-being of your website.
- Users tend to turn to nulled plugins and themes because they are free of cost; however, using these pirated copies is a disadvantage to your website. It will create security threats and damage your SEO rankings.
- Using nulled plugins is like insulting the hard work of the developers, so make sure to use original WordPress plugins and themes.
- If you cannot afford the premium plugins, there are various free alternatives that you can check out.