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Nulled Plugins & Themes – 5 Reasons why you shouldn’t use them

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06/03/2023

WordPress

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Nulled Plugins and nulled Themes are currently being widely shared on the Internet, however, this is actually a tempting bait for hackers and the easiest way for your website to get infected with malware. In this article, Bii will explain why you should not use or download any plugins or themes shared for free on the internet.

What is Theme & Plugin Nulled ?

Nulled Plugin & Theme in WordPress is the term used to refer to products that are not officially released through the manufacturer, mostly versions that have been cracked and freely shared from unreliable sources with high risk on the internet.

Using Nulled Theme and Plugin is not encouraged as the benefits you receive are very little compared to the risks your website has to bear during the website building phase. The most significant risk is that you will be hacked and lose control of your website, or at least your website may be injected with malware into the database in the hosting, which will generate countless URLs in Japanese or Chinese.

In 2016, when Bii was just starting to learn about WordPress and had little knowledge, money, and experience in this field, he downloaded some Nulled Themes and Plugins from the internet to build his website. And just a few days later, the website was corrupted, with lots of links infected with malware, redirected in Japanese… It took a lot of time to restore and make the website work normally again. It was quite a terrible experience.

See more: Why you should build a website with WordPress

The appearance of Strange URLs is a sign of identifying websites infected with Malware (malicious code)

The appearance of Strange URLs is a sign of identifying websites infected with Malware (malicious code)

Signs to identify a website infected with malware

There are many ways for you to identify if your website is infected with malware. Some ways you can check it yourself are as follows:

  1. Many strange URLs appear: This is usually the most common way that Malware creates, which is when you check the structure of the website post, you will see many links appear with strange URLs in Japanese and Chinese. These URLs, when you click on them, will lead to other websites with inappropriate content. You can check directly by typing the syntax “site: domain” on search engines like Google, and Bing.
  2. Advertising appears on the website: You will see ads popping up in various locations such as the header, sidebar, footer, etc. when accessing the website. This is something that you’ve never seen before, and the ad content usually relates to negative issues such as prostitution, gambling games, and betting.
  3. Automatic website redirection to another page is a common occurrence that can be identified when you try to access a website and see the URL redirected to a page for gambling, prostitution, or other prohibited content. This happens because the nulled themes and plugins that you download may contain an automatic redirect malicious code, which is usually found in the .htaccess file.
  4. Slow website speed performance: If infected with malware, it will affect the entire website system, causing slow website access and creating lagging issues that are difficult to control. This is due to malware conflicts with other plugins on the website.
  5. Lost website access: This is the clearest sign that your website has been infected with Malware Virus. When accessing your website, you will receive a notification that your website has been hacked and you will be asked to comply with the request to unlock it. What you need to do now is to contact your hosting service provider for prompt processing and resolution.
  6. Website structure and interface have changed: when accessing the website, you may notice that there are various layout configurations on the webpage that are not displayed as usual. There could be some new banners, text segments, images, and text that you have never seen before. This means that your database has been interfered with and data has been modified.
  7. Warning from web browsers: when accessing the website, you will receive notifications and risks about security vulnerabilities. This indicates that your current website is unsafe, infected with viruses, and malware that is harmful to users, so web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge will block and prevent users from accessing them.

See more: How to choose the best hosting to build a website

Warning of malware infection from the Chrome web browser

Warning of malware infection from the Chrome web browser

5 reasons not to use Nulled Themes & Plugins

Infected with malware and security risks

As presented above, the main and most important reason why you should not use unknown source plugins and themes from the market is related to security and Malware issues. Using unknown source applications is the fastest way to compromise your entire website which has taken a lot of time to build.

Getting infected with malicious code can cause many damages, which can be listed as follows:

  • Negative impact on website performance, decreased keyword ranking.
  • Reduced brand credibility and customer trust, leading to a direct decrease in revenue.
  • Your website will be listed on the backlist of specific search engines, especially Google, and it will take a lot of time and effort to restore its current position.
  • Affects other websites that collaborate with you (affiliate marketing agencies, websites in the same industry, guest posts…the entities where you place backlinks). In the worst-case scenario, your website may be removed from affiliate marketing programs, which directly affects your revenue.
The risk of getting infected by viruses and malware from Nulled Plugins & Themes is very high

The risk of getting infected by viruses and malware from Nulled Plugins & Themes is very high

Compatible with the latest version of WordPress

“Nulled versions that are widely shared online are often limited to outdated and obsolete versions. This is why your website is more vulnerable to attacks, as these older versions typically have many security vulnerabilities.

To maintain the continuous and stable operation of WordPress, Theme and Plugin developers regularly release updates that are compatible with the latest version of WordPress. This is something that Nulled versions do not have.”

Negative impact on website speed

If the Nulled version you download does not contain malware, it can still cause slow website speed and a broken layout on the page. The reason is that plugins and themes have not been fully updated to the latest version of WordPress, and cannot update the current code structure. This leads to conflicts and can potentially damage the website layout, significantly impacting page loading speed.

See more: Boost website speed to 100/100 with Accelerator plugin

Nulled plugins and themes are the cause of slowing down your website

Nulled plugins and themes are the cause of slowing down your website

Unsupported by The Community and Developers

When you use a Nulled version, it means that you have not respected the manufacturer and the community who use that product, and of course, you will not receive support. When incidents occur, it will affect the reputation of the manufacturer. So be a civilized person!

Violation of ethics and copyright

Pirated themes and plugins without copyrights directly affect the revenue of the application producer who created them. This also affects product quality because,, without revenue, the producer will have no cost to continue developing and upgrading the product.

Using Nulled software is equivalent to contributing to pushing the manufacturer towards bankruptcy. This is a violation of ethical standards. It’s like buying something without paying for it, making you no different than a literal thief.

Advice on Nulled Themes & Plugins

After more than 7 years of working on the WordPress platform and based on actual experience, Bii advises not to download any applications shared for free on the internet because 99% of them are plugins and themes infected with viruses, malware, and other tools that hackers use to take control of your website.

So, what if you need to use a premium paid version but don’t have enough financial resources? Bii will provide some solutions that you can refer to, such as:

  1. Find another free Plugin or Theme with similar features: currently, there are over 10,000 free themes available on WordPress, in addition to a continuously expanding plugin repository. It’s quite simple to find a free Theme and Plugin with the necessary features.
  2. Buy licensed Themes and Plugins from reputable agencies: this is a legal and safe way for you to own a premium version with full features, by spending a small amount of money that is much less than buying directly from the manufacturer (usually 20-40% off), you can get the desired paid version.

However, you should consider and, if financially possible, buy products directly from the manufacturer as it will help them generate revenue to continue upgrading features for users, create a strong community, and you will also benefit from this.

Currently, all the plugins and themes that Bii is using on the website are paid versions purchased directly from the manufacturer. If you are interested in the plugins and themes that Bii is using, please refer to the article below.

See more: Plugins & themes that Bii used to create this website

Frequently Asked Questions about Nulled Theme and Plugin

Are there any Nulled Themes and Plugins that do not contain malware or viruses?

Yes. However, the rate is very rare. Most free plugins and themes shared on the internet that you see contain malware

What is the solution for handling a website infected with malware from plugins and themes?

If you have knowledge and proficiency in code, you can handle the problem yourself. In case you don’t have the knowledge to deal with malware. The best way is to contact your hosting service provider and request assistance. Or you can seek help from the WordPress community, but it will cost a fee.

Does using Nulled Plugins and Themes Affect SEO?

Yes, in case the Nulled version doesn’t have any malicious code. Using the Nulled version can affect the website’s performance in many aspects, such as speed and missing features that are only available in the premium paid version.

Through this article, Bii hopes to help you improve your understanding of the risks involved in using unverified free applications widely distributed on the internet!

Bii Nguyen

Hello everyone, I’m Bii Nguyen – the founder of this website. The website was created with the desire to spread useful knowledge to everyone.

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With over 7 years of experience in the field of Digital Marketing, Biiviet.com is a blog that shares knowledge on building a personal brand and making money through websites and social media. All the knowledge provided is free and based on real-life experiences.

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