Hey! Are you in one of those who has recently created a blog or just joined the blogging family? Well, if it is, then you must also don’t want to invest money in purchasing WordPress/Blogger Themes or Plugins. And so, as a result, you started doing searches on Google about Cracked WordPress Themes, free paid WordPress themes, free templates, nulled WordPress themes, etc. etc.
Hey, read this too: WordPress vs. Blogger – What to choose?
Why won’t you? Like you have just entered blogging world and don’t want to spend enough money into it. Everyone does that, even I have done the same in my past blogging, and I have paid a lot, literally.
And now I don’t want anyone of you to make the same mistakes that I did. Trust me; it is worth nothing even it takes more than you had ever expected.
Let’s stop this long experiences and focus on some main points where we’ll discuss and concern of the use of Cracked or Nulled WordPress Themes or Plugins.
What is a Theme?
Well, a theme is nothing but a file of predefined functions and modules that changes the appearance of your blog or website. Learn more at Developer.WordPress
In short, a theme is just like new clothing with new styles and features (pockets.)
What is a Plugin?
It is just a set of some functions or codes that brings up some functionality.
In other words, a new pocket in your clothing is a plugin.
What are Cracked or Nulled WordPress Themes/Plugins?
Everyone who creates something, wills to distribute to others in the exchange of money. If you want to use a WordPress theme you must have to purchase it.
But what if you don’t have money? Well, most probably you’ll try to find a way not bypass the verification of the payment. Then comes nulled scripts or nulled themes or nulled plugins.
These are the scripts that bypass the payment and purchasing verification to use a theme.
In short, if you use a nulled theme then it will won’t ask you to purchase it, you can use it anyways.
So finally, a nulled or cracked theme is something breaks the security of original file and gives you the access as you purchased it.
Why not use Nulled WordPress Themes/Plugins?
As I just told above that nulled themes break security and give access and features like you have purchased the template.
It is like giving keys to your home to some thieves who say “They’ll give you free service to provide security.” Isn’t it so dumb? Like providing access to your home to someone who steals something for the sake of their profits by showing you that they are profiting you.
Now I don’t think there is any need to tell you why not to use cracked WordPress themes or plugins.
But still, I won’t end up this article like this. I’ll tell you about the disadvantages of using nulled WordPress themes/plugins.
Disadvantages of using Cracked or Nulled WordPress Themes/Plugins
If you use free theme or template which in reality is a paid theme and you have downloaded it from some suspicious websites. Then there must be a chance that the cracker or hacker who have just cracked the template/plugin. And might have introduced some of the ads or pop-ups that will appear on your site without your knowledge.
And if someone adds those ads on your site, he’ll make money but you won’t. It is even going to kill user experience too.
Introduces Suspicious Links:
If you have been using the internet for a longer time, you must have visited some sites which have some text or links that redirect to another (virus/ads/wrong websites) which in reality doesn’t redirect to that site.
That means, the hacker is redirecting your users/visitors, and the hacker is making money and in return giving you “loss of visitors.”
And if you just experienced the same, you must scan your site for such viruses.
Replaces Original Download Links:
If you do offer some of the things to be downloaded from your blog/site most probably users will.
But what if you have intended to give something useful to visitors, but that “useful” is replaced by “virus?”
Well, in reality, it happens. Suppose you have created a download link to download myblog.apk file of your blog. But the hacker creates the virus and replaces the download link with the same name myblog.apk file. And once the user downloads and opens the app, it is going to hack them too.
And this will result in you in a considerable loss.
Can Create New Admin:
After you install a cracked theme or nulled plugin, then there may be a case that the hacker gets the admin access to your site and creates a new user with same privileges.
If this is done, your site may get deleted, you may get blackmailed or may be asked to pay some amount to save your site.
It is the most common thing which may be seen on sites using nulled WordPress themes or plugins.
Site Loses Ranking, Effects SEO and Traffic:
Search engines like Google, Yahoo and others are working damn hard to bring out the best experience for the users.
That means, they want to give the search results of those sites who have authentic and genuine content. Not only content but also how safe and secure the site is.
They won’t ever show results of sites that is pirated or have some suspicious content within them.
So if you use nulled themes or plugins, you’ll inevitably lose ranking.
I think that’s enough for you to understand why you should not use cracked themes or plugins.
Unfortunate me, mistakes I had done as a Newbie.
Three years ago from now, I had created a new blog, the blog was doing fantastic. It was ranked on Google, I was getting traffic and was having a happy time with it.
Then later, I thought to install a new theme, at that instant I didn’t have enough money to purchase, so I thought to download a free template.
But unfortunately, that was not a free theme. It was a nulled theme. Again, being an unlucky guy. I didn’t know what nulled or cracked template is. I just focused on free download theme. And did the blunder.
I had downloaded the theme and installed in on my blog. I was happy I thought how lucky I am that I got this theme for free.
After a few days, I noticed that there was no traffic coming to my site. Later I search for my articles on Google I got the results, but my antivirus showed me that these links are not safe to visit.
I tried to search and got that my blog was on the list of suspicious sites and about 17 websites were showing that the blog is the phishing site or has some viruses.
Broke as hell! Didn’t knew what to do. Tried everything to remove that but didn’t. So as a final solution I have to delete that blog. Unlucky me, but lucky you!
I hope that this is helpful for you to not to go with free paid WordPress nulled themes, or plugins.
How to know whether your site is affected or not?
That’s simple, try using your site form difference systems, PCs, mobiles, and if you get any unwanted behavior, then you should beware of it.
Or else you can do one thing, go to VirusTotal and search for your site over there, if even a single antivirus is showing your site as a phishing or suspicious site you should take care of it. Either talk to the company of that antivirus or try removing the virus from your own.
What to do if you have installed Cracked Themes and Plugins?
Well, in that case you should do following things.
- Create a backup of your blog by using backup plugins like Backup Buddy.
Hey, read this too: 21 Best WordPress Plugins that every Blog must have!
- Or else you can create exported data of your blog such as posts, pages from WordPress dashboard itself.
- Now go to your Hosting‘s file manager, and download the whole site’s backup.
- Now scan your file manager by the antivirus provided by cPanel.
- Remove everything or reinstall WordPress, delete every file from the file manager.
You are about to do, upload your files back, and you are good to go.
Remember: It will take VirusTotal some time to update the status of your site, but in that case, you might lose some of the traffic. By the way, you may hire some ethical hackers to help you. Most of them are available at Fiverr.
So that’s all for this article, I wish and hope this was pretty helpful to you. In case you have any doubts you are always welcome to ask in the comment section.