Dulled WordPress Themes and Plugins: Why Using Them Is A Security Risk.

Have you ever purchased any software without trying it for free? Well, we guess no.

It’s a part of human psychology to ‘try and test’ out things before investing in them.

When it comes to WordPress, users often prefer to test plugins and themes before spending their pennies on them.

Well, getting premium WordPress plugins and themes for free seems pretty daunting. Well, it doesn’t.

Thanks to nulled plugins and themes.

Seems pretty tempting, right? Yes, but then be ready to pay the price later on.

Nulled WordPress plugins and themes are often injected with malicious content and malwares.

Users often think using a nulled plugin or theme can save their money. You must know fixing the damages caused by malware practitioners can be much more costly than legally buying a premium plugin or theme.

As soon as you install a nulled plugin or theme on your website, you give cyberpunks the golden opportunity to mess around, which can lead to catastrophic consequences.

Identifying a nulled plugin or theme is somehow tricky for non-digital natives, especially for Codup.

So first, let’s understand what a nulled plugin/ theme is?

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What is Nulled WordPress Plugin or Theme?

When you purchase a premium WordPress plugin or theme, it gives you a license. This license allows users to use the purchases plugin/ theme on their websites.

But that’s not it. The licensee’s purpose is to restrict users from using that purchased plugin or theme on multiple websites.

However, technology is booming massively, and technophiles are now proficient enough to explore numerous ways to hack any software and skip out on licenses so they can use it for free on multiple websites.

WordPress is one of the most popular and stable CMS platforms. It’s ideal for beginners, small businesses, and organizations. When they’re building their brands, most of them are on a tight budget. They seek inexpensive options that can help them alleviate their online presence.

Nulled plugins and themes are suitable options for such users because they get all advanced functionality for free.

On the other hand, developers often build sample websites to show their clients. They also use nulled plugins and themes to avoid spending extra pennies at that stage.

Now you must be wondering if Nulled plugins and themes are so popular and useful, why are you here restricting you from using them.

Users might not be aware of this, but hackers use these nulled plugins and themes for malicious purposes.

If you’re using one, then keep reading because, in the part of this article, we’ll walk you through reasons why using nulled WordPress plugins and themes is harmful to your website.

Using Nulled Plugins and Themes is a security risk

With the massive increase in cyber attacks day by day, it has become essential to protect your website. Everyday hundreds of thousands of websites are attacked by hackers.

Well in most of the cases the web owners are responsible for it. They give enough opportunities to malware practitioners that in the end they lose everything.

Most of the web owners face severe consequences because of malicious software they start using on their websites like nulled plugins and themes.

These nulled plugins and themes make your site vulnerable. When hackers find this, take full advantage of this opportunity and literally cause massive destruction.

The most primary concern of every WordPress user while integrating any new plugin or theme must be security.

Handling security vulnerabilities is quite tricky; this is why to restrict users to use nulled plugins and themes on their websites.

WordPress experts often detect malicious codes and content in nulled plugins and themes.

Though they might seem compelling but trust us, they will break your website, and all your hard work will go in vain sooner or later.

Malicious content injected in them not only corrupts your website but harms your visitors as well. Their credentials can be stolen, and they might even sue you for that.

Hackers build free plugins and themes repositories that are available on the internet. Their motive is not to help you but to gain access to your website to do malicious activities.

They can steal your login credentials, personal information, bank credentials, etc.

Using nulled plugins and themes allows them to create backdoors on your website to carry out their malicious activities whenever they like.

The injected malware can redirect your visitors from your website to any other malignant website.

Hackers can also use your website to sell illegal products in your name.

Now you see how dangerous using nulled plugins and themes can be for WordPress security.

Security is one major aspect that is compromised by using a nulled WordPress plugin or theme.

There are many other things which are also affected . Let’s have a look at them as well.

● Affects SEO rankings

If you think using pirated plugins and themes will not affect SEO, you better clear your misconception.

They have the potential to affect your website’s SEO adversely. Hackers add spam links to your website, which redirects visitors to other web pages.

These web pages usually contain malicious content.

Affects SEO rankings

It’s hard to see the red flags when users install a nulled plugin or theme. Hackers cleverly hide malware content in codes which is usually impossible to detect by common WordPress users.

Well, search engines are pretty proficient, and it’s impossible to deceive them.

If they find out that your website has malicious content in it, search engines like Google will penalize it, which will affect the search engine rankings of your website.

It means it will now take months to recover your previous SEO rankings and sometimes even have to build a website from scratch.

Since there is always room for rectification and WordPress, contributors know this pretty well.

● No updates

WordPress plugins and theme developers revamp their developed software frequently. While upgrading any plugin or theme, developers consider the user’s experience

Developers often add new advanced features in the updated version of plugins and themes. Sometimes they also remove bugs from them, which are causing functionality problems.

Most importantly, they fix security breaches.

If you’re using a nulled plugin or theme, you’ll not get all these benefits.

You will have to use the same version of that plugin or theme forever. No new features will be added. And the security vulnerabilities will increase only.

Developers restrict such users from updating their nulled plugins and themes. You’ll not be notified either.

As soon as hackers find this out, they break into such websites and hack them within a few seconds.

● Lack of developer’s support

Lack of developer’s support

No matter how well-equipped or pro you’re at WordPress, you’ll still need the developer’s support.

WordPress developers’ primary objective is to offer first-rate support to their users. They provide quality assistance to users who seek help from them.

If you’re planning to choose a nulled WordPress plugin or theme, then forget about the developer’s support.

If any problem occurs, you’ll have to configure it on your own. Developers will not come to rescue you.

● No advanced features

As we’ve mentioned earlier, nulled plugins and themes cannot be updated; it means you cannot get your hands on new advanced features introduced in the updated version of that particular plugin or theme.

You’ll only use those features that are provided since the beginning.

You can neither improve the functionality of your website nor make it visually more appealing.

And unfortunately, you’ll have to stick to the outdated version of it.

How to detect malicious codes and malware in nulled plugins and themes?

First of all, remember, never trust a nulled plugin or theme. You never know what’s hidden inside it. For that reason, we strongly discourage WordPress users from downloading a nulled plugin or theme.

When talking about finding a nulled plugin or theme, sometimes a plugin or theme seems fair at first; however, when you download it and start using it once, things start falling apart.

Therefore it’s essential to check a plugin or theme because activating it on your website.

You must be wondering how themes and plugins available in the official WordPress repository can be contaminated. Well, that’s not the case.

When developers spend their valuable contributions to WordPress, the SQA team runs their contributed product through a strict quality assurance test and makes it available for public use.

However,  apart from getting plugins and themes from the official WordPress repository, you can visit third-party markets. There are many options available, and you can download or purchase themes and plugins from there.

However, many people prefer downloading themes and plugins from unreliable sources because they’re free of cost.

Hackers and malware practitioners usually take advantage of this and upload infected (nulled) plugins and themes. And only an expert can determine if the free plugin or theme download from the internet is infected with malware or malicious codes.

Using WordPress Security Plugins to detect malware and malicious codes in plugins and themes

WordPress users often download free themes from anywhere other than the author’s website/page. Such versions of themes are usually poorly coded and give room to cyberpunks to tweak lines of codes to mess around.

It’s essential to check if the theme you have downloaded has any malicious content in such a scenario. For this purpose, there are plenty of WordPress plugins available to check WordPress themes for malware.

Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC)

TAC, also known as Theme Authenticity Checker, is a WordPress security plugin that scans all the files of the theme installed on your WordPress site. It is a highly-proficient plugin since it can detect malicious content hidden within the line of codes.

Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC)

It analyzes each line of code, and if there is something wrong with the codes, it will instantly notify you.

Quttera Web Malware Scanner

Yes, you read it right, Quttera is a WordPress plugin dedicated to detecting hidden viruses, malware, malicious codes, blacklisting status, spam links, and much more. You can use this security tool not only to check a particular theme or plugin but your whole website.

Besides, it offers various site clean-up plans.

Quttera Web Malware Scanner


Anti-malware is one of the most popular and commonly used WordPress security plugins used to scan and detect malware not only in a particular plugin or theme but on the whole website.

It is a freemium theme. The free version only detects malware in your website; however, you get additional security features if you purchase the premium version. In the premium version, the plugins check your website for DDoS attacks and brute-force attacks.


WP Antivirus Site Protection

It is an optimal WordPress plugin that regularly scans WordPress plugins and themes and all the files uploaded on your website. The plugin’s distinctive feature is that it updates users with all the security issues by notifications and alerts via email.

WP Antivirus Site Protection

Some simple tips on how to check if a WordPress plugin or theme is nulled

This last section of the article will give you some essential tips on finding yourself if a plugin or theme is nulled.

First, check if the plugin or theme is free or premium. Just go to Google and search for it. Then visit the author’s page and check the latest version of the theme or plugin available on the site and make sure you’re using the updated one.

The next step is to check for the license key. If you don’t have one, contact the market from where you got it and ask them to provide it to the license key.

You can also use the Wordfence WordPress plugin to check the free plugin’s code to make sure there is no coding difference.

Suppose everything seems right, but still you are unsure. In that case, we strongly suggest you make a backup of your website or activate that particular theme or plugin on a staging environment to prevent security issues.

Key Takeaways

From WordPress security to developer support, everything is compromised if you’re using a nulled WordPress plugin or theme.

We highly discourage WordPress users from using a nulled plugin or theme. Always download and purchase WordPress plugins and themes from reliable and reputable sources.

Please make one time heavy investments than regretting your decision in the future.


About Ambika Taylor

Myself Ambika Taylor. I am admin of https://hammburg.com/. For any business query, you can contact me at [email protected]