Top 5 reasons why you should absolutely never use a nulled theme

One thing that I have learned in my freelancing career is to never take shortcuts. I know we live in a society which values efficiency but that doesn’t mean we should venture into unethical territory trying to do that. This article will tell you top 5 reasons why you should absolutely never use a nulled theme in wordpress but we will start with the a question that eventually gave me the idea to write the present article.

Recently, a friend of mine asked whether he can use a theme that he downloaded from themeforest or other such platforms on every site that he will build for his clients.

My straight up answer was No. 

You cannot use a single theme of wordpress across multiple websites. Here’s a screenshot from the themeforest licenses page explaining about different types of licenses that they offer. They have Regular and Extended licenses.

Most of us would need the regular license only as the extended one is way costlier anyway and for a different purpose.

Now we don’t need to read the entire license doc but here is a screenshot that would answer the query about the usage of a theme on multiple websites and whether it is allowed or not:

Top 5 reasons why you should absolutely never use a nulled theme
Screenshot from the themeforest license page

How did the above question lead to the present article?

Well, I explained to my friend that as you are not allowed to install single theme on multiple websites that leads people to look for shortcuts. They start to search for ways that they can get those premium wordpress themes for free and then they land on these shady websites.

So that was the chain of thought that lead me to write this article. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the reasons why you should never download nulled wordpress themes from suspicious websites:

Full of malware/adware/virus

Yeah, these so-called cracked or nulled versions of premium wordpress themes that you happily download from questionable websites are often filled with malware. 

Just think, why would anyone give something to you for free in this day and age? There ain’t no thing as a free lunch. You get what you pay for. 

These hackers hide the malware deep into these files and you wouldn’t be able to detect it easily. However when you install this theme on your server the virus or malware gets to work. 

This virus can then replicate across your server and infect all of your sites threatening your customer data and client’s as well. 

Your reputation can take a serious hit

If your client knows about this someday then your whole reputation will come crashing down to earth. It takes years to build a name but one mistake could tear it to pieces. 

And this can happen really. How?

Consider you built a site for your client using these nulled themes. All worked well. You got paid. But after some time your client called you and complained about slow loading time of the site.

You check and improve the speed but then again the same issue arises and the client again reaches you. You fix it and all is well but then again the same issue. After going back and forth, the client is frustrated with your service and decides to show this to some other professional. 

And lo and behold that professional finds out that a malware was responsible for the slow load time. And he also finds out that the theme used was a cracked one and the malware was present there all along. 

Now, imagine the call that the client would have with you. You never want yourself in that situation, trust me it’s not pretty.

Google will penalise you

If google ever finds out about this, meaning that it detects a malware is present in your website it will penalise you and might blacklist your site even. Same can happen to the client’s website too. Your website will not rank well in SEO and might not even show up again. Your whole SEO work will go down the drain in this case. 

Increased size of your website files

A malware often generates some random files in each of your websites folders. Your website has multiple folders. So those random files will add up quickly and would eat up the storage space of your hosting too. Your 500MB website might then become 700MB and thus eat up valuable hosting space.

Slow load time or Increased resource usage

As I discussed above, a malware will affect the load time of your website and will make it real slow. Why does this happen?

Ever heard of a fork bomb?

A fork bomb (also known as a rabbit virus) is a denial-of-service (DdoS) attack that consists of a process that constantly replicates itself to exhaust all available system resources, slowing down or crashing the system due to resource starvation.

You don’t need to understand the technical details but in really over simplistic terms  know that fork bomb is when a task is never finished. It will just launch more and more copies of itself and never end. If you are aware of programming then this would just be like an infinite loop, never ending. Try to run an infinite loop in your browser. It will just crash. So, the fork bomb will eventually crash a server or really slow down the load time of your website. 

Your hosting provider will notice this and may ban or restrict your website. Some hosting providers just plainly delete the files of a website which is showing heavy resource usage on shared hosting and that obviously will cause a big problem for you if you don’t have any backup.

These were top 5 reasons why you should absolutely never use a nulled theme.

What is the alternative then?

A simple alternative is to download premium themes from trusted websites only. And add the cost of the theme into the budget of the project. This will solve your problem as the client pays for the theme and it is not going out of your pocket. 

Be safe, always use a premium version by paying for it and supporting the creators.

Hope you found this useful. If you did, please do leave a comment, it would mean the world to me.