What are Nulled WordPress Themes? And Why they are Risky?

There is no doubt that building a trusted website starts with a good theme or template. It’s the first thing that every blogger and business owner should look for even before web hosting and technical things.

I saw lots of problems with nulled themes that beginners installed, and today, I’ll show you the risks for your website. Also, I’ll show you the legit ways to get a good-looking and optimized theme.

Before starting, let’s define what the nulled WordPress themes mean anyway?

A nulled WordPress theme is a theme that someone hacks or even gets legally, but he shares it with others without the seller’s permission. These themes in general contain hidden codes and can destroy the website’s SEO, user experience, and reputation.

Cons of using nulled themes

With the latest Google SEO update of Panda, Penguin, and more, it becomes crucial to have a clean theme. If the theme looks good and even clean, it may contain links to external sites you can’t even detect. These dangerous links can point to illegal websites and even if they link to good sources, they’ll harm your site ranking on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines.

Imagine if someone gives you a free theme in exchange for something, then, you activate it and nothing happens in terms of organic traffic. Next, you hire someone to check the site and fix the problem, and he finds that all your posts are having wrong canonical tags. In other words, all your posts telling Google that your entire website content is just a copy of another spam domain from the person you got the theme from?

That will not only affect your ranking but also, will completely remove the site from Google search. That’s because you used a free theme you think will help you save money, or get a deal.

I’ve tested the best website with themes, and I picked the most secure places to find a WordPress theme. So, you can take a look and browse what they have as designs.

Outdated versions

This is not always a problem, but when you have a theme with the same version for years, you’ll lose the benefits of updates. Updating a WordPress theme may be to fix a problem, add a great feature, or fix something missing. Some themes have bugs and their authors update the code regularly. That’s why having a valid theme that gets updates is a time-saving decision.

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May contain injected codes

Imagine if you install a good-looking WordPress theme, then, your website works normally, but behind the codes, there are lines of JavaScript or HTML that redirect some pages to external websites or even the wrong destination on your website.

I saw some small blogs have problems with Google indexing, crawling, and even traffic. After verifying their theme templates, a big problem with No-index tags on some or every web page. The Ni-index tags tell search engine crawlers that the page should not be indexed. So, imagine if you have that code injected into your blog without even noticing them.

The problem with nulled WordPress themes is not only the codes that you can find anywhere, but when you want to scan the theme for malware, and viruses, you’ll never find them in many cases. There is no perfect WordPress protection, every tool has its own cons and problems. So, if you want to find the problem manually, you’ll need days and you should be an expert to find them or have background knowledge of coding.

Instead of all that, why not choose a trusted theme from well-known companies that optimize the design for speed, SEO, and user experience?

The threat of nulled WordPress themes

They may be hacked

This is the most dangerous way to get a theme for a blog. There are thousands of hacked blogs and sites built on WordPress, and in many cases, these designs are protected by law and are registered trademarks. So, legally, the person who uses these themes may find serious problems, and that’s what you don’t need anyway.

How to get a trusted and legitimate WordPress theme?

Now, you know that installing a nulled theme will be the biggest mistake for every blogger and site owner in general. However, sometimes, not everyone has money to invest in a good theme, even some $40 may be a lot for him. In that case, I highly recommend one of the well-designed and free themes from the official WordPress directory.

There are many confusions about the official free WordPress themes, lots of people think they’re not good or well-built. However, the truth is completely different, WordPress has good designs and clean code compared to many premium theme sellers. The only difference is the level of customization, the premium themes come with a higher level of customization and a control panel.

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On the other hand, free themes need some skills, and, luckily, you can find lots of tutorials on how to make any change in your theme layout, design, and layout.

Not everything free is low quality, the WordPress organization has a parent company that makes a profit from a large business. So, they invest money in themes and build them. Google, for example, is completely free to use, however, it’s the best search engine, and you pay nothing to use it in the end unless you click on an advertisement.

The same thing applies to the free theme you can install from WordPress, they’re safe, trusted, secure, and optimized for speed. For SEO, use the Yoast SEO plugin and it’s done.

If you have money and you need to have more control over the layout, designs, widgets, and more, then, use one of the Template Monster WordPress themes, they come with powerful control panels, well-built code, SEO optimization, and even speed performance boost with Google’s best practices.

Want to add something? Or want to share your experience with some WordPress themes you installed and used for free? I’ll be happy to hear from you.

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About Fathi Arfaoui

Fathi Arfaoui is a Physicist, Blogger and the founder of Trustiko.com. He shares Business, WordPress and Blogging tips to build a better blog and succeed online.

Disclosure: The recommendations on this page are my own based on my tests and analysis. We may earn a small commission from web hosts and other partners if you use my referral link to make a purchase. That’s what helps us to maintain the site and add fresh content, Thanks for your support.

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