What is Nulled Theme? Is it Safe to Use? In this article, ItsmeIT will provide a clear explanation of the term “nulled” based on a developer experience and understanding.
Nulled Themes and Plugins: Are They Safe to Use?
First, let’s understand the word “nulled”, in the world of WordPress, the term “nulled” is used to refer to modified versions of themes or plugins from the original, usually jailbreaking and removing the license key. So it’s called invalid in terms of license to use!
Is it illegal to use nulled themes?
However, on the open source WordPress, there are a number of themes and plugins released under the GNU General Public License (GPL), version 2.0 ( GPL2 ). Under this license, anyone has the right to use, copy, modify, distribute and even sell that theme and plugin. So in many cases, using a nulled theme is considered legal.
Is it safe to use nulled themes?
ItsmeIT does not endorse the use of themes or plugins as either safe or dangerous in terms of virus or malware threats to your site. My website “https:// itsmeit.co” is currently using several “nulled” plugins without any issues.
The main concern lies with your own ability to secure your site and your knowledge in using nulled plugins/themes. However, ItsmeIT does not endorse the use of nulled themes or plugins and will also provide you with information on the usage of such.
What are the dangers of using nulled themes?
To point out what the dangers of Nulled plugins or themes are, ItsmeIT explains the following:
Attach malicious code:
Each plugin/theme product is created with source code files such as PHP, JS to provide functions for the website. Bad guys can add malicious code to take control of your website, post unauthorized articles, redirect users to unsafe websites like web 18+, betting web, phishing web, bitcoin, or even get information from your website.
Similar to the dangers mentioned above, however, a more serious danger occurs when you download a nulled theme or plugin file that is not a Wordpress functionality file.
Instead, it’s a *.exe file containing a virus or “bash shell” files containing malicious code that runs on Linux. When you click on that file, it can cause scary consequences like changing the extension of your entire file to a different format, or automatically spreading spam to your friends and relatives.
Do all nulled plugins/themes contain malicious code?
The answer to this question is: NO.
In fact, I have seen a recent change from the distribution of nulled themes and plugins that do not contain malicious code or malware. It’s geared towards subscriptions and paid downloads as a primary business model on sites that offer those WordPress themes and plugins. Like using GPL2 license like ItsmeIT mentioned above.
But not all websites that sell cheap WordPress themes and plugins are safe, the most important thing is that you have the knowledge to use, check the file before using it on your website. There are also many websites that download shared theme/plugin files from forums and then post them for cheap and use it as their own business, sometimes without knowing how to ensure the safest possible for users. If you buy from those sites it is also using nulled and is it safe not sure.
Difference between nulled theme and official theme?
As itsmeit originally explained, nulled means that the theme or plugin has no copyright value or in other words, the copyright has been disabled, can use full features without copyright ( license key). Basically the functions are not changed. Only you won’t get official support from the provider.
Should I use a plugin, nulled theme or not?
The answer to this question depends on your understanding and experience. If you have enough knowledge about malicious codes or know how to check and scan files for safety, then you can control and master that nulled plugin or theme.
Usually, to inject malicious code into a plugin or theme, an attacker will use functions like eval, base64_decode, file_get_contents, preg_replace and obfuscated encoding techniques. So to check if a file contains malicious code or viruses, you can use the Virustotal tool .
This tool scans and analyzes files using various malware detection tools. Besides, you can also use Wordfence plugin to scan and protect your website. These are two simple and relatively safe methods when using a plugin or nulled theme on the Wordpress platform.
On my website itsmeit.co, each article sharing a Wordpress plugin or theme has a specific image for installation and usage instructions, because I know not only those who are knowledgeable and knowledgeable about how to use it can download it. And in addition, there are many new and inexperienced friends. That’s why you can understand that in addition to scanning for viruses on Virustotal, I also use the experience and knowledge of a developer to test whether the plugin or theme is safe to share or not.
For what purpose should plugin, nulled theme be used?
According to ItsmeIT personally, the only purpose is testing. You are preparing to build and release a website for sales, blogs, newspapers, etc. You can download nulled plugins/themes to install and use to test whether it is suitable or not, the theme is lightweight, how fast is the page loading speed, easy to use and upgrade later before you make the decision to pay to buy or your site is officially live.