Nulled WordPress Themes: Should You Avoid Them? Here’s What to Know

Nulled WordPress Themes: Should You Avoid Them? Here's What to Know

Which looks normal, right? Unfortunately, this encrypted code actually smuggles in some nasty backlinks like these (actual links removed):

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download mobile firmware,
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In both examples, it is nearly impossible to remove the pop-ups or the links. Both of them are able to regenerate until the nulled theme is removed, the database cleaned, and WordPress reinstalled (at least for me).

When can you use a free theme?

By now, you are probably convinced that nulled WordPress themes are too much trouble. But, this doesn’t mean your budget has grown or your goals have changed.

So, rather than scare you off WordPress and websites, let’s put the horror to the side and bust a few myths about legitimate free themes:

They’re too basic!

Simple and basic are the main complaints about legitimate free themes. But, when you decided to make a website on WordPress, you started with an idea. Bringing that idea to life means finding a theme that aligns your site goals with available features. Basic features might be all you need. For instance, a blog with a few pages doesn’t necessarily need advanced features.

Those same advanced features can also be a tremendous time-suck. If you want an easy-to-manage project, then you don’t need a theme that requires a Ph.D. to publish posts. For beginner projects or side-projects, the simplicity of a free theme makes it easier to build and manage your website.

You won’t stand out!

Another big complaint about free themes is that everyone uses them, which makes it hard to stand out from the pack. While this is something that you should consider, it should be weighted accordingly. If your goals make design and layout a lower priority, then a minimalist free theme should meet them.

Furthermore, a free theme like Neve comes with over 30 different starter sites to help you find an acceptable design. And, with a little skill and effort, you can make styling changes with the Block Editor, Elementor, or go old-school with CSS and HTML.

You don’t get support!

It’s true that support is limited for free WordPress themes. But maybe you don’t need it or you’re happy with the help you can find on forums.

For one, the WordPress community is incredibly large and incredibly friendly. If you opt for a theme featured in the WordPress theme directory (more on that below), then each theme has a support forum. Here you can find theme developers, support teams, and even knowledgeable volunteers working together to provide solutions.

Secondly, you might have a flair for troubleshooting. With an inquisitive nature and some CSS, HTML, and PHP skills, you might be able to support yourself.

Or, maybe you plan to enhance these skills. A free WordPress theme is a great way to practice your skills in a live environment.

They’re just free trials of paid themes!

This one is partially true in a number of cases, but not all, and certainly, you can use it to your advantage! If your long-term strategy involves building your audience before investing heavily, then a free path to a premium theme is ideal. Not only will you enjoy a hassle-free upgrade to a robust theme, but you’ll most likely find a free theme that’s well-coded and secure.

How can you avoid nulled WordPress themes?

As WordPress has grown, nulled WordPress themes have been pushed further towards the fringes. Now, when you search for “free WordPress themes” you’re not likely to find nulled themes lurking on anywhere near the first page.

Instead, you will find a lot of helpful theme lists, like ours, from reputable companies. If you start from scratch and don’t have a theme in mind, then theme lists can save you a heap of time. They are generally picked by knowledgeable WordPress users who rank the themes according to important criteria like speed, SEO optimization, feature sets, and design.

You’ll find the most popular and trustworthy themes on the lists, and you’ll even be sent to a safe download location in the form of a company website or

From theme shops and developers

Companies have powerful motivation in offering you their free theme directly from their website. You might even find a different option among a wider range of free options. For example, on our sister site, Themeisle, you can find the free versions of our popular themes. In many cases, you won’t even need to sign up.

What you will need is some time to research the theme shop. Take some time to get a sense of their business reputation and theme quality. Once you’ve found a theme you like, take the time to look for reviews of the theme and the developer. One of the best places to read reviews also happens to be the best place to get themes,

From the WordPress theme directory

If you’re nervous about unintentionally downloading a nulled WordPress theme, then always use the WordPress theme directory to download your themes. All of the themes pass a rigorous review before they are officially approved for download.

In order to maintain the quality of the directory, the WordPress themes are reviewed for security, accessibility, user experience, coding quality, and more. This process is handled by an automated WordPress plugin before two rounds of manual reviews by experienced WordPress developers and reviewers. In short, if a free theme isn’t in the official theme directory, you should give it a hard pass.

Besides the comfort and security, the WordPress theme directory provides information about the theme that can help you make a decision. For example:

  • User reviews on the themes – get a sense of how well a theme works and its limitations.
  • Support requests – see if the theme has any issues and how quickly they are resolved.
  • Basic instructions for getting started and links to the technical documentation.
  • Updates – see how often the theme is updated.
  • Support for the latest version of WordPress. Outdated themes can open up security risks.
  • PHP support.
  • Popularity.

Final thoughts

When it comes to building a website, few tools are as popular and widely supported as WordPress. WordPress provides an unmatched opportunity for turning ideas into businesses, blogs, or thriving stores, from themes and plugins to documentation and forums. Unfortunately, this widespread popularity does leave room for bad actors to cause trouble.

On the other hand, it is easy to stay safe if you download official products from trusted developers. With the guidelines in place, the official WordPress theme directory is the best option for finding a budget-friendly theme that’s safe and secure.

Have you had a bad experience with a nulled WordPress theme? Share your experience in the comments.

Keep reading the article at CodeinWP. The article was originally written by Chris Fitzgerald on 2021-03-08 04:59:00.

The article was hand-picked and curated for you by the Editorial Team of WP Archives.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the product, We may receive an affiliate commission.

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