Why You Should Not Use Pirated WordPress Themes and Plugins?

Shall I use pirated themes and plugins for my blog? –  This is a hot topic among newbie bloggers around the world. I know that because I’ve experienced that situation myself when I started out. I hope, by the end of this post, you’d be convinced not to use them in any circumstances.

My story – Here’s what happened:

Okay, this is what happened to me. I was just surfing the web and checking for mails when I got an email from my web hosting provider regarding the suspension of my account. I was too shocked to see that. Because I haven’t had any backups of my blog back then!

I contacted their support team and asked for the reason. They told me that my site was infected by CryptoPHP infection (it happened during November. Google that to see more). CryptoPHP have affected more than 23,000 sites according to Fox it.

And you might have guessed by now what they’d asked me to do. Yes, they asked me to delete my entire blog and re-upload my content to the web server. I know that was a daunting and impossible task (as I had no backup of my blog) and begged them to help me.

They understood my situation. And they emailed me telling that they have deleted the files in suspicion. (Still, I don’t understand why they asked me to delete my entire blog)

Phew, finally, I got my account reactivated.

Later I asked them how my blog got infected by the CryptoPHP. They said it was because of using pirated themes/plugins.

Suddenly it became all clear to me. I remembered what I did in the past. I’ve installed a pirated theme for my blog.(Yes, I regret using pirated themes). Although I used that rarely, I forgot to delete it. That was the reason for this tragedy.

Why should I tell you this?

After using the pirated theme for a period of time, they (themes) start to show its real face. If there is some infection like CryptoPHP, your blog will become a victim of that.

Avoid Pirated WordPress themes and plugins
Avoid Pirated WordPress themes and plugins

If you think you will not be affected, by any infection, because you’re using an antivirus plugin for your blog, you are wrong. In my case, CryptoPHP was a code hidden inside an image! Yeah, an image. And my antivirus plugin didn’t noticed that.

Antivirus programs such as Wordfence didn’t check for viruses in images. So it becomes harder to check for viruses unless your blog gets infected by such.

So, what is the solution?

The solution is not to use pirated themes or plugins at any cost. Avoid them. Never use them.

Most pirated themes are downloaded from websites. You can get a list of them by googling.

Just think why someone with mind give away a premium theme to you for free? Are they generous? Maybe. But not always. Some infections are powerful to take over your whole website.

Some other reasons why you shouldn’t use pirated WordPress themes and plugins:

  1. Basically, piracy is bad and dangerous. Theme developers can contact your web host provider and get your account suspended, if they find that out.
  2. There can be hidden and encrypted code in your theme files which can make your website remotely accessible by a hacker.
  3. You will not get support and updates for the theme.
  4. There may be hidden links to spam sites, which ultimately damage your search engine rankings.


It’s up to you to make the best decision. Either use free themes from wordpress.org or buy a popular premium theme.

I hope you will make the good decision. Here are some recommended pages worth reading:

  1. How CryptoPHP infection works – WordFence
  2. How to make a complete backup of your WordPress blog to cloud – Revealing The Stuffs

I’d love to hear back your opinion in the comments section below.

Image source: freeimages.com/photo/910278

45 Replies to “Why You Should Not Use Pirated WordPress Themes and Plugins?”

  1. I really appreciate article like this. It’s very informative and I learned something from here. Thanks for sharing and I will definitely share this to my friends on Why You Should Not Use Pirated WordPress Themes and Plugins.

  2. many free themes are mostly found nulled that can harm if you use without testing..i have also gone through account suspention and lost backup too

  3. Hi Sriram,
    Thanks for the details about the Worse part of using free WordPress themes and plugins. At first when I started blogging with WordPress, I used several free themes and plugin but all of them comes with several crux and then replace them into premium.

  4. You just need to steal some good themes, not like you had. But pirated wordpress themes is evil for people who made this themes.

  5. How I enjoy buying new themes and have many old ones lying there uselessly!
    The bad part, we can’t do anything with those old ones.
    I gave a few to my friends and I think that’s fair. That’s not pirated, and the smile you get in return is worth it.
    Nice points Sriram. 🙂

    1. That’s the problem man. The best solution is to save those theme files to cloud storage and download them whenever it’s needed. What do you think?
      You’re a generous man 😉

  6. Hi Sriram.
    Thanks for telling us about the Worse part of using free WordPress themes and plugins. Earlier, I used several free themes and plugin but all of them comes with several crux and then replace them into premium. Now I am very careful when I am going to choose any theme.

    Best regards,

    1. Hi Baibhav,

      Like some free software packed with adware, free themes come up with harmful code. So we should be careful about choosing themes for our blogs. You’ve done a good decision of using premium themes. But you should be extra careful while choosing premium themes too as some of them are packed with harmful code. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  7. Hi Sriram,
    Nice to read out this post.
    I am very excited to read this post because I learn good point from this post about choosing theme.

    This post is really very helpful for every one especially newbie.
    Any way thanks for sharing your experience with us.

    Areesha Noor!

  8. Oh my fucking god… I mean, Izanagi!!

    What a shitty reason you give here to not use pirated themes! In one occasion, my blog got infected somehow exploiting a WordPress bug/breach/whatever. My hosting also raised the red alarm and warned me with pushing the panic button. Finally I contacted support, we both located the infected and infectious files, deleted them and they updated their software and I updated WP as soon as an update was available. That’s all.

    And no, I never used pirated plugins/themes because I only use WP core and backend, and I use PHP to get the info.

    So what you described here can happen to anyone.

  9. Well, I like the fact that there are nulled themes and plugins available to download.
    I’m a newbie to the WP world and I can’t help but gotta say that Premium themes and plugins are so nice comparing to the free one. So, should I just purchase the theme and the plugin? Heck no, if download 10 themes and 10 premium plugins, I’m pretty much burning 1000 dollars for something I’m not even sure if it will work for me. After a full month of download and try nulled plugins and themes, I’m finally able to settle down with one theme that is 80% of what I really need so I’m gonna purchase it.

    My point is, I don’t mind buying theme, I think they are cheap as dirt comparing to what I’m getting out of it. But, I will not purchase it and then realize it doesn’t really work the way I need or wanted. So, unless there is a way that them developers allow newbies like me to have at least a week or so playing with their theme before purchase, I find it very normal for anyone like me to continue using the nulled themes and plugins as free trial.

    So, unless there is a change in how the developer doing business. Nulled themes and plugins will always have demands, hence there will always be supplies.

    1. Great insight Kiem. It can be reason why people pirate themes. Even if developers allow demo access to their themes, I don’t think piracy will stop there.

  10. I never use pirated themes I have purchased themes but i have question, can i use premium theme on multiple domain. i know its not legal. but question is, do they identify me?

  11. Hi,
    Thanks for writing such a great article on using pirated themes! I’ve experienced a similar case but for using a pirated plugin which was sending my wordpress login info to an unknown email address using my own wordpress linked email account.
    So nothing is free in this world, even pirated things come for a price!

  12. yes, you are wright! But what in case i alread bought a plugin and there is no reason using because of its poor quality and customization. Neither they provide a good UI to be use by people not they do the service and response people.

    Yesterday i bought a plugin named social locker pro, It claims that it is good enough, but in realiy it sucked my money Nothing else.

  13. I agree with you. Every year millions of website get hacked because of using outdated plugins. Even the free themes are not secure because the developers only provide limited features in the free themes, which cause security gaps in the websites.The free themes might have malicious code hidden. That is why we should avoid using third party and outdated plug-ins.

  14. Hi,
    It was really a good article for me to use in a better way to develop such a good websites. The plugins must be regenerate for the developers and must have newly features in it. Own creation is matters more than pirated if you are honest about your work.
    Thank you

  15. Also not just potential hijackings or bad code. In my personal experience, I ran few pirate themes here and there, but only under the deep curtains. Maintenance mode on, the reason for that that I’m little OCD/ADD with many things in life. I have spontaneous behavior changes, and instant feedback I get is might not be that accurate.

    So if I took few my favorite themes, is only to test the projects, to work around finding better way how to structure content/menu pages/widgets etc. And see how everything fits, after very long time, throwing things left and right. I finally make my decision and I purchase the theme.

    I will never go live with Pirate version. Mainly because of ethical reasons, it’s really unfair to steal themes. Developers are people who depend from customers.

  16. I nulled premium plugins, and I never infect my users. I earn using google Adsense and the adds that is displayed on my blog. So always use the nulled version of the premium plugin. If you are not using the nulled version atleast search for nulled version and download it to your computer so that I can earn some.



  17. Yo ho ho and the bottle of rum. 😀 No, really, it you are building anything of worth, you should play fair and don’t pirate anything because it is only a question of time before its gonna backfire. 🙂

  18. Earlier, I used several free themes and plugin but all of them comes with several crux and then replace them into premium. Now I am very careful when I am going to choose any theme.

  19. Hello, This is very amazing. After read your post any one understood “Why we must use license version of any themes and plugins” in word press website.

  20. The majority of blackhat forums and illegal theme and plugin sites add hidden backdoors in the products they share for free. Nothing is really free! There is always a catch, especially when it comes to pirated content online.
    In the end piracy is not the answer but the problem!!
    Its important for users to understand this and possibly ask for a discount from the plugin/theme author than resorting to piracy.

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