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?
In my opinion, this is the decade of blogging. Many blogs have been started and are being started. Most of them start out by using pirated/free themes. This is where the problem starts.Click to tweet
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.
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:
- Basically, piracy is bad and dangerous. Theme developers can contact your web host provider and get your account suspended, if they find that out.
- There can be hidden and encrypted code in your theme files which can make your website remotely accessible by a hacker.
- You will not get support and updates for the theme.
- 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:
- How CryptoPHP infection works – WordFence
- 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