Most WordPress site owners find top-end plugins expensive. Instead of buying plugins from authorized websites, they decide to use nulled ones on account of lower costs.
This leads to an increasing number of nulled versions in the market. The widespread presence of such pirated plugins can cause many negative effects on both users and developers.
This article centers on why you need to stop using nulled WordPress plugins and how to detect malware in those pirated plugins.
But first, let’s discuss what exactly nulled plugins are and some alarming statistics on WordPress nulled plugins!
- What are Nulled WordPress Plugins?
- Nulled WordPress Plugins by Numbers
- Why You Should Stop Using Nulled WordPress Plugins
- How to Detect Malware in Nulled Plugins
What are Nulled WordPress Plugins?
Nulled WordPress plugins refer to pirated versions of premium plugins. The crackers remove the license key and other copyrighted materials to create nulled plugins.
Plus, they fail to provide full premium functionality as the original one. Even worse, nulled WordPress plugins can contain viruses and other serious malware.
Nulled WordPress Plugins by Numbers
According to WordFence, nulled plugins opened up the most common source for malware infection in 2020. It’s estimated that 206,000 sites suffer from pirated plugins with malicious code. Most surprisingly, some of those site owners don’t even realize they’re using nulled plugins.
In the Wordfence report in 2020, more than 23,000 sites using pirated versions of the Wordfence plugin. The large number of nulled plugins released to the market is a cause for concern.
Keep reading to discover 6 main reasons why you should avoid using nulled WordPress plugins.
Why You Should Stop Using Nulled WordPress Plugins
When it comes to security, most nulled WordPress plugins carry malicious codes to spread malware to your site. Malware infection affects your site negatively, making it vulnerable and difficult to detect if your site is hacked. That said, these pirated plugins are extremely dangerous to your website.
Loss of Personal Data and Information
Malicious scripts in nulled plugins not only make your site go down but also steal your customers’ personal data from your site.
Attackers will leak all of the customers’ usernames, email addresses, passwords, and credit cards or bank accounts for bad purposes. In particular, share the stolen important information on the dark web. This results in reliability issues among your internal users.
On top of that, theft of personal data brings your business a bad reputation as well as hurting your traffic and sales.
Negative SEO Effect
While cracking premium WordPress plugins, crackers may modify them before publishing the pirated versions on their site.
Besides adding bad codes to steal personal data from your site, crackers also redirect your visitors to sensitive and dangerous websites. It’s very hard to detect these activities.
Spam links added to your website via nulled plugins can damage your credibility. This leads to a negative effect on your user experience. It drives your SEO rankings down the drain as well.
As a matter of fact, you have to spend much time and effort on improving the SEO positions on SERPs. Your site traffic and business revenue then drop dramatically.
More than that, these crackers display pop-up advertisements to your visitors, making them annoyed and affecting their browsing experiences.
Risk of Legal Issues
As stated above, well-hidden codes in nulled WordPress plugins cause data breaches, data fraud, and illegal material spread. The worst consequence of this scenario is your customers suffering from data breaches and taking legal action against you. This forces you to pay a heavy fine at courts due to the data leak.
No Access to the Latest Update and New Features
The crackers bypass key licenses to publish pirated plugins for free. That’s why nulled plugin users can’t get any notification about updates from original authors.
All developers attempt to improve the plugin performance, fix bugs, and add more new features. Those can upgrade your website and help you increase your customers’ engagement.
If you don’t buy an authorized plugin from the official supplier, you can’t make use of its new version and striking features. Also, premium plugins offer you regular updates within a year at no cost. In contrast, you won’t get security patches and bug fixes with pirated versions. That said, it’s not ideal to run a nulled plugin on your site.
Document and Premium Support
It doesn’t matter whether you’re beginners or experienced WordPress users, you all need support and documentation to know how to deploy plugins properly.
The developers always prepare documentation posts carefully aiming to walk paid users through a detailed guide. This helps users make the most of their products.
On top of that, the dedicated team provides you with 24/7 support service. They are willing to assist you and answer all your questions around the clock. In parallel, unauthorized users can’t access instant support from the developers.
In case you’re using nulled plugins, it’s time to scan malware by following our instructions below.
How to Detect Malware in Nulled Plugins
Among numerous scanners available on the WordPress repository, Malware stands out as the best security plugin to deliver accurate results in no time.
After downloading MalCare to your WordPress site, you need to activate it and enter your registered email. Once hitting the Secure Site Now button, it will automatically scan your website.
The process of scanning your site will take some minutes. Once done, the MalCare will tell you whether your site is clean or attacked. The result of the safe site will be displayed in the below image.
In contrast, you will get an alert from MalCare if your site suffers from malware-infected in the nulled WordPress plugins you’re using. Plus, it urges you to clean up your website instantly.
Don’t Ever Use Nulled WordPress Plugins on Your Site!
The malware in nulled plugins makes your site vulnerable to hackers. They can easily collect data, redirect your visitors to sensitive sites, and lock your site for ransom.
With all mentioned serious issues, we highly advise you to not ever use these pirated versions. If you’re using some of the nulled WordPress plugins on your site, steer clear of them right now.
Since WordPress offers a variety of free plugins in the repository, you’d better take time to find the best free one for your site if you’re on a budget.
Whenever you’re attempted by these pirated versions, keep in mind that you’ll be left with a buggy and spammy site. This may drive your dear customers away from browsing, purchasing your products, or subscribing to your email lists.
What are your thoughts on using nulled WordPress plugins? Let me know your opinions in the comments below.