A good or bad WordPress theme can make or break the website, so it’s extremely important to choose the right WordPress theme for your website. There are plenty of free WordPress themes on the web, but they’re usually not nearly as good as Premium themes that you can get for a small fee.
However, since there’s such a clear difference between Free and Premium themes, it’s only natural that people want the best WordPress theme, and if they can get them for free – even better. This is where pirated versions of Premium WordPress themes come into play, which people tend to get from various P2P sources. But there are many secret dangers to using such themes, most of which their users have no idea about.
In this article, we’ll cover some of the most important reasons why you’ll want to avoid using these pirated versions of Premium themes.
Pirated WordPress Themes Don’t Update
Here’s the thing, when an update pops out for pretty much anything on the web, the changelog clearly states which security weak points were fixed. This means pretty much anyone can read this and use it against an older version – because it’s a publicly disclosed security hole. This is also true for WordPress themes, which is why Premium versions always update to the newest version automatically. Well, guess what – with pirated version of WordPress you’ll never be able to update to a newer one. Plus, some users might even notice that you’re using an older version, which might lift a few eyebrows and hurt your reputation.
Other Security Risks
The main problem with pirated WordPress themes is that you’ll have no idea what you’re actually getting. It’s extremely easy to implement a backdoor for hackers to use inside the code, and you’ll have no one to complain about once the attack actually happens. Malicious code isn’t something that can always be detected by your software, and most users can’t find it manually, so using these themes can really hurt you in the long run. Not to mention that you won’t be able to install the latest plugins on your out-of-date theme, which will increasingly hurt the functionality of your WordPress website as the time passes by.
Crypto PHP Infection
When using a pirated WordPress theme on your website, you’re running a risk of it being Crypto PHP infected. This basically happens when hackers remove the blocks of the license code and distribute the theme for free. If your website gets recognized as infected, your hosting account will get suspended and you’ll have to start your whole website (or a blog) all over again.
No Customer Support
When you purchase a Premium WordPress theme, you get access to a professional support team from the theme’s developers and it’s one of the biggest reasons why you should always opt for a Premium theme. Basically, if something goes wrong with your WordPress theme you can get professional help right away, which is something you can forget about if you choose to go for a pirated version. Sure, there may be some guides and stuff that you can apply and fix your problem temporarily, but that won’t solve your problems in the long run. If you constantly have to fix everything yourself, you’ll waste valuable time you can use somewhere else.
Your SEO Might Suffer
Think about it, someone out there has a reason for distributing a pirated version of Premium WordPress themes. More often than not the reason behind this is to acquire spam links on a number of websites that use the theme. I can’t begin to explain just how bad these spammy links are for your SEO. Not only will Google punish your rankings extremely hard, but your own users will also perceive you as less reliable – and guess what happens once they start bouncing off your website? Google will notice it, and your rank will suffer even harder.
Much like responsive web design, having good backlinks is extremely important for SEO, which is almost impossible with a pirated version. Plus, if your SEO suffers, you might end up losing more money than you’d pay for the theme in the first place.
Using someone else’s hard work for free and for your own benefit is stealing. Piracy in all forms is a criminal act and if you get caught you may as well get persecuted. If you obtain a GPL licensed theme by breaking the GPL policy, which piracy is, you invalidate the license. It’s also morally wrong, as the developer teams behind the theme invested time and money into creating it, and they’re not necessarily big enough to fight against piracy. You wouldn’t want someone breaking into your house and taking half of everything you’ve got, right? Well, you shouldn’t do it either.
Give Up on Pirated WordPress Themes
It takes a lot of time and money to create a WordPress theme, which is why developers charge reasonable fees for the best themes out there. By purchasing a Premium WordPress theme you’ll ensure that the theme is easy to install and you’ll also gain access to developer’s support, as well as updates which will keep your website safe over time. By opting for a Pirated WordPress theme, you’re basically avoiding to pay the fee but you’re risking a lot more in terms of security and, even more importantly, reputation.