What is GPL (General Public License), GPL Theme & GPL Plugin Mean?
The GNU General Public License (GPL) is a widely-used free software license that guarantees end users the freedom to run, study, share and modify the software. WordPress, an open-source content management system (CMS), is released under the GPL. Anyone can use, modify, and redistribute the WordPress software for free.
Many WordPress themes and plugins are also released under GPL. This means that they, too, can be used, modified, and redistributed for free. However, it's important to note that some themes and plugins may not be licensed under the GPL, and their use may be subject to additional terms and restrictions.
When using GPL WordPress themes and plugins, it's essential to ensure that you are using them in compliance with the license. This generally means that if you make any changes to the themes or plugins, you must also release the modified source code to the public under the GPL.
In summary, GPL WordPress themes and plugins are free to use, modify and distribute as long as you follow the terms of the GPL license.
Are GPL Themes & GPL Plugins Clean Safe to Use, and legal?
GPL themes and plugins are generally safe to use as long as they are obtained from reputable sources and kept up-to-date. The GPL license ensures that the source code for these themes and plugins is available for anyone to review and audit, which can increase transparency and security. Additionally, the large and active community of WordPress developers often reviews and tests GPL themes and plugins, which can also help identify and fix any security issues.
Regarding legality, the GPL license is a widely used open-source license considered legal and enforceable in many jurisdictions. As long as you comply with the terms of the GPL license, it is legal to use, modify, and distribute GPL themes and plugins. However, it's always a good idea to consult legal counsel if you have any general questions or concerns about the GPL or open-source software.
However, it is essential to note that some companies or individuals may distribute GPL themes and plugins with additional code that is not GPL licensed or with obfuscated or encrypted code making it difficult for the user to access and modify the code. This is not legal and is against the GPL license's terms. Therefore, it's essential to be cautious when downloading themes and plugins from untrusted sources and always check the license before using them.
Why Should You Use GPL Plugins & Themes?
There are several reasons why someone might choose to buy a GPL theme or plugin, even though they are freely available for download and use:
Support and updates: When you buy a GPL theme or plugin, you often have access to support and updates from the developer. This can be helpful if you have questions or run into issues, and it also ensures that you have the latest version of the theme or plugin with any security updates or bug fixes.
Premium features: Some GPL themes and plugins may have premium versions or add-ons that are only available for purchase. These may include additional features or customization options not available in the free version.
Quality assurance: Buying a GPL theme or plugin from a reputable developer can ensure that the code is well-written and has been tested and reviewed by other developers.
Convenience: Buying a GPL theme or plugin can save time and effort compared to searching for and downloading it from various sources.
Legal compliance: If you use GPL themes or plugins in a commercial project, by buying them, you can ensure that you are fully compliant with the GPL license requirements and avoid potential legal issues.
It's important to note that the GPL license allows you to use, modify, and distribute the software without fees, but buying a GPL theme or plugin can provide additional benefits.
How To Install & Update a GPL Theme?
Installing and updating a GPL theme on WordPress can be done in a few simple steps:
- Log in to the WordPress admin area of your website.
- Navigate to Appearance > Themes.
- Click on the "Add New" button at the top of the page.
- Search for the GPL theme you wish to install, or you can upload a theme you have already downloaded.
- Click on the "Install" button for the theme you want to install.
- Once the theme is installed, click on the "Activate" link to make it live on your website.
To update a GPL theme:
- Go to Appearance > Themes on your WordPress site.
- Find the theme you wish to update, and click on the "Update Available" link.
- Click on the "Update Now" button to begin the update process.
- Once the update is complete, you will be prompted to check your site for any errors or issues.
- You can click on the "Live Preview" button if everything looks good to see your site with the new theme.
- If you are satisfied with the update, you can activate the theme.
It's important to note that before updating any theme, you should back up your website and test the update on a staging environment before applying it to your live website. This will help you to ensure that the update won't break your website, and you'll be able to roll back if needed.
Also, in case the update breaks your website, it's important to deactivate the theme and switch to a default theme, and troubleshoot the issue.