In a nutshell, if you wanna know, should you use GPL themes and plugins on your WordPress website or not? I would like to say that using GPL themes and plugins for your WordPress website can be great for your website.
These themes and plugins are created by developers and then sometimes modified by other people. This results in a variety of results and outputs. You can specify as well as general GPL themes and plugins. But to understand more you need to know more about GPL and how it affects your website if you use GPL themes and plugins. So let’s start.
The GPL license and WordPress
GPL means General Public License. This license is the most commonly used free software license used by open-source software. It was written by Richard Stallman for the free software foundation for the GNU project. It is important that we understand the GPL license in order to utilize WordPress properly.
As the GPL affects both end-users and the WordPress developers. The GPL was made so that it could facilitate growth. Here free software or open software means that the source code is available to all and users have complete freedom to utilize, modify and distribute the modified software to others.
If you are using WordPress it is essential that you have an understanding of the GPL license as WordPress is also released under this. The GPL license can be understood a bit by reading these points:
- Anybody has the freedom to open and use the source code of the application.
- The freedom to access the source code and then change it according to a specific need.
- Freedom to distribute the application to others without making changes or without it.
You can make the improved (specified changes) application to the general public so others can benefit. This means that it is best for the users but doesn’t give many benefits to the developer.
So the GPL is more user-friendly than developers-friendly. As the developers’ hard work is available to all.
The most popular content management systems-WordPress is what it is in today’s world because of GPL only. As thousands of people have given their input and benefitted many other users. It wasn’t possible to create such an amazing platform without the participation of thousands of experts.
This has been made possible only because WordPress is free open-source software.
Should I use GPL themes and plugins on my WordPress website?
Everything has its positive and negative points. But in case you decide to use GPL themes and plugins on my WordPress website then you are on the positive side more.
The pros of using GPL themes and plugins on my WordPress website:
- Variety of themes and plugins:
As WordPress themes and plugins come under GPL license it means that anybody can access the source code and make the alteration in it. These themes and plugins are created by professionals for the use of customers.
The best part is that if any customer needs any specific changes in their themes or plugins they can do it by themselves. And after making the changes they can redistribute the code to others. This process results in a lot of themes and plugins with different specialties. And new users can choose what they want from a lot of varieties in WordPress themes and plugins.
- Efforts of many talented people:
We already know that different people are accessing the code and making different changes. Many of the professionals create the code and others try to use their code and make it better. So in the end-users receive work from many experts at a single place and can utilize it for their benefits.
- Your website is more attractive and useful:
Themes and plugins at WordPress are going to make your website more attractive and useful. There are a variety of options to choose from and decide how you want your website to look. With GPL themes and plugins on WordPress, you have the freedom to adjust the codes according to yourself. And make your website what you always wished for.
- Free or cheaper themes and plugins are available:
Professional coders create different themes and plugins for you. But these codes are copied and redistributed/resold by different third parties. Although this is not a healthy practice, you can use it for your benefit.
The premium themes and plugins which are created by professionals can be a little expensive. Because of the GPL license for WordPress themes and plugins you can get free or cheap themes with similar features as that of premium products.
The cons of using GPL themes and plugins on my WordPress website:
- WordPress themes and plugins are also sold by third-party resellers. You will not get support from the company if you face any issues. And there will be no one to solve your issues. You will not get your bugs fixed or get any updates if you don’t purchase premium products from trustworthy companies.
- Sometimes because everyone can access the code you get WordPress plugins and themes which are harmful to your website. Your website can get malware viruses sometimes if you are using unlicensed premium themes and plugins. This can exploit users’ information or their websites’ information
- The WordPress themes are available to both the free ones and the premium ones. As these are distributed among all, they are quite common. So make sure that your website looks good and different from others.
In the end:
If you are using GPL themes and plugins on your WordPress website make sure that you get the licensed premium themes and plugins. If you are purchasing something and spending your money ensure that it is utilized properly.
Using free themes and plugins can also be a good idea but in rare cases, you can get viruses. I will suggest you use GPL themes and plugins on the WordPress website to make it more attractive and useful.
Keep reading, keep growing.