Let’s first understand what are GPL themes and GPL Plugins
GPL stands for General Public License, which is sometimes also called GNU GPL, generally used for the software license. Software under this license, allows it to be freely used, modified, and redistributed by anyone. WordPress is also a kind of software that is released under a GPL license. Which makes it an open source that can be used, modified, and move further to anyone. It provides the basic values about what the project believes in.
- Anyone can modify
- Anyone can redistribute freely
- Anyone can distribute modified versions
- Anyone can download and use the program
One of the major attributes of the GPL is that it uses a thing called copyleft. Copyleft is just a game for the word copyright, though the concept is very much similar. However, it uses copyright laws to preserve modified versions but requires the same protection as the genuine ones uses. This is the reason why WordPress inherits the GPL license. Due to this, some controversies came to light as some companies and individuals tried to sell WordPress Themes and Plugins.
Although, the WordPress community is trying hard to protect the Bill of Rights.
If you don’t want to distribute your program then you aren’t required to adopt a GPL license for your work. You only require GPL if you want to distribute your software further. If you want to distribute your creation to the free theme on WordPress then it has to be 100% GPL. Freedom is a crucial part of developing WordPress themes. It’s a good idea to license it under GPL if you want to distribute your theme. Let others enjoy the same freedom that you enjoyed while creating it.
Plugins are GPL too
WordPress has done its best to keep WordPress.org clean and promote only those plugins that are completely compatible and legal. There has been a question in the WordPress community about whether themes also have GPL. PHP in WordPress themes is GPL, whereas CSS and artwork aren’t. In WordPress, themes, CSS and images are purely counted as data that is served by the web server. Only CSS and image files are read by the server as data. So in a nutshell, the themes contain elements that are just an imitation of WordPress’s copyrighted code.
WHICH ARE THE BEST GPL THEMES AND PLUGINS?
Some best GPL themes and Plugins are mentioned below
# 1 Yoast SEO Premium Plugin
As the name suggests this premium plugin helps you to do the SEO that boosts the ranking of your site. It is the highest-rated SEO plugin available for WordPress. It is recommended by most of developers. Very easy to use for beginners with zero technical skills. With too many features to offer with the premium version, you get some limitations with the free version.
# 2 Elegant Themes – DIVI Theme
Launched in 2013, known for its powerful and best features. Which is a flagship product of Elegant Themes. Offers drag and drop page builder tool which helps users to customize their website as per their creativity. DIVI is recommended if you want to build your WordPress website from scratch.
# 3 WP Smush Pro Plugin
The most crucial aspect for every website is the loading speed. There can be ample reasons behind the lazy loading, one such reason that may affect the loading time is uncompressed images used on the website. To optimize the images on your site, Smush Pro is an effective, inexpensive, and easy way that you need to consider.
#4 News Mag Pro – Newspaper and Magazine WordPress Theme
With 4 different page styles, Newsmag is a clean and sophisticated theme for News and blog websites which is also a mobile-responsive and SEO-friendly WordPress theme. You can opt for a free version of Newsmag but Newsmag Pro offers much better features and functionalities. Pro versions follow the best SEO practices like Title Tags, HTML5, and Rich Snippets. Recommended for Blogging and news websites with a multilingual option.
# 5 Academy Pro by StudioPress
It is a premium WordPress theme developed by the company named Studio Press. It has an awesome design and great features which is ideal for membership and educational websites. It is powered by Genesis Framework, but also mobile-responsive. This theme uses HTML5 and schema markup code which help search engines to understand the content and structure. Thus, making it SEO-Friendly.
# 6 Travelify
It is another free WordPress theme. Comes with some premium features that allow you to change the layout. This is a mobile-responsive theme, modern that can be used for any subject or business objective. For a content marketer, Travelify adds value to your content and highlights your best work for your readers.
Should We Use GPL Themes and GPL Plugins?
Yes, GPL themes and plugins are safe to use unless they are modified with any sort of malicious and vulnerable codes. There are many websites on the internet that provide a copy of a genuine plugin/theme for a much lesser price. Don’t be a bait to those who seem suspicious to offer a way lower price than you imagined.
Always use trusted websites like Srmehranclub.com, These reputed Clubs provide genuine and original GPL products. The WordPress themes contain elements that are derivative of WordPress’s copyrighted code. Being a collection of (PHP files and Images) doesn’t need to be a part of the GPL license. In fact, PHP files are the requirements of GPL while images and CSS are not.
Developers of such a kind of theme may restrict copyrights to their creation if they wish. It is noted that it’s possible to develop a WordPress theme that can avoid the factors that are subject to WordPress’s copyright. However, such a theme would have to undergo all the WordPress functionalities to make the software useful.
According to the above statement, this doesn’t mean that this is the right thing to do but it is legal according to WordPress. They Strongly feel that their plugins and themes are derivative work of WordPress that inherits the GPL license. The Premium themes and plugins will have the same rights under the GPL license.
Anyhow, there have been many websites that have been stealing developers’ premium plugins and themes and then slapping on the GPL licensing right and reselling it. So there are a bunch of GPL websites and memberships.
So with a whole lot of discussions and arguments mentioned above. I have come to the conclusion that the original developers of these plugins and themes can’t really do anything about it. So here is a negative thing about GPL Plugins and themes, when you buy these plugins they could be old or not updated. Also, you are not going to get support from any of these GPL sellers. Because they didn’t create the plugin themes themselves.
So in a nutshell, that’s what GPL WordPress plugins and themes are all about. Buying and reselling is legal but not ethical to do so.