1066 GPL-licensed WordPress themes & plugins for free
4 years ago
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Founder, Brutal TearDowns
A friend sent me this link today. It's a very interesting one. So Wordpress is licensed under GPL. This makes it 'free' - free to use, free to access source code, free to redistribute and free to distribute modified copies. And since, under the GPL license, any works derived from the original software must also be GPL licensed, there's an argument to be made that this applies to Wordpress plugins and themes. And it looks like there may be some truth to this. On the
Wordpress Themes Licensing Page
, Wordpress notes that distributed themes/plugins must be GPL-compliant and that it won't list a plugin or theme in its (free) online repositories unless they are 100% GPL compliant. Digging a little deeper, it seems like CSS is exempt from inheriting the GPL (
), but having a look through the licensing docs for some of the plugins I've bought, I can see that a lot of them are actually fully-licensed under GPL. Looks like most of the themes/plugins I've bought through Envato are split-licensed, where the HTML/PHP is GPL and the CSS is not (as per
), though it seems they do also have a large library of 100% GPL themes as well. At first browse, it looks like GPLDL only feature 100% GPL-compliant premium themes and plugins, which means they are free to distribute - you'll obviously have issues if you try to register any of the plugins, though apparently if they're 100% GPL-compliant you won't need to register them to use them. What an interesting, controversial find!
Full-time indie hacker since 2018
This is awesome, I was aware about WP themes & plugins being licensed under GPL, but finding downloads was always tough. Plus there are a lot of WP theme downloads full of malware, so this is super-useful.
They really look cool! I'll definitely give them a try! I've recently discovered a great resource with wordpress themes and already used one of them for my client. It is Enfold -
it's a great and truely bullet proofessional theme. In result, I got a few great feedbacks from my clients. For next offer i want to use Monstroid 2.0. Both are positioned as multipurpose all-in-one tools for building a website of any kinds. They have great support and detailed documentation.
Having done some research it seems there are a few sites that offer these GPL licensed plugins and themes. The best known of them is
which I used to use a lot when I was building WordPress sites. They're to be trusted but there are others out there but gplvault had all I needed. Note: I found that some of the sites that claim to be GPL are in fact just selling anything to do with WordPress. As pointed out in the original post, the CSS isn't always GPL licensed which calls into question a lot of the stuff you see from sites like Themeforest. So it pays to do some due diligence here and support the sites that abide by the GPL and ignore the others, especially as it's all too easy to slip malware into themes.
I am a web developers & researcher.
In the Google directory, there are thousand of websites providing GPL Products. But I got scammed many times. Most of the time the provide nulled or cracked Themes or Plugins which is very harmful for a WordPress website. Although I got some legit websites,
is one of them. The are very responsive at customer's query. They also started selling Legit License Keys which is very cheap & working.