How the GPL Works in Favor of WordPress End Users and Developers?

If you are using WordPress for some time now, then you must be familiar with the GPL word. Because of GPL only, WordPress is an open-source application, and we can use this widely used CMS or content management system free of cost.

However, there are quite a lot of users who are not aware of the benefits of GPL in WordPress. Hence to help those users out, I am going to explain how the GPL Works in Favor of WordPress End Users and Developer.

Sounds good?

So let’s just head into the topic without wasting much of the time:

What is GPL?

GPL stands for General Public License. Also, sometimes it is known as GNU GPL. It is one of the most commonly used free software licenses available on the internet.

The license was written by Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation for the GNU Project. Also, the best part of this license is that it is freely used, modified, and distributed by anyone.

Moreover, WordPress was also released under the GPL license. As a result, WordPress is an open-source application that is free to be used, modified, and extended by anyone. This means developers and editors can customize WordPress the way they wish to without paying for anything or taking permission from anyone.

Because of GPL, here are the top benefits that WordPress users can enjoy:

  1. WordPress is free to download, and anyone can download and run the software.
  2. WordPress gives you enough permissions and opportunities to modify it.
  3. You can redistribute free copies of the software as many times as you want.

Benefits of GPL in WordPress

You Get Complete Freedom:

The GPL is an open-source software license that is designed to protect four fundamental freedoms. As a result, it gives people the opportunity to take our websites online without much effort. Because GPL made WordPress free, here is how it benefits you:

  1. You are free to study how the software works by accessing the source code and freely adapt it.
  2. You will get to redistribute a copy of the software to anyone.
  3. It allows you to improve the software and redistribute the improvements to other people pretty quickly.


The license was first written by Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation FSP in 1989. Over the years, the GPL has evolved a lot and gone through a lot of changes and made successive versions.

Version 2 was released back in 1991, and version 3 was released back in 2007, and version 3 is the latest.

Also, as we already know that WordPress was released under version 2 of the GPL. But the good part is that it still allows you to redistribute it and modify it under the terms of GNU General Public License published by the Free Software Foundation.

So it is pretty safe to say that WordPress would be freely available even in the future no matter what version of GPL comes next. As a developer or editor, you will still own all the rights to modify the software and distribute it.

Developer Gets To Earn:

There are quite a lot of people out there who always want to get a pirated copy of the software. Although, that is quite impossible under GPL. But there are also quite a lot of users who are more than happy to pay for something that is up for sale. Also, they often choose to pay for the software even though it is available free of cost.

Many people don’t understand the GPL:

Not everyone indeed understands GPL. To understand or be aware of GPL, one needs to be a geek. So they can figure out where they can get something free of cost and how to obtain it.

For example, if a plugin is labeled as premium, then the average user is not going to download it from Github even if it is available out there. As a result, if they want the plugin, they will go ahead and purchase the software.

There’s added value in ‘buying’ premium GPL products:

There is a possible chance that a GPL premium plugin might be available for you free of cost. But a user might want to get the plugin by paying because they might consider getting associated services or other benefits.

For example, additional support or future updates o free setup. Even, you will find quite a lot of modern themes and plugins; developers often do it. Like they always have a price add-on for future updates.


So that was an explanation on How the GPL Works in Favor of WordPress End Users and Developers. GPL helped WordPress to spread wide and made the CMS available for all of us to try it out, modify it with our needs, and distribute the software with other ones.

If any have any more questions to ask, then do feel free to comment below. And I will surely help you out.

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