WordPress plugins and themes can easily add up to a yearly bill of several thousand dollars.
This can be a significant drain on revenue for many internet firms.
In an effort to cut costs, some business owners join a “GPL club” that offers bulk discounts on these items.
These collectives offer premium WordPress add-ons and skins at a fraction of their original cost.
Indeed, we participate in a group like this ourselves through GPL Adda.
The answer seems obvious, doesn’t it?
As you may imagine, there are a few catches…
What is GPL?
The GNU Public License (GPL) is a form of software licence that makes the software freely available for anyone to use, modify, fork, and distribute.
- In theory, anyone could get hold of it and use it.
- It’s easily customizable by anyone
- Free software may be copied and distributed by anybody.
- New variants of the programme can be distributed by anyone.
Many WordPress plugin and theme designers charge annual fees while making their products available under the GPL (also called GNU GPL).
What the Hell are the developers charging you for if this WordPress software is free under GPL?
Help is the correct response.
There is no “purchase” of a GPL plugin.
Purchasing this item grants you access to all future upgrades and releases, as well as the chance to send support requests to the author for assistance.
The WordPress CRM plugin is also available under the GPL licence.
Because of this, anyone is free to use, alter, and build upon WordPress.
When using a GPL plugin, am I breaking the law?
It is not against the law to alter and redistribute a WordPress plugin or theme that was initially made available under the GNU General Public License.
Others, meanwhile, argue that it’s unethical.
The GPL license’s openness to forking and redistributing other developers’ work under one’s own name can both discourage and encourage legitimate uses.
In particular, GPL Clubs have been singled out as the most egregious offenders of the GPL’s open-source principle.
The stated justification for the existence of these shops is that not everyone can afford (or is willing to fork over the cash to acquire) dozens of premium WordPress themes and plugins.
When you don’t sure if a product will work for you, this is understandable.
The GPL Adda and similar sites function similarly to “try before you buy” businesses.
Membership to a GPL club allows you to swiftly try out a wide variety of competing plugins before committing to one.
Since GPL Clubs focus on collecting and “nulling” software (removing licencing restrictions), they are able to offer it at a fraction of the price of the original developer.
Again, it is legal to get plugins and themes from these sources, but some argue that doing so is unethical because it prevents the original creators from making a livelihood from their work.
Is it Safe to Use GPL or Cracked Plugins?
With GPL plugins and themes, there are ethical considerations, but there are also security concerns.
Typically, GPL Groups will employ a programmer to “null,” or effectively hack, software in order to bypass licence barriers set up by the original programmers.
In addition, they try to make the products updatable from a remote source, so that you may have the latest updates sent directly in WordPress using the application programming interface.
Perhaps more worrisome is the possibility that these clubs would include “back doors” or other forms of harmful programming in their software that will allow hackers access to your site.
We have used GPLAdda without incident and have not encountered any security breaches.
Just because we haven’t witnessed them yet doesn’t imply they haven’t occurred.
The only way to know for sure if vulnerabilities exist in GPLAdda is to perform a complete security and code audit of the updater plugin and maybe some of the more popular plugin and theme files.
Surprisingly, a membership plugin called Digital Access Pass is responsible for more than 95% of the hacks we’ve solved for our customers. Since it is not GPL, it is not subject to the audit and security patches that an open-source piece of code would be.
Our previous password management service of many years, LastPass, is also not open source.
Multiple attempts have been made to hack LastPass.
We migrated to a free and open-source programme called BitWarden, whose source code is available to the public but has never been cracked.
Do you see a trend developing here…?
Obfuscated code is a hindrance to ethical hackers but a provocation to those with less moral intentions.
Is GPLAdda The Best GPL Site?
After trying many GPL sites I’ve found GPL Adda to be by far the best.
They are really professional and take feature requests seriously (albeit a bit slowly).
In fact, GPLAdda is the only GPL Club we use which is why we chose to review it!
They use the same principle as most GPL Club platforms, buying the latest plugins or using their own licenses, and then re-selling to the end-user, as a GPL license allows them to do so.
While we believe in purchasing software from the developer we also take advantage of GPL software for various use cases—mostly for testing.
Coupon code / Discounts for GPLAdda
You can use their coupon code: GPL10 to get 10% off instantly on any WordPress theme or plugin.