Support » Themes and Templates » How to get Theme license

  • Hello,
    This is the first time I have developed a theme and have no idea what all I need to do and how to get license for it.
    I may sound like duffer but please can anyone guide me for theme license. This will going to be paid and not a free. Also what type of license would be better, GNU OR GPL.

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • No one is here to give me some knowledge for this?????????????

    Moderator Jan Dembowski


    Brute Squad and Volunteer Moderator

    Well, it is a hot topic that requires thought and in depth contemplation by all the unpaid support volunteers before forming a complete and fully cognizant reply.

    Wow, I hope that sentence is grammatically correct and not a run on!

    WordPress is GPL. The themes are a derivative of WordPress (you absolutely cannot have a WordPress theme that does not need WordPress). Thus WordPress themes are GPL’ed and must be licensed as such. Now the CSS portion? CSS doesn’t need WordPress. You can theme HTML without making a single reference or needing any portion of WordPress. CSS can stand on it’s own so the CSS on a theme does not have to be GPL’ed.

    Read up this entire post here. And note, while some people may not like this about themes, it is what it is. Themes are GPL too.

    Themes are GPL, too

    Edit: Short and sweet: your theme will be GPL’ed.


    Thank you so much for your reply and its really helpful. But I have one confusion, that “Do I need to get license from some organization or how to get license for the theme?” I tried on google for where to get license for wordpress theme or so on.. but couldn’t found.

    So GPL and GNU is the terms of license that I understood, but now the question how to get license for my theme and where to go for licensing my theme. I mean do I need to register my theme anywhere?

    I will appreciate your reply.

    You do not need a licence for a GPL/GNU theme, just load it and use it, if you create a theme you do not need to register it, just include a GPL/GNU license file in the themes folder.

    The Theme should have a license comment in style.css or a license.txt file, if the theme is GPL and GNU then there is nothing to do, the theme is covered by the public licence, that means you can do anything you want with that theme.

    You should not rename and package the theme un-altered as your own work, but under GPL you can use all or any of the theme to create a new or variant theme of your own.

    If the theme is a premium or paid for theme then you need to check with the vendor for any license restrictions, as some paid themes when paid for are for a single site licence.



    Thanks a lot David, your information is worth and solved my most confusion.

    Actually this theme I have done from scratch with completely blank file. However I am not much master in php so I used and follow some tutorials and I believe that would be okay.

    So now I want to put it for sale. So the final question is that will that be okay if I put my theme for sale under GPL or GNU license where I have used some of free plugins listed below

    More Fields
    The Event Calendar
    Custom Post Templates
    Shadowbox JS
    NextPage Buttons
    Paginated Gallery

    Some plugin I have altered according to my theme and also embedded and modified into my function.php

    Also have used one tutorial code (of course free to use) for sidebar widget for custom post type.

    So in this case can I put my theme for sale? However whatever I have used all are free and under GPL and I haven’t modified any copyright content from the original files.

    That sounds fine, I can see nothing wrong with that, adding plugins is fine but hard to update if one of the plugins is updated or has a security scare, like the recent tim thumb issue.

    There is the Theme Check plugin which you use with wp_debug, a lot of older plugins will show critical and non-critical debug errors, and you get the chance to correct the code for your built in plugins.

    I would strongly suggest that even if you are not creating for the WordPress Extend that you follow the links and topics for theme authors, register as an author and use the tests and testdata and other tools suggested.

    When you get time consider writing a free theme for extend, the theme you submit is tested and the feedback from the testers if good.

    I have been through this process and submitted my theme a year ago today now with 27000 downloads, I learnt lots more from submitting this single theme that any number of tutorials.

    Others might want to comment.



    Oh wow this is really amazing help you did. It will open a new way of learning to me.. After all I am a kid in all these 😛

    I will check your links and get back to you. Really thanks for great help you and Jan of-course..

    Now I am just testing my theme than will publish.

    Thanks again.

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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