WP Themes – Charge? No-charge?
Okay, here’s a question for you guys…
1. Is there a website that SELLS wordpress themes?
2. Would you, do you support it?
3. How do you feel about it?
just curious…..because i see a lot of free templates and i’m wondering if there are people who actually charge for themes they’ve created….
I am not a lawyer. This is not legal advice.
<cite>”If the program dynamically links plug-ins, but the communication between them is limited to invoking the ‘main’ function of the plug-in with some options and waiting for it to return, that is a borderline case.” –> and this is exactly what happens in wordpress plugins</cite>
Most of the plugins I’ve written use the global $wpdb object, and vsrious WordPress functions (
get_currentuserdata()for example). That is a far cry from merely invoking the main function and returning some data. It is because of this that WordPress plugins are required to be GPL compliant. If you can make a plugin that does not use WordPress functions or data structures, then you are free to license it however you want.
WordPress themes are similar in many ways: they use the template functions, and the Loop, to make stuff happen. Without those template functions, and without the Loop, the theme isn’t very useful.
Please note that the GPL says nothing about copyright. I retain the copyright on all my plugins. A theme author is encouraged to retain the copyright on their themes.
Also note that the GPL does not restrict you from selling your work. You may sell plugins and themes. But be advised that selling plugins (and arguably themes) grants to the purchaser all the privileges of the GPL, which means that they are free to use your work for any purpose, and that they are free to distribute your work to others.
Have you noticed how most theme lack one thing of another. Its like water water everywhere not a drop to drink.
Yes, absolutely. Quantity doesn’t equal quality, you only have to spend a couple of minutes flicking through the theme repositories to see that. But if potential clients are going to be informed by other members of the community that it’s ok for them to redistribute my designs on their own sites, I’m not going any further down that road. I’m currently reconverting both my free themes to generic templates; extra work for me, extra work for the end users, but it’ll be worth it to be able to release my work under a more appropriate licence.
(I’ve also been told that the original licence I released my themes under wasn’t GPL-compatible, in spite of it being listed as such on the GNU list, but have yet to hear from any lawyers about the matter. So discussions like this are largely academic. Nobody is actually going to sue anyone for selling or releasing wordpress themes under a non-GPL licence; and it would be pretty damn counter-productive if they did, since the more themes there are the better it is for the software.)
I really appreciate this discussion. Thank you so much for addressing it. I was very curious to know what others thought.
I guess my next question would be, since WP is under GPL….if one was to sell their themes, how many in the WP community would actually buy and then freely distribute the theme?
I mean, would someone reallysell their themes knowing that people in the community will be giving them away for free, possibly listing them on theme download sites…?
I don’t really see a market for putting up themes for sale – with over 200 free themes it’s hard to find anyone who’d pay for it. (And why would anyone buy one just to give it away for free to the “community”…?)
However there might be a market for customized themes, for integrating WP in an existing website’s design and similar projects. And there is nothing wrong in charging a price for such services.
“(And why would anyone buy one just to give it away for free to the “community”…?)”
*shrug* who knows…it was mentioned above….so i thought I’d address it…thanks for your commentary
Note, of course, that themes are distinct from custom graphics. If you have a fair hand with Photoshop or GIMP, you might be able to earn a few bucks for custom header images, or the like.
If you want to sell your theme it should be more advanced than most of the themes we see in terms of functionality and customizability.
IANAL. Having said that –
You can sell code based on GPL code like RedHat does and you can build a successful model on top of that.
Think about branding your themes. Someday you too may be able to say like – Genuine Microsoft Windows (insert your brand name instead). That will make re-selling less lucrative.
GPL is so communist (read anti-capitalist) in nature it makes me mad sometimes. And the viral nature of the license…
Now I feel better 🙂
And why would anyone buy one just to give it away for free to the “community”…?
Can’t rule out the possibility of some open-source zealot doing it just to prove a point; though given the aforementioned allergy of such people to paying for stuff, this is admittedly unlikely.
And with the widespread availability of image editing software and free photo sites, there is probably even less market for custom graphics than there is for custom themes. Coding a full-scale theme involves considerably more time and skill than throwing together a header in Photoshop.
I am not sure I completely believe the FSF on the necessity to GPL plug-ins.
If the plug-in is distributed together with the GPLed software, then the distributor probably is in breach of the GPL.
However if the plug-in is distributed by itself (the usual case with themes), then the distributor is not actually distributing any GPLed code. If you are not distributing any GPLed code, then you are not breaching the GPL!
Angsuman: the GPL is a very pro-free markets license – it counters network effects and other distortions of the market.
“Also note that the GPL does not restrict you from selling your work. You may sell plugins and themes. But be advised that selling plugins (and arguably themes) grants to the purchaser all the privileges of the GPL, which means that they are free to use your work for any purpose, and that they are free to distribute your work to others.”
That’s precisely the point. Price has nothing to do with it, it’s only about the freedom to distribute your theme to others, irrespective of whether it’s given away or sold.
I also agree with Moshu: there might be a market for customized themes. trying to sell them is probably a waste of time.
I continue to think there is a market for themes that cost.I would pay for a number of awsome themes I have seen from that Typo Theme Competition.If people are willing to pay hundreds of dollars to design sites like Ewebscapes, why wouldn’t they pay for a theme.As a matter of fact, a theme is exactly what they are paying for.I would never pay a site like Ewebscapes for what they do.$200 for a theme… you must be kidding… lol.
Yes, I would buy a theme for 20 or even 25 dollars.Put a cap on the number of downloads.It can be done, but the themes have got to be stellar, really stand out and be priced moderately… under $100.
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