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What You Can Do With WordPress: The GPL License Terms

WordPress has become an important part of the internet and has a huge hand in contributing to the internet community and encouraging and facilitating new websites. However, WordPress is is surrounded by some common misconceptions about what is permitted and what is not permitted under the GPL License, under which WordPress is distributed for free. This article helps you to understand some important aspects of what you can legally do with WordPress under the GPL License, thereby allowing the free flow of information in letter and in spirit.

Replace the WordPress Logo on the login page

Many small businesses and website owners like to customize their login page to reflect their own branding and logo so that it gives a more professional look to their subscribers, contributors and visitors. Many people are often scared to replace the logo, fearing that they may be violating the terms of the GPL License. WordPress in the Codex section of its website, itself states how you can customize the login page and replace the WordPress logo with your own. Even the GPL License terms do not restrict the replacement of the logo. However, if you alter or modify the WordPress logo (The famous “W”), then you maybe violating the copyrights of the owners.

Remove the “Powered by WordPress” link in the footer

Business websites want to look more and more professional and shed the tell tale signs indicating that they are using an open source software like WordPress. Although WordPress is used by many Fortune 500 companies globally, you may still want to remove the “Powered by WordPress” or “Proudly Powered By WordPress” text which appears in the footer of the design theme. If you are wondering whether you can safely remove the “powered by” text without violating the GPL terms, you will find your answer in the footer.php file in your Default Theme directory. The footer.php file states that:

“If you’d like to support WordPress, having the “powered by” link somewhere on your blog is the best way; it’s our only promotion or advertising.”

This indicates that there is no compulsion for you to put the “powered by” footer and are free to remove it if you do not want it. However, it would be a good gesture to leave it there or give some credit to WordPress for facilitating your website.

Modify WordPress and redistribute the new software

The whole crux of open source software is that not only is the source code not hidden and publicly available but you can also freely distribute the modified software along with the same license. This means that you can charge a fee for the modifications that you made to WordPress, but you cannot charge for the core WordPress software as it is. This is an important benefit for programmers and software developers who want to use WordPress’ core functionality in their own software.

WordPress is limited to your imagination. It is truly a free software, which has done much good for the internet community on the whole. Become a part of this growing community of WordPress users by starting your own WordPress website.