I am a noob with regards to software licensing ... this might seem like a very silly question.

As per this page (https://wordpress.org/about/license/) on Wordpress official website, Wordpress is licensed under GNU GPL version 2.

I researched on compliance with GPLv2 with regards to hosting a Wordpress site online, from the following links:

  1. https://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0-faq.en.html#UnreleasedMods
  2. Can I use a GPL component in my site without having to disclose the sources of my site?
  3. Can I use a GPLv3 JavaScript library on a website I'm developing for a client?

What I want to do: host a Wordpress site (with my personally built theme) online without disclosing any source code at all

What are my confusions:

  1. Does GNU GPLv2 require that I have to disclose my source code?
  2. The HTML, CSS, and Javascript portion of the site (both for Wordpress core and for my personally built theme) will be inadvertently disclosed to the public anyway ... only the PHP code is hidden ... does this violate GPLv2?

1 Answer 1


GPL does not include the right for users (of webservices) to request the source code nor a any need for you to publish it somewhere. So it's totally fine -- if you don't want to -- to don't publish or offer users to download changes you have done at Wordpress or of your written plugins.

The reason here is, that user in terms of GPL is the admin or somebody directly running your software. So in case you want to sell your work, you have to grand them the 4 rights you do have.

However, as for CSS/JS you ship and run on users computer -- I'm not sure -- by I'm not a lawyer.So this answer is only about PHP changes at wordpress itself or some of it's/your plugin.

Software licensed under terms of AGPL do include the right for users.

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