According to WordPress Licensing & the GPL, themes on the official WordPress theme directory should be 100% GPL:

If you wish to submit your creation to the free theme repository on WordPress.org, it must be 100% GPL compliant, including CSS and image files. Because the freedoms spelled out in the GPL are at the heart of WordPress, we encourage developers to distribute their themes with a 100% GPL-compatible license.

Then as I know I can sell the themes after modifying. Am I correct?

  • You need to look at the license in a particular theme to make sure it is "100% GPL." Just because WordPress has a rule that all themes are 100% GPL, does not guarantee that this rule was always followed. For example, see Problem About GPL Licence And WordPress Products.
    – Brandin
    Commented Dec 13, 2017 at 9:19
  • If theme is 100% GPL, can I sell it after modifing? Commented Dec 13, 2017 at 9:19
  • If the theme, artwork, text and everything in the theme are covered by the GPL, then the GPL allows you to redistribute derivative works and also charge a fee if you want. "100% GPL" is potentially confusing, though. It's possible that the source code is GPL, but the artwork is not (the specific artwork is not strictly required for the theme to function in WordPress). See the first linked question where this is discussed more fully.
    – Brandin
    Commented Dec 13, 2017 at 9:31
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    @IamtheMostStupidPerson The most common situation is when someone hires you and says "we want something like this, but modify this, that, and something else...". If everything is GPL it is fine to take it, modify it, and then sell the desired result to your client for a fee. Of course, your client must also receive that result under the same terms (GPL).
    – Brandin
    Commented Dec 13, 2017 at 12:12
  • 1
    @JohnForkosh: You don't have to provide a free copy of the source to just anyone. What you must do under the GPL is to provide the sources to anyone who purchased the theme from you and allow them to re-distribute the theme including sources. The problematic part for most businesses is in the second part, because any competitor could buy a single copy from you and the re-sell it for a much lower price (including free). Commented Dec 13, 2017 at 15:44

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can resell modified themes alright. And you will need to redistribute the modified source for these themes under the GPL. And someone can then redistribute these freely or take and resell them as they wish, as long everyone complies with the GPL, including modified source redistribution.

  • 2
    Agree: but you don't have to modify. And you are not responsible for others compliance. Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 21:49

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