If you are developing a plugin for WordPress and you want to sale to have probably thought about encoding your source code so it’s would be hard for other people to “steal” you code and resell as their own.
But before we proceed in this direction you should know few things:
- WordPress is an open source platform the follow the GPL license
- Open source doesn’t mean free you can charge and sell your open source plugins.
- WordPress guidelines prefer that you would publish all of your plugins according to GPL licenses which mean open source and not encoded.
In that in mind you should also be aware that all plugin that released under GPL give the buyer /user and permission to alter the code and resell it as there own as long as they keep the new plugin under the GPL license as well.
Although the GPL license is the one the helped WordPress to become what it’s today, if you are going to develop you plugins as a business it’s a very “funny” situation to be in.
Here are the pros and cons for either you should encode your commercial plugin.
- It’s would difficult for other people to view your source code.
- Create more sells because people cant copy the code easily
- Keep you code private
- Legal buyer could not adapt the code to their needs
- Some encoding methods require special hosting environment and may create problem
- You are now following the according to the WordPress license
In some cases we encode our plugins mostly because we do some very unique coding that we want to keep for our selves.
On other plugins even commercial one we sell them as a open source and respect the community to value our work enough to pay for the product.
As we think about it people are not paying for our products code they are paying for support and if you look as this from this point of view it’s doesn’t really matter whether you release you plugin as a open source or encoded.
If you still want to encode you plugin code we are going to release and article soon regarding the encoding / encrypting option that exists.