Are you licensing the sites you create correctly?


If you design websites for a living regardless of the platform are you licensing everything correctly?  Themes, plugins, add-ons and images may require a separate license to be used on each and every website you create.  Let me state that again

“a separate license needs to purchased for each and every website where it is used”.

Let me explain:

Client 1 comes to you for a new WordPress site.  You purchase and license the following elements from the Envato Market Place:

  • Salient Theme
  • Media Grid Plugin

You also purchase 6 images from ShutterStock for use as page headers and within the content of the site.

On completion of this project the licenses for all the items above now belong to Client 1.

Client 2 comes to you, again they want a WordPress site.  They loved what you did for Client 1 and want a similar site you cannot use any of the items you purchased for Client 1, none of them, not the theme, the plugin or the images.  You need to purchase them again.

Got it – once again, all together now!  A separate license needs to be purchased for each and every website where the licensed content is used.  Note that images can be used multiple times on the website (most of the time).

License Transfer

When you go live and the customer takes ‘ownership’ of their website you need to transfer the licenses of any images, themes and plugins along with any other licenses.  Let them know if there are any ongoing costs – most premium themes and plugins will have a limited support and maintenance window that will, if not renewed eventually break the site.  Check out our previous post Why out of date themes with bundled plugins break sites.

Developer Licenses

Of course there are exceptions, some premium plugins and themes cater for designers and developers.  Plugins from Gravity Forms, WP Rocket and themes from ZigZag Press provide developer licensing enabling you use the plugin or theme on as many websites as you like.  You will need to renew the subscription to ensure that your end customer continues to benefit from the upgrades to the plugins or you could end up in the same situation.

WordPress Multisite

If you use WordPress Multisite to host multiple clients on a single WordPress Network each client who uses the theme and or plugin needs to be licensed, the images need to be licensed for each site too.

The Golden Rule

Unless otherwise stated licenses are single use.

Remember that by purchasing a license for every product correctly, you are paying the very developers and designers who make your life easier.  They can continue their work so you can make better and better websites.  If you are unsure of the license for the elements you use on the websites check out the elements website, the standard licenses for Envato here, SutterStock here and iStockPhoto here (note these links will open a new tab).


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