If you have a WordPress site, you probably use a lot of plugins. Your biggest problem might be incompatible plugins. Developers deserve to be paid for their work, and if you use a plugin on a commercial site, you will definitely want automatic updates and support.
Sadly, many sites do not offer refunds if plugins do not work on your site. As they cost up to hundreds of dollars, it can be annoying to pay for a piece of software that crashes your site and is just not working for your specific configuration.
That is where GPL sites come to play. As they based the code on open source code, it's legal to sell plugins, even if you are not the owner. GPL sites are a great way to try out plugins without breaking the bank.
For ethical and safety reasons and to get proper support, once you know a plugin works for you, you should obviously buy it from the developer.
I tested a few sites for you. I have found all of the plugins I need and purchased them from the original vendors so that there will be no updates to this post.
The best GPL sites and clubs
GPL Vault Review https://gplvault.com
I can recommend this relatively new site. The number of available plugins is good, so is the support and the frequencies of updates is satisfactory.
The owner of the site implements changes constantly, for instance, new search functions, descriptions and much more.
The plugins are all in a working state. The owner of the site understands that he gets paid for a service and he delivers on it. I am giving 4 instead of 5 because the update speed has improved in recent times but was not great until a few months ago. Also, it's not the site with the largest offer, whereas it has all of the important plugins and new ones are added on a regular basis.
GPLCrafter review https://www.gplcrafter.com
The price of the offers seems inexpensive compared to other sites.
They even offer free updates for 2 years! Sounds incredible, no?
Well, the first plugin I checked hasn't been updated for nearly 1.5 years and isn't even compatible with the current WordPress version.
So much about GPLCrafter the cheap seller of outdated plugins.
GPL Vaults review https://gplvaults.com
I found this club because the URL is too similar to the first on the list, GPL Vault.
The site has very nice and fast support as well as a good amount of available plugins and a good update frequency. At the time of this review, the annual fee for a plugin-membership (excluding themes) is only $60 which is pretty fabulous.
Sadly, the only thing that bothered me is actually very bothersome. It's very hard to find what you are looking for. The impressive list of plugins is presented in the form of a list.
If you are looking for the cheapest solution and do not mind that your eyes will die reading lines and lines of text to find a plugin you like, then you might want to try this site.
The site also offers bundles (i.e. WooCommerce, Gravity) that allow you to subscribe at a very low cost. I do recommend this site.
Nullclub review https://nullclub.com
This site has the largest number of plugins and is updated most frequently. You might wonder why it's not number 1. It's not number one because some of the plugins might be tempered with more than necessary to make them work. I.e. adding self-marketing. That destroys trust.
The support is provided by people whose first language is not English. The speed of support makes up for the fact that you might have to explain twice.
For this reason,only the site gets 2/5. The number of available plugins as well as the speed of updates is 5/5. I recommend this site for advanced users only. It's attractive because it has more plugins than most other sites but unless you use GPL plugins only on a non-productive test-site, you might put your business in danger.
The worst GPL site
Luckily, I personally only came across one site I do not recommend.
GPL Downloads Review https://gpldownloads.com
Just. No. It's a scam. The URL should be lazywarez.com
On the first look, this site looks great. It seems to have a ton of different plugins and the annual fee is low.
Let's make this quick. The fee is low because the owner of the site does not care. Plugins are up to a few versions behind and you receive popular plugins with instruction on how to hack them.
Basically, you pay for nothing. If you want to hack software, you can just go to the dark web and get this "service" for free.
The owner of the site plays the "eBay empty box" game. Remember? The times where someone could trick you with fine print and sell an empty box instead of the item you expect?
All GPL sites state that they do not alter code, include malware and give you originals. The site owner mentions this as the reason that you have to hack your plugins. It's pretty nonsensical as you have to trust a vendor because you have no idea if a file has been altered or not.
An all GPL sites (besides this one) give you working plugins. Once you notice you paid for nothing, you will not get a refund.
GPL Downloads does not offer support, pay programmers or own any staff. The very nature of a GPL site is to offer working plugins. And to update them timely.
In this "easy money" field, you will find some scammers. Sadly, at the point when I fell for this site, there was no honest review available.
Effectio.org Review http://effectio.org
The most expensive (not to say overpriced) site on this list has severe technical problems.
- No, you do not get a free premium plugin
- No, there is no "automatic update" function through the dashboard. Don't install the broken software, it doesn't work. One might wonder why the vendor who KNOWS that it doesn't work still
let'speople download the broken software.
- "Install on five sites" statement is nonsense. You can install on as many sites as you want if there would not be:
- Problems with downloads
- Potentially breaks your sites
Once you paid for your overpriced plugin, you will learn that you cannot download it due to a server error.
The vendor removes the update check and you will not know if a new version of your plugin has been released. Supposed you test a plugin for an extended period of time before you purchase it, you'll miss security updates and might end up with broken functions unless you constantly check for yourself if a new version has been released.
Recommendation: Stay away. If a higher price is accompanied by better quality/service, it's a good thing. But overpaying for a broken site doesn't make a lot of sense.
GPL Coffee Review https://gpl.coffee/pricing/
This is a very nice site. It's on the expensive site but service and plugin-availability are very good.
The site even offers a free membership with 2 daily downloads of a limited assortment of popular plugins. The next tier is "Pro" and there's also a "Geek" tier where you can find some plugins that you cannot get on every GPL site.
Recommendation: Give them a try
Review GPL WP http://gplwp.com
Short and sweet: The site sells subscription plans and subscription to single plugins. But you will not get updates. You will also not get any response or reaction from their support.
The site is currently in maintenance mode. The exact statement you'll find there (and I couldn't agree more):
"Sad Site is under construction 🙁
Sorry, we're doing some work on the site
Thank you for being patient. We are doing some work on the site and will be back shortly."
Should it come back, my recommendation is: Stay away.