Nobuna sells premium WordPress themes and plugins at discounted prices. But is GPL legal? Do you get value for your money? And, even more important, is your website safe? I’ll answer these questions and more in this Nobuna plugins and themes review.
This started out as a favorable review of Nobuna and the concept of cheaper prices for GPL plugins and themes. But something happened that changed my mind completely.
Scary Wordfence Scan
My favorite security plugin, Wordfence, flagged no less than forty-seven (47) critical malicious or unsafe files on this website that had some of Nobuna’s plugins installed.
The website was using Nobuna’s own updater plugin. The updater plugin had corrupted all my websites that were using it. But the other sites with GPL plugins didn’t show any unsafe files so I’m sure that it was the Nobuna Updater that caused all the problems. I was able to remove the corrupted files as soon as I removed the updater plugin.
So now, although I’m still in favor of GPL plugins and themes, I no longer support Nobuna. Instead, I’m favoring GPL Monster.
Needless to say, I’ve ditched all Nobuna plugins and themes and canceled my membership. If their very own plugin causes corruption then I don’t trust their downloads. My website is more important to me than a few dollars saved.
What is GPL (General Public License)?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few months you’ll have seen numerous ads for Nobuna dot com, especially on YouTube. But, if you’re not sure what GPL is all about then you may be wondering how Nobuna, GPL Monster, and other GPL download sites can offer discounted WordPress plugins and themes.
The answer is simple. They obtain original WordPress plugins and themes that have a GPL license (General Public License) and make them available for their own customers to download at discounted prices. Unlike physical products, digital downloads don’t require inventory, shipping costs, and, in many cases, customer support. So it costs pretty much the same to sell one copy as one thousand.
But is Nobuna legal?
Good question. I’m not a lawyer but I’ve done some research for you and included links so you can check the sources.
The plugins and themes sold by Nobuna are licensed under the GPL (General Public License) which includes the rights to modify the code, and for anyone to give away or sell copies. This means that you can use the themes and plugins you download from Nobuna or GPL Monster on as many websites as you like.
But please note, Nobuna does not offer any additional services like support, upgrades, updates, and license/registration keys. If you need these features then you’ll be better off buying your plugins and themes from the original developers or their authorized distributors.
Mostly, GPL themes and plugins work just fine without license keys. And, if they’re good quality products, you may not need any authors’ support.
This is what I discovered on the Harvard website: If a party owns the rights to a particular trademark, that party can sue subsequent parties for trademark infringement.
Again, I need to mention that I am not a lawyer.
Briefly, the standard for trademark infringement is “likelihood of confusion.” To be more specific, the use of a trademark in connection with the sale of a good constitutes infringement if it is likely to cause consumer confusion as to the source of those goods or as to the sponsorship or approval of such goods.
Nobuna states clearly that it is not associated with the developers of any of the products they sell on their website.
It looks like Nobuna makes sure that its customers are aware that it is not affiliated or in any way related to third-party developers or trademark owners, including WordPress, WooCommerce, WooThemes, Yoast, etc.
I reckon that takes care of the “likelihood of confusion” aspect.
Nobuna offers different pricing options that are subject to change at their discretion. At the time of writing, you can purchase individual downloads or subscribe to the Nobuna Club for 6 or 12 months which includes up to 10 downloads a day.
As a member of Nobuna Club, you’ll get instant access to all plugins and all themes in their repository which you can then use on unlimited domains. Heck, you can even share them with your friends. They do, however, impose a limit of 10 downloads per day.
If all you need is one premium theme or a couple of plugins then you have the option of purchasing these downloads individually. Prices usually range from around $6 upwards with the more expensive options still costing considerably less than the authors’ pricing.
Currently, they have over 2,700 premium plugins and themes available for download. It’s not everything, but it’s a pretty comprehensive range.
If you’re running an eCommerce site then Nobuns has lots of WooCommerce plugins as well as the YITH options.
Is Nobuna worth the money?
The plugins and themes are the same as those distributed by the original authors.
What you don’t get are license keys, upgrades, updates, and author support. Prepare to do some Google and YouTube searches to solve any technical issues you may encounter. And if a membership or license is required to access all the features then Nobuna may not be for you.
The plugins and themes you download from Nobuna may not be the latest versions. It’s a good idea to check if the available download is compatible with the current version of WordPress.
If you have any questions that are not covered in this article then please read the FAQs at Nobuna or leave a comment below.
Do you think that Nobuna GPL plugins and themes are worth the money? What about the risk to the security of your website? Please scroll down to leave a comment.
Nobuna sells GPL WordPress plugins and themes at discounted prices. But the Nobuna updater plugin corrupted 47 files on one website. For me, Nobuna is not worth the risks to the security of my websites.