Many themes sold on ThemeForest come bundled with premium plugins from CodeCanyon.
A plugin is an additional component that offers functionality and features beyond a typical WordPress installation. Theme authors (who sell the themes) may choose to include certain plugins (such as Visual Composer, Revolution Slider, or other Page Builder plugins) within their item to add these special functions and features to the theme package.
What are bundled plugins?
Bundled plugins offer the same core features and functionality as the standalone version of the item on CodeCanyon.
Some plugins may ask for a purchase code for registration/activation once installed, however, you can simply ignore these messages as bundled plugins do not require activation or registration. The plugin will still work as intended with the theme once the theme has been activated/registered.
When a plugin is updated, the theme author will include the latest version of the bundled plugin with their next theme update. So you can easily update the bundled plugin when you next update your theme.
What's the difference between a bundled and a standalone plugin?
There are a few basic differences between plugins that are purchased separately and those that come bundled with a theme.
Standalone (or separately purchased) plugins:
- Come with their own individual license
- Can be used independently, with any theme
- Come with their own purchase code, which may be used to activate the plugin and remove the “Activation” message
- Can be updated from CodeCanyon as soon as a new plugin version is released
- Comes with 6 months of item support from the plugin author, with the option to extend the support period
Bundled plugins purchased as part of a theme from a theme author:
- Can only be used under the same license as the theme they came with (they cannot be extracted or used with other themes)
- Are supported by the seller of the theme (the theme author), under Item Support for the theme during your support period
- Are updated when a new version of the theme is released
Hint: Generally, bundled plugins can provide added convenience and value to a theme purchase, saving you money and the time spent seeking out and purchasing the plugins on your own. However, if you think you might want to use the plugin in another theme or by itself, or you might benefit from receiving direct updates and developer support, it may be worthwhile purchasing the plugins separately.
Bundled plugin compatibility
Plugins are great if you want to add functionality to a theme but please keep in mind that Envato can only guarantee the compatibility of the theme’s included plugin versions.
Themes will work with the plugin versions that come in the bundled purchase and it’s important to update all components in the bundle together to avoid compatibility issues.
I need to update my bundled plugin
If you’ve received an alert about a plugin that needs to be updated, or your plugin is no longer working with your theme, this could be because the plugin was recently updated.
Unless you have purchased the plugin separately, the author of the theme will provide the latest version of the bundled plugin with their next theme update.