Which license is for which purpose?

I have a few (semi-)hypothetical scenarios where I’m not sure which license would be appropriate, so I’d like to ask for some clarification.

For instance, if you’re developing a website for a non-profit organization, like a human rights NGO, it’s not a personal website, but definitely not commercial either.

Another example is if you’re making a website for a real estate project. The website is basically a brochure, where you show all kinds of information about the building. The website itself is not making any money, but does it fall into the commercial license?

Thanks in advance!

This question is probably best answered by @bastianallgeier.

From my point of view, your second example is certainly commercial. The purpose of the website is to sell the real estate and thus to make money. It’s basically the same as a photographer presenting photographs in order to gain new customers, even if the images are not directly sold through the website. Or a lawyer or web designer offering their services.

As regards the non-profit organization, I’m not sure.

Yeah, the real estate example makes sense.

Thanks for your reply!

I’ve got the same problem. I am working on a Podcast. The site will use Kirby CMS. I would like to add the possibilty to support the podcast via patreon or (in my wildest dreams :wink: ) finding a sponsor in the future. What license will I need? I am not sure if that’s a commercial usage.

1 Like

Same problem for me… This need more clarification.

I agree it needs to be more explicit, as many questions about licenses have been asked on this forum, but imho when you ask yourself which license you need, then you most probably need a pro one.

I currently build a site for a non-profit association, and at first I wondered if it qualified for a pro license. But non-profit doesn’t mean they can’t get money through the site, if only to cover costs. And indeed this particular one tries to find financial partners. So I went for a pro license.

More importantly, the way I read it the commercial part is secondary: the licenses are named personal and pro. If a site is for an association or NGO, it is certainly not personal.
Even a personal site, like a blog, could be commercial if you sell things or display ads.


@Malvese, I agree absolutely. IMHO, a personal license is only for personal stuff, like a family website, a personal blog not connected to your business and without ads, a hobby website, e.g. about your kittens or a family photo album, something that is just intended for friends and family and maybe other interested parties. Maybe your CV if you are looking for a job.

So basically, in most cases you will need a pro license, there are only very limited uses for a personal website.

1 Like

Hobby / non-professional activity, personal site or blog, family and friends. Seems like a good definition to me.

This interpretation doesn’t match some official statements, though:

That’s interesting, but as I said above, we can only guess what we think is reasonable as long as there is no official clarification with examples of websites that require a personal vs. pro licenses.

What about bulk buying? Where are the price list if i want to buy more than 10 licences?
Because i want it… sooner or later. :smile:

Another question, is a license linked to a specific domain? Or i can re-use a license i used for a website i decided to delete?

The bulk prices are here https://sites.fastspring.com/openwe/instant/kirby2-professional if you click on the link (my German version shows a link called “Mengenrabatt verfügbar”).

No, licenses are not linked to any specific domain, as long as you have one license per website, everything is fine :smile:

1 Like

The tweet asked "Does a non-profit sports club qualifies for a Personal license of Kirby 2?"
It sounds like a hobby to me, and non-profit in this case probably means the fees (if any) just cover the expenses and no one makes money.
Anyway, we’re just guessing here, only @bastianallgeier can really tell us more about the licenses.

I really thought the license model would be clear and not need any additional explanation. But I’ll try my best to make it clearer.

Pro license (including email support)

  • any form of paid client work
  • sites that make money through ads or memberships
  • sites that promote a commercial product
  • sites that promote a person to find a paid job, find paid projects, sell more of their products, etc.
  • sites that promote a commercial brand
  • sites that sell anything in general

= anything that involves money

Personal license (no email support)

  • a hobby website
  • a personal blog/site without ads/memberships etc.

In between

When people want to build a website for their small local football club or their private cooking club or something similar, a personal license is totally fine.

Educational projects
From time to time I get asked about educational projects, such as a school website, a student project or similar projects. I’m always happy to support such projects with a free license when it makes sense. Just write me in such a case.

I’m also super happy to support good causes with a free license unless it’s an NGO sponsored by a huge international bank or similar weird things that actually already happened.

Some last words
Most of you already know that I’m very very open with Kirby’s license model. I get asked every other week if this makes sense at all and if I couldn’t make much more money with a “proper” closed license system. Of course I could! Kirby 2.0.6 got downloaded more than 13000 times within 3 months (only counting the downloads from download.getkirby.com) and I just sold around 450 licenses during that time. You can all do the math on pirateted versions yourself. BTW I sell more personal licenses than professional ones and I’m sure most of them are used for commercial projects. But this still works as long as there are enough people believing in Kirby and believing in supporting the project with legally paid licenses. Kirby can only keep on growing if I have the money to spend time on it. Please just be fair enough to ask yourself which license is probably the right for you. In 90% of all cases I’m sure it should be clear **cough** Pro **cough**

I believe in the transparency of open source. I believe in the idea that you all should be able to test Kirby for as long as you want to make sure it’s the right tool for your projects. But I also believe in paid software and in sustainable projects. I’m glad the last four years showed that there can be a combination of all those aspects. You can keep it that way with your decisions!


Hi Bastian,

First off: thanks for the reply!

Secondly: I hope it didn’t come across as me trying to get out of buying a pro license, I was going to do that (for the second case, the first is entirely hypothetical) anyway. I just thought it could use some clarification.

Thirdly: I think it’s really cool you’d offer NGOs a free license! Perhaps you should put that on the website!

@flobin it’s all fine!! Your questions make total sense. I will try to add more details to license options to the website asap.

I’m going through the same dilemma. IMO get the personal license if you haven’t made a single dollar from your podcast yet. The moment you get revenue through ads/sponsors/whatever, upgrade to the pro license. It’s worth every penny to support the developer.

1 Like

@AdamRasheed: When in doubt, I suggest you talk to @bastianallgeier.

Most websites are commercial websites and require a pro license. Only personal websites that don’t have the purpose of generating customers/clients and money in the end, qualify for a personal license (e.g. a site where you share images with friends and family, a website about your cats or other interests, a personal blog without ads etc.)


Well, is it true, that i have to pay for a new license, when the version number goes up one complete step (from 2 to 3, from 3 to 4 …)?


I can’t really answer this question, but licenses bought for Kirby 1 were still valid for Kirby 2 with a voluntary option to buy an upgrade license. That does not mean that it will be like that in the future.

My personal opinion as a user of Kirby (not as a team member): From an economical point of view, it does not really make sense to sell a license and then allow updates for free for all eternity. After all, the team has to make a living, and to keep Kirby up to date and to comply with user requests, a lot of work goes into developing the software, supporting users, writing documentation etc.