Our company is wanting to deploy a pro and free version of our extension onto JED. Is there any way that I can prevent people with the free version from hacking to get the pro version? I would like to not have to develop separate pro and free versions.

We have thought of enforcing restrictions by using two different backend forms for the pro and free versions. We are using the standard Joomla form fields to create the backend form. This method will be simple to do and would do the trick in our case. But it does not stop people from changing certain field settings to give them pro features.

I realise that this is an opinion-based question, but I have not been able to find out anything by searching and I am not sure where else to post this.

If someone could just point me in the right direction that would be much appreciated.

  • ...trust no one :) Commented Jun 1, 2021 at 22:38

1 Answer 1


No, you cannot prevent people from changing your code. When you release your Joomla extension under the GPL license, your users are allowed to study/modify your code.

An approach that you could consider is to create a Pro version. To create a Free version, just use the same code but overwrite some code with some other code that has limited functionality.

I use that approach for one of my commercial extensions. I've automated the package creation using https://robo.li/ (a task runner for PHP). It creates multiple packages (a free + pro) at the same time.

  • 1
    Hi @pe7er, i did use this method of changing a few files to create a pro and free version. I also automated the compilation process like you suggested. Sorry for the late reply. Commented Jun 8, 2021 at 10:08
  • @RichardSlabbert Good to hear that my pro/free method was useful for you. And that you are using robo.li. I really like that tool. It saves me much time and hassle with creating extension installation packages.
    – pe7er
    Commented Jun 8, 2021 at 21:48

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