- Themes are required to be 100% GPL-licensed, or use a GPL-compatible license. This includes all PHP, HTML, CSS, images, fonts, icons, and everything else. All of the theme must be GPL-Compatible.
- Themes may optionally include a full-text license, referenced as license.txt, or else link to a reasonably permanent URL that contains the full-text license
- Themes are required to declare their license explicitly, using the following method:
- Declare License and License URL header slugs to style.css, using this format:
License: GNU General Public License v2.0 License URL: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-2.0.html
- Themes are required to declare copyright and license information as specified by the applicable license, e.g.:
Twenty Fourteen WordPress Theme, Copyright 2014 WordPress.org Twenty Fourteen is distributed under the terms of the GNU GPL
- Derivative Themes are required to retain/declare the copyright information of the original work
- Bundled Resources
- Themes are required to state the copyright and license information for any bundled resources not covered by the Theme’s license statement.
- Themes must not clone the design of past or present web site. Themes that clone non-website designs will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
- Commercial versions of free Themes (i.e. “freemium” or “up-sell” Themes) are required to be released under GPL-compatible licenses
- Commercial versions of free Themes must not lock core WordPress features behind the commercial paywall
- Up-sell Themes may be subjected to more rigorous or additional Theme-Review requirements, at the discretion of the Theme Review Team
Theme Name Guidelines are required for new Themes, and recommended for existing Themes.
- Themes are not to use WordPress in their name. For example My WordPress Theme, WordPress AwesomeSauce, and AwesomeSauce for WordPress would not be accepted. After all, this is the WordPress Theme repository.
- Themes are not to use the term Theme in their name, such as: AwesomeSauce Theme. Same reason as above … it’s a Theme repository.
- Themes may use the WP acronym in the Theme name, such as WP AwesomeSauce.
- Themes are not to use version-specific, markup-related terms (e.g. HTML5, CSS3, etc.) in their name.
- Themes are not to use related terms (e.g. Blog, Web Log, Template, Skin, Design, Development, etc.) in their name.
- Themes are not to use Theme author/developer credit text in their name. For example AwesomeSauce by John Q. Developer (makes for a much better credit link); or, SEO/SPAM-seeded text, such as: AwesomeSauce by Awesome Free WP Themes.
- Themes are not to use related Theme names (e.g. WP Theme Name, Theme Name WP, The Theme Name, etc.) in their name.
- Child Theme names must be unique and cannot include the name of the parent (e.g. Theme Name Child)
- Themes are not to use word free in their name. All themes hosted at WordPress.org are free.
Also note, theme names as defined in the style.css header block will be used as the theme slug in the WordPress Extend Theme repository. All names will be turned to lower case and spaces will be replaced with hyphens. For example: ‘CamelCase Name’ would be ‘camelcase-name’.
- Theme URL, if used, is required to link to a page specifically related to the Theme. If a demonstration site or page is being used, the content must be related to the theme itself. http://wordpress.org/themes/theme-name is reserved for default themes only and no longer accepted.
- Author URL, if used, is required to link to an author’s personal web site or project/development website.
- Determination of appropriateness of Author URL and Theme URL is at the sole, and final, discretion of the Theme Review Team. For Author URL, emphasis is on the personal nature of the site. For Theme URL, a mere demo site is insufficient; the URL must include content predominately related to the Theme.
- If used, Themes are required to include no more than one footer credit link.
- Credit link, if used, is required to use either Theme URL or Author URL.
- Credit link anchor text and title are required to be relevant and appropriate with respect to the linked site. Spam or SEO-seeded anchor text and titles may subject Themes to automatic rejection.
- A second “Powered by” link for WordPress is also acceptable, with the link pointing to http://wordpress.org.
- If used, credit-link removal options are required to be opt-in (i.e. disabled by default, rather than enabled)
- Links in the description of the theme must be appropriately defined in respect to the Author URL requirements or to help and assistance to usage of the theme.