Preliminary Theme Review Process

Note: This post is not an official guideline, best practice or advice.



Always pay extra attention and make sure that the entire theme is GPL, or GPL-Compatible. This will include, fonts, scripts, images etc.


Once upon a time, we were slammed with spammers and even though that is no longer the case, we still need to verify the link accuracy and that would be Author URI and Theme URI.


The trademark issues are usually found within the theme name. Most obvious names are easy to find: “WordPress”, “Google”, “Twitter” etc.


Screenshot should be as accurate as possible.


Usually I would look for any errors, such as hardcoded scripts or extra stylesheets (including Google Fonts).

Also, plugin-territory codes and data validation issues.

Now that we checked the header.php we would dive all the way down into the footer.php area.


Here we are going to repeat what we just did in headerHeader The header of your site is typically the first thing people will experience. The masthead or header art located across the top of your page is part of the look and feel of your website. It can influence a visitor’s opinion about your content and you/ your organization’s brand. It may also look different on different screen sizes. and for the logical reasons. In most cases if there are issues in header area, we will find them in footer too.

The next stop is the brain of the theme and yes you guess it, functionality.


What to look for:

If you are working with additional libraries and frameworks the process will be longer of course.

  • Proper theme setup function
  • Proper scripts and stylesheets inclusion
  • Proper content directory inclusion
  • Everything is prefixed and have unique text-domains
  • Everything is hooked properly
  • Potential security and privacy issues
  • Core features are not restricted or removed

When the basics are covered, the next step is to follow everything that’s loaded in the functions.php i.e.



And this was the very basic (not complete)  theme review process.


If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to comment below.

Hope that this helps 🙂

Happy Holidays!