Front page demo content

It has recently come to my attention that several themes are adding full front-page demo content to show off their themes in the theme previewer. Basically, this is not cool.

No, there’s no specific guideline in the handbook against it. I really don’t think there needs to be one. This falls under the universal don’t try to game the system guideline.

What I’m seeing in several cases are theme authors outputting things so that their themes have an unfair advantage over other themes when previewed via the WordPress.org theme previewer. We take gaming-the-system issues pretty seriously around here.

Update: I wanted to clarify that I’m not calling all devs who do this cheaters. I’m sure many are good people trying to do good things. As admins of the TRT, we have to take a stern look at things sometimes and view things at their possible worst.

Update #2: Deleting/Rewriting the examples section because I’ve had a few theme authors ask for clarification. What specifically prompted this post are themes that are overwriting the front page with a demo HTML file, with things like a fake contact form, one that’s not even packaged with the theme. This doesn’t refer to themes that are outputting sane defaults for theme options that have not been configured.

Essentially, a lot of this really comes down to themes not respecting the users “Settings > Reading” settings. By default, sites are going to show the blog posts index on the front page. This should be what is shown. It’s what is shown in the WordPress.org theme previewer. I highly recommend reading this tutorial.

Reviewers

We have to catch this sort of thing. It’s next to impossible to miss when you install/activate a theme, which all reviewers should be doing.

The WordPress.org preview doesn’t show off my theme

We’re all aware of the issues. Believe me. I’m right there with you. I just ask for patience, discussion/participation about making the previewer better, and the use of sane defaults.

Here’s the meta ticket if you want to get involved with better demo content.