What should happen when a theme in the directory doesn’t follow the guidelines?

Sometimes a theme that is listed in the directory is updated in ways that don’t match expectations for themes outlined in the guidelines. The team has tried different ways to address issues like this.

Inconsistent results have come from warning theme authors that their theme could be suspended if they don’t resolve the issue. Suspending a theme immediately upon finding an issue is an effective way to motivate theme authors to fix problems, but it can be confusing for end users and stressful for theme authors and reviewers.

There’s been a lot of discussion (in SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. and elsewhere) lately about the best way for this team to resolve these issues, moving forward. Collecting opinions and suggestions in one place, like this blog post, seems like a good way to ensure that good ideas aren’t lost in a backscroll. 

When sharing your ideas and feedback, please remember:

  • This team is staffed by volunteers.  
  • There is a lot of work to do, and not many people to do it. 
  • This discussion should follow WordPress.org etiquette

To help direct the discussion toward productive solutions, please consider answering the following questions in your comment:

  1. Are there teams in WordPress or in similar organizations whose policies / communication processes might be a good model for the Theme team? 
  2. What is the right balance between the needs of WordPress users and the needs of theme authors? 
  3. If you could change only one thing about this team’s policies / communication processes, what would it be? 

To allow the team to summarize the comments before the next team meeting, please post your comments before August 22.

Thanks to @acosmin, @poena, and @andreamiddleton for their input with editing this post.