Become a Reviewer

What is a theme reviewer?

A theme reviewer is a volunteer who helps theme authors add their theme to the official theme directory.

A reviewer installs and tests the theme, reviews the code and checks for security issues. The reviewer also confirms that the theme is compatible with GPLGPL GPL is an acronym for GNU Public License. It is the standard license WordPress uses for Open Source licensing The GPL is a ‘copyleft’ license This means that derivative work can only be distributed under the same license terms. This is in distinction to permissive free software licenses, of which the BSD license and the MIT License are widely used examples., the license that is used by WordPress.

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Who can become a reviewer?

The themes team is open to anyone and you can get started following the steps below.
If you find short video tutorials helpful you can also see our onboarding for new reviewers.

To contribute as a reviewer you need an understanding of theme development and knowledge of PHPPHP PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML. and common WordPress functions.

Submitting a theme and experiencing the workflow before becoming a reviewer is also beneficial.

You don’t need to be an expert, and reviewing themes is a great way to learn more about theme development. If you have expertise in one area but not the other, you are still welcome to contribute.

Theme reviewers communicate with theme authors via the TracTrac Trac is the place where contributors create issues for bugs or feature requests much like GitHub. ticket system and SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at The team uses English as the primary language of communication.

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How to become a reviewer

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  1. Create a user account or login.
  2. Join Slack. Visit and sign up using your The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. user account. You can then join the themes team in the #themereview channel. All our meetings are done in Slack. Checkout when our next one will be.
  3. Subscribe to the blog on Being subscribed to this blog lets you keep in touch with the team and updates.

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Test environment

To be able to test the theme, you also need a testing environment.

  1. Set up your testing environment.
  2. Import the theme unit test data into your installation. This gives you content to help you run tests.
  3. Set WP_DEBUG to 'true' in your wp-config.php file. This helps you find any PHP notices, warnings and errors.
  4. Install the following Plugins

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Learn about the theme review requirements

All themes that are submitted to the directory are reviewed against these requirements.

  1. Read through the requirements that the theme needs to pass to be approved, as well as the examples.
  2. Introduce your self in the Slack channel if you have not done so, we would love to meet you!

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Learn about the ticket system

The teams on uses a ticket system called Trac. Each theme has its own ticket. The theme tickets are found here:

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Select a theme to review

To select a theme to review, click on View tickets and select report number 2 (New):

Select the theme at the top of the list, and leave a note in the comment field that you are starting the review. Download the zip file and start your review.

As soon as an administrator is available, they will assign you the ticket. See a list of the themes that are assigned to you.

Every reviewer has their own workflows. This section is designed to shed some insight into common aspects of the being a reviewer.

  1. Do your review! See the suggested ticket format below.
    Please remember that we do not review design.  The focus of your review should be license and security. We only require design changes if something is broken or unusable.
  2. Be sure not to close your ticket. Leave it open for the author’s changes in response to your review.
  3. The theme author may submit several updates for you to review.
  4. Approve the theme once it passes all of the requirements.
  5. Once the ticket is approved, one of the experienced reviewers will go over the ticket.
  6. You may be asked to follow up on some questions, or the administrators will add the theme to the directory.

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Suggested ticket format

When you write your ticket response to a theme here is a suggested way of doing that:

  1. Welcome wrapper . Say Hi to the author, let them know what you are going to do. This may be their first review.
  2. Say the outcome. Let the author know from the start what the outcome is.
  3. Required. List all the required items, a theme can’t be approved until all of these are met.
  4. Recommended. You can then list all the recommended items. These won’t be a grounds to not approve, but they are good theme practice.
  5. Notes. This could be a section where you add design notes, maybe additional information. Again, this can’t be something you don’t approve because, but it can be a way to educate

Say what is going to happen next. Keeping the author informed is great. Let them know you will let them upload a new version or what the approval process is.

Using the headings ‘Required, Recommended and Notes’ is helpful for people when viewing the review.

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What happens next?

Once you have done enough theme reviews to be comfortable with the process and guidelines, you will be added to the “Reviewers” group, which will enable you to assign and close tickets yourself.

You are always welcome to participate in meetings and contributor days. The team welcomes new ideas on how to improve the review process.

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Also see Theme review process, onboarding for new reviewers, and Working with Trac.

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