Working with Trac

This introduction is intended for new reviewers and does not cover advanced topics.

The Themes Trac is a ticket system that we use to keep track of submitted themes.

Please note that TracTrac Trac is the place where contributors create issues for bugs or feature requests much like GitHub. is also used by the CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. and MetaMeta Meta is a term that refers to the inside workings of a group. For us, this is the team that works on internal WordPress sites like WordCamp Central and Make WordPress. teams. If you are looking for the Core Trac tutorial please go here.


In order to review a theme in Trac, you need to register or login to 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. account.

You can access Trac via this link: and from the Make WordPress Themes blog:

An image displaying the Theme Review Team's blog menu, with the Trac link highlighted.

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A ticket is automatically created when a new theme is uploaded via the upload page.

A ticket can have the following status:

  • New  Themes that have not been reviewed yet.
  • Reviewing  Themes that are being reviewed, or have been returned to a ticket queue.
  • Approved  Themes that have been reviewed and approved by a reviewer.
  • Reopened  Themes that have been approved but reopened by a moderator.
  • Live  Themes that have been closed and set live are visible in the Themes Directory.
  • Not approved  Themes that have been closed as not approved as they have more than 3 issues or because there was no response from the author.
  • Closed-newer-version-uploaded  Themes that have been closed because there is a new ticket.

The status of the ticket can be found at the top, next to the ticket number:

An image describing the upper part of a theme Trac ticket, where the ticket status, theme name, theme author, description and links are shown.

  • Opened, Modified or closed:  The age of a ticket can help you prioritize. We review the oldest tickets first.
  • THEME:  This is the theme name and the theme version.
  • Reported by:  This is the username of the person who submitted the theme.
  • Owned by:   The username of the reviewer will be placed here.


There are two priorities that you can come across as a new reviewer: New Theme and Previously Reviewed.

Previously Reviewed means that the previous ticket has been closed as not approved.


There are three keywords that you need to pay attention to:

  • child-theme  The theme is a child themeChild theme A Child Theme is a customized theme based upon a Parent Theme. It’s considered best practice to create a child theme if you want to modify the CSS of your theme.
  • parent-(name)  The name of the parent theme.
  • accessibilityAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (  The theme has an accessibility-ready tag and needs an accessibility review before being approved.


This is a list of usernames that will receive an email notification of future comments to the ticket.

Below this you will find the theme description and theme and author links. This is the same description and links that the author has added to style.css.

If you want to test run the theme, you can download the zip file. You can also gain access to the file contents by clicking the svn link.

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Ticket History

An image describing the ticket history: a list that summarizes the previous ticket number, the theme name, theme version and ticket resolution.

If a theme has been reviewed in the past, ticket history may be added to the ticket above the themes screenshot. It is recommended that you open the tickets and read the ticket history, this can be helpful to your review.

Make sure that you always review the latest version of the theme.

Note: Sometimes non related tickets with similar names can show up in the list. You can ignore these tickets.

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Theme Check results

Below the screenshot, you may find automated notices similar to the example:

Theme Check Results:

  • RECOMMENDED: No reference to add_theme_support( “custom-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.”, $args ) was found in the theme. It is recommended that the theme implement this functionality if using an image for the header.
  • RECOMMENDED: No reference to add_editor_style() was found in the theme. It is recommended that the theme implement editor styling, so as to make the editor content match the resulting post output in the theme, for a better user experience.

When a theme is uploaded, it is run through a version of the Theme Check pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the Plugin Directory or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party, and the result is posted in the ticket.

Do not get alarmed if you are reviewing a child theme and there are lots of errors. Only some of the issues applies to child themes.

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Adding your review

Finally, we have the list of comments that have been added by users, and the comment form where you will add your review.

An image describing a comment form with additional text and code styling options.

You can use WikiFormatting to style your comments and codes.

Remember to separate requirements and recommendations when you write your review. Even when you do not find any problems, please include a note of what you have reviewed.

When you add comments, do not change the status of the ticket unless you have completed the review.

Tip: Do not write your review in the comment form. Write it in your preferred text editor and paste it into the form when you are done, so that you do not lose any content in case the Trac is temporary down or you accidentally close your browser.

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Adding files to a ticket

You will also find a form where you can add files to the ticket.

An image describing a button with the text "Attach file", and a list with the names and sizes of two image files that has been uploaded.

If you want to add images to your review, please use this form instead of third party image sites.

Note that the author should never submit their updates in this form, they need to use the upload page.

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Comparing ticket updates

When a theme is updated, you can review the updates by downloading or browsing the Diff.

An image describing where the link to the Diff files is placed: between the link to the zip file and the ticket history.

The Diff shows all the changes made, including files that have been removed or added. You can browse the Diff in Trac, or you can download the file at the bottom of the page:

An image describing a Diff file, where additions to the selected file has been marked with a green background color.

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Changing ticket status

Do not change the Priority, Type, or Keyword of the theme:

An image describing a form with the label Modify ticket. This form is placed below the comment form, and should not be changed.

The Actions available to new reviewers are:

Resolve as not-approved

Only select this if:

  • You have completed the review and there are 3 or more distinct errors.
  • The author asks you to close it.
  • You have asked the author to submit an update, but the author has not replied within 7 days.


Only select this if you have completed the review and you feel the theme is ready to be live in the theme directory.

An image describing a form labeled Action. The form has 3 radio button options: Leave as reviewing, Resolve as not approved, Approved.

Moderators can also set themes live:

An image describing a form labeled Action. The form has 4 radio button options: Leave as reviewing, Resolve as not-approved, Approved, and approve and mark as live.

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Requesting help with a review

You can request help from other reviewers, moderators or team leads by using @ username.  Tagging one person is usually enough. You can find a list of usernames here:

If you mention the ticket number in SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at, a link to the ticket will be added automatically.

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Finding tickets and ticket queues

On the front page of Trac, you will first see some statistics. From here, select the menu option “View Tickets”. Here you will find a list of reports, or queues, separating tickets depending on their status.

The main queues are:

{2} New

{24} Final Review: Approved Themes Not Yet Live

{11} Theme Reviews Assigned to Me   -This is your most important queue.

Clicking this link will take you to a list of themes that are assigned to you.

An image describing a form where the user can filter search results. Below the form is a list of themes assigned to the reviewer ( Theme Reviews assigned to me).

You can also find specific tickets by clicking the Track Tickets link on a live theme’s directory page:

An image describing a list of links, with the headline Browse the Code.

In addition to using the regular search form in Trac, you can also use Custom Queries.

By adding a new Reporter field and specifying a username, you can find themes submitted by a specific user.

An image describing a form labeled Custom Query, and displays a select list of options available to filter search results.




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