Trusted Authors Program

We have an excitement announcement to make, we’ve decided to make things easier for you, the authors, by putting together a Trusted Authors Program. Eventually, it will lower the burden on reviewers/leads and we will have more time for other interesting programs. After a few days of brainstorming, here is what we have.

The Trusted Authors Program is an attempt to streamline the review process for authors who are consistently able to show they can to produce high quality code and themes that are in line with the current guidelines.

You should know from the start that applications for the Trusted Authors program and its queue will be handled only by team leads.

To apply to this program, you will need to select the ticket you want us to take into consideration:

  • It can be your latest approved (live) theme (not an update ticket)
  • Ticket in the New or Final Queue.

After that you can post your application in the comments, using this format (make sure you read the entire article carefully before you apply):

User: greenshady Ticket:

The leads will make sure to take a note and contact you if your application is accepted or not.

The ticket you’re applying with must have the following characteristics:  

  1. Escaping/Sanitization – maximum of 3 issues.
  2. Licensing – maximum of 3 issues and you need to be 100% GPL, all your products, either on your website or 3rd party sites.
  3. Content creation – none spotted, this also includes correct use of demo content.
  4. Malicious or egregious stuff – no PHP/JS or any types of errors, no plugin territory functionality. Correct use of prefixing, enqueue, translations, advertising.

As an author, you also need to know that:

  • You can submit a theme once a week (1 week). Please consider that authors in the New queue have to wait for a review and they are also limited to 1 theme/30 days.
  • You must have at least 1 live theme in the directory to be considered.
  • You can’t apply with a child theme, just parent themes.
  • This privilege is not transferable,
  • Themes approved through this program cannot be transferred to other accounts for a minimum of 6 months.
  • Accessibility ready themes are filtered out of the TA queue. They’ll need a11y reviews.

Consequences of not following the rules:

  1. Content creation, licensing issues result in 1 week suspensions without warning and removal from the program. You’ll need to fix the theme, suspension won’t be lifted until you do so.  You’ll be able to re-apply for the program after 3 months from the date when the theme is reinstated.
  2. Any type of hacks, malware, attract a permanent ban and removal of all your themes. (unless you were hacked and can provide hard proof for that).
  3. The other rules result in a warning, a period of 7 days to fix those issues, otherwise point 1’s consequences apply.
  4. We’ll not take into consideration active installs counts, how old a theme is or your financial distress. Suspensions will be applied without hesitation.
  5. Two strikes will result in removal from the program. You will not be allowed to re-apply to the program for a minimum of 4 months. Timescales may be decided on a case by case basis deepening on severity.

We would like to keep things civilized. All complaints are addressed in ticket, don’t call out people on Slack. You can ping any of the team leads if you have any concerns.

Please do not take advantage of being a trusted author. Post reviews will be done at random to ensure the program is not being abused. If we find the program is being abused, any abusive authors will be removed without notice.


Meeting notes for 2018 April 24

Meeting [ link ]. A Slack account is needed to view the archives.

Items discussed:

  • acosmin and williampatton will be joining the current Leads team (rabmalin and thinkupthemes) for the next tenure. Welcome acosmin and williampatton 🙂
  • After Changes in Theme Review Process, review queue has been significantly reduced to 2-3 weeks.
  • Reviewer badge has been assigned for new reviewers.
  • There was brief discussion about incentive program but no decision has been made.
  • Confusion around max 1 theme per month rule was discussed.


Changes in Theme Review Process

We all know that queue time is around 3 months. We have quite a small numbers of active theme reviewers at the moment, and even when a ticket is being reviewed, the review process itself can take pretty long to complete.

The change is based on moving burden from reviewer’s shoulder to theme author’s and making theme authors more responsible. From today, reviewers can check mainly following issues to pass the review.

  • Security
  • Licensing
  • Malicious or egregious stuff
  • Content Creation

Although these are the points to pass the theme review, theme authors are expected to follow the guidelines (required and recommended) like how it is going currently.

Moderators will spot check the themes after it is set live. If theme authors are found intentionally not following the guideline, Moderators will ask theme authors to fix the critical issues. In the case of not abiding the guidelines, theme could be on temporary or permanent suspension.