Top 10 things that has to be considered before submitting your first wordpress theme for theme review

Any one who have published WordPress theme for WordPress official theme store, knows that it would take at least two months to get approved from WordPress theme reviewers team ( unless you are a member of theme reviewers and has the capability to pick the tickets yourself ).

Every newly submitted themes will have to go through four stages of theme reviewing process, before getting published in WordPress Theme Store

  1. New
  2. Reviewing
  3. Approved
  4. Live

Well if you are an experienced WordPress theme developer, probably your theme will get approved in first attempt ( of course you would have developed a lot of themes ).

If this is your first WordPress theme then there are chances to stuck at “Reviewing” stage, where you need to fix those issues reported by reviewer and re upload, which will further delay your theme from going live.

If you are deriving your theme from WordPress official themes ( Twenty Twelve, Twenty Fourteen … ) then you probably out of danger, but if you built your theme from the scratch then you may have to consider many scenarios.

I would like to share my experiences, which might help you to prevent some of those common issues.

1. Demo content

After setting up your WordPress local environment, download the test data from here and import it into your development WordPress.

2. Templates, Styles and Other must included files

screenshot.jpg ( or png )

3. Structure and Style Checkup

This is one important scenario but there is an easy way to handle it. Download your favorite theme from WordPress theme store and upload it in your local development environment, and visit all the pages and posts using both themes, this way you can figured it out what are the styles and features you have missed in your development theme.

make sure the following items are implemented in your themes

  • Style for all HTML tags ( for Title, Content and Comments )
  • Proper styles for Featured Image, Left aligned, Center aligned, Right aligned and Full width Images
  • Pages with pagination
  • Comments with Pingbacks and Tracbacks
  • Post without Title
  • Posts and Pages with Password Protected

4. Namespace

Make sure all of your custom functions and global variables are prefixed with your theme slug name ( functions.php as well as any custom php file included by you ).

function {your_theme_slug_name}_setup() {
	register_nav_menu( 'primary', 'Primary Menu' );	
add_action( 'after_setup_theme', '{your_theme_slug_name}_setup' );

5. Debug Mode

Enable debug mode by setting WP_DEBUG flaq to “true” define('WP_DEBUG', true); which is located at your wordpress wp-config.php file. Now visit all pages and wp-admin, if you find any php warning message fix those issues.

6. Enqueue Styles & Scripts

Always use WordPress wp_enqueue_style and wp_enqueue_script to include your css and js files. never include script or style sheet directly into your templates.

8. Placing wp_head and wp_footer

Always place wp_head() function right before the end of tag and wo_footer() function right before the end of tag

9. Accessibility Ready Tag

Well if you tag your theme with accessibility-ready tag then your theme will go through WordPress Theme reviewer as well as accessibility review team, which will add some more delay. It would be better to add this accessibility-ready tag after your theme made live, when you submit updated version of your theme.

Of course it depends, if your too sure about Accessibility then you can go ahead with accessibility-ready tag.

10. Readme

readme.txt a must included file, readme.txt file should contain the following information

  • Theme Name
  • Author Info
  • Tags
  • WordPress Version Info
  • Theme Current Version Info
  • Theme Description
  • Copyrights info for all the custom plugins, stylesheets, images, fonts etc …
  • Change Logs

something like this

== Theme Name ==
Contributors : Your Name -
Tags : theme tags
Requires at least:	3.5.0
Tested up to:		4.0.1
Stable tag:		2.0

Theme Description :

Features :

== Copyright ==
Theme Name, Copyright 2014
Theme Name is distributed under the terms of the GNU GPL
Theme Name is built with the following resources: 

Bootstrap 3 -
	- Released under MIT license.
	- Copyright 2014 Twitter Inc.
Font Awesome - 
	- licensed under SIL OFL 1.1 · Code licensed under MIT License
	- Created by Dave Gandy
Open Sans 
	- Released under Apache License, version 2.0.
	- Created by Steve Matteson

== Changelog ==

= 1.1 =
* Minor code fixes - files: functions.php

= 1.0 =
Initial Release 

WordPress Official Documentation

WordPress official Theme Review Guidelines
Wordpress official Theme Unit Test Unit Test
Theme Accessibility Guidelines

Happy Theming.!

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