Attention Interested in functions, hooks, classes, or methods? Check out the new WordPress Code Reference!

Theme Review

The WordPress Theme Review Team provides and maintains the following documents as part of their task as WordPress Contributors and Developers for the WordPress Theme Directory. These documents and notes represent the guidelines for designing and developing WordPress Themes for the public as well as for WordPress Theme Directory standards and practices.

The WordPress Theme Review Team is open to anyone. To become a member of the WordPress Theme Review Team, their guidelines are on the WordPress Theme Review Team site and require setting up a WordPress test environment and reviewing Themes in the WordPress Theme directory per their review requirements.

For more information about the Theme Review Team, including how to get involved, refer to the WordPress Theme Review Team website. If you have questions about or need clarification of these Guidelines, please ask on the Theme Reviewers mail list.

Note: This is an evolving living document and subject to change and addition at any time as the WordPress Theme Review Team continues to develop and outline standards and practices for WordPress Theme development and design.


(Last Edited: 2015-05-20)


Code Quality:

  • Themes must not generate any Theme-Check Warning or Required notices. Themes must not generate any WordPress deprecated-function or _doing_it_wrong() notices, PHP errors, warnings, or notices, HTML/CSS validation errors, or JavaScript errors.
  • Themes must not provide backward compatibility for out-of-date WordPress versions (more than two prior major WordPress versions - that means, given the latest WordPress release is 4.1.1, versions prior to WordPress 3.9), including using function_exists() conditional wrappers for current WordPress functions.
  • Themes must provide a unique slug for anything in the public namespace, including translation textdomain, all custom function names, classes, hooks, public/global variables, database entries (Theme options, post custom metadata, etc.)
  • Themes must provide all public-facing text strings in English.
  • Guidelines: Code Quality

Presentation Vs. Functionality:

  • Since the purpose of Themes is to define the presentation of user content, Themes must not be used to define the generation of user content, or to define Theme-independent site options or functionality.
  • Guidelines: Plugin Territory

Theme Features:

  • Whether implementing required, recommended, or optional features, Themes are required to support proper WordPress core implementation of all included features.

Template Tags and Hooks:

WordPress-Generated CSS Classes:

  • Themes are required to support WordPress-generated CSS classes.

Theme Template Files:

Security and Privacy:

Licensing, Theme Name, Credit Links, Up-Sell Themes:

Theme Documentation:

  • Themes are required to provide sufficient documentation to explain the use of any custom features or options.

Theme Obsolescence:

  • Themes are required to be kept current once accepted into the Theme Repository.


WordPress Trademark

  • Themes must spell "WordPress" correctly in all public facing text: all one word, with both an uppercase W and P.


Theme Unit Tests:

Other Recommended