Emil Uzelac’s new WordPress Theme Review service is the first of its kind. As a four-year veteran of the WordPress.org Theme Review Team, he is uniquely qualified to operate a service that focuses on theme standards and quality control.
Uzelac plans to assist developers with theme reviews for client projects, commercial themes, and free themes submitted to WordPress.org. The reviews are aimed not only at helping developers meet the latest WordPress theme guidelines but also at catching bugs before the product gains distribution. The service will also aim to give customers detailed feedback on performance and security.
A preliminary review starts at $90 for the first hour. “You would be surprised how much one can find within an hour,” Uzelac told the Tavern.
“The service will cover things like efficiency, performance, sanity, and the overall code quality,” he said. “It will also include UX improvements for both desktop and mobile devices. My goal is also to educate as well,” he said. Customers who use the service will receive suggestions for improvement, along with examples and support from Uzelac.
“Look, no one wants to ship a theme with issues,” Uzelac said. “Everyone knows time constraints and the pressure to finish can introduce mistakes even the most seasoned developers miss. That’s completely normal. But frustrated end users quickly abandon themes they don’t understand or can’t fix.” As the original author of Responsive, one of most popular themes of all time on WordPress.org, Uzelac knows the kind of quality and support required to build a strong user base.
The Need for Professional Theme Review
In the past, getting a theme through the rigorous review process for WordPress.org could take weeks. If you have errors that need to be fixed, your theme goes back into the queue to be reviewed again. Being able to make it through the first time with no issues is advantageous to developers who are hoping to release their themes to the public as soon as possible.
Mario Peshev recently touched on this topic when we interviewed him regarding his partnership with Uzelac to launch a theme for his company. “There is no clear way to hire any of them for theme reviews or building a theme following the WordPress.org guidelines,” Peshev said, commenting on the lack of visibility of the WordPress Theme Review Team. “I assume that small and medium agencies would be willing to pay for professional reviews or getting themes built for any reason, which would support both parties,” he said.
WordPress users are losing confidence in large commercial theme marketplaces that continue to sell products riddled with bad practices and security vulnerabilities. The community has a need for a service that can authoritatively address problems with WordPress themes and educate developers on best practices.
Despite launching his theme review service, Uzelac plans to continue volunteering on the WordPress.org Theme Review Team for many years to come. “This is something I enjoy doing, even more than creating themes,” he said. If the service takes off, he plans to do it full-time and hopes to take on additional reviewers to grow the business.
Interesting, I wonder if his approach to start out small (just himself) will help it to gain some traction. Hopefully, his experience with reviewing themes for the official directory helps him gain prospecting clients.
I remember Devpress offered a type of code review service but it never seemed to take off. Does anyone know of a WordPress code review person or business which actually makes a sustainable amount of revenue?