New Tools for Theme Developers: Theme Sniffer Plugin and Automated Accessibility Testing

WordPress contributor teams have shipped several new tools for theme developers in the past couple weeks, which have the potential to raise the quality of new themes coming into the ecosystem. The Theme Sniffer plugin is a new effort from the Theme Review team that uses custom sniffs for PHP_CodeSniffer to test a theme against WordPress coding standards and check for PHP version compatibility.

The plugin is useful for both theme reviewers and developers who want to get their themes approved for the directory. It includes several optional standards to test against beyond the ruleset for theme review requirements. Passing the Theme Sniffer checks is not required for themes entering the directory but reviewers can use the plugin to speed the process up.

The Accessibility Team also published a new tool called WP Theme Auditor that runs Axe tests against a theme for automated accessibility feedback. Axe is an open source library and testing engine created by the accessibility experts at Deque. The WP Theme Auditor package can be installed into a theme’s root directory. Developers can then add test cases. Examples are available in the project’s README file. The tests are run against http://one.wordpress.test by default but developers can specify a different test environment URL.

The Accessibility team plans to expand the test cases in the tool to include all the content from the current Theme Unit Test Data package. In the most recent team meeting, they decided to recommend WP Theme Auditor as a WordPress testing tool and plan to post more details about it on the blog.

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  1. This tool is awesome! We’ve used it in our latest theme and it helped a lot!


  2. “In the most recent team meeting, they decided to recommend WP Theme Auditor as a WordPress testing tool and plan to post more details about it on the blog.”

    That link is wrong, it refers to instead of

    Other than that – awesome stuff, glad to hear more tools are coming out mainstreaming the WordPress process!


  3. Amazing!!! Can’t believe it!
    If one would be looking for ways to hone their skills in making good and proper WordPress themes… then this is definitely one plugin to check for good coding standards. I mean, why wouldn’t you like it?

    It organises your code, and makes your future developer life easier… plus you’ll also get a pretty high chance of becoming an even greater developer who writes tidy code!
    Tidy code is key!

    Kind regards,


  4. Great tool for theme developers.


  5. If I am not mistaken, ThemeForest review also uses the Theme Sniffer to check the uploaded themes.


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