WordPress Theme Review Team Moves Towards Automating Review Process

photo credit: pollas - cc
photo credit: pollascc

Getting a theme approved for the WordPress directory can sometimes take months, depending on the number of corrections required and reviewers available to handle the queue. As part of a larger plan to make things more efficient, the WordPress Theme Review Team is making progress towards automating many of the time-consuming checks involved in reviewing submissions and updates.

Ulrich Pogson, who is leading the effort, published a list of requirements that might be good candidates for automated checks. Each item is now an issue on GitHub where contributors can discuss implementation and help build the checks. A few examples include “Use the Customizer for implementing theme options,” “Don’t include any plugins,” and “Don’t include admin/feature pointers.”

During the most recent meeting, the team approved a list of 13 requirements they are aiming to automate. They will need to write checks for each one and are inviting collaboration on GitHub.

“It could be making a pull request, helping write the regex, or contributing ideas how to implement the check,” Pogson said. “Once the checks have been written we need help testing them for false positives.”

Check out the issues queue for the Theme Check plugin if you want to help the team automate more checks.


8 responses to “WordPress Theme Review Team Moves Towards Automating Review Process”

  1. Thanks for posting this and getting the word out, Sarah. This is one huge step toward full automation. Now, we need folks with mad regex skills to help turn these guidelines into checks for the Theme Check plugin.

    Other than the long-term goal of automation, these checks are good for the short term too. Getting those checks in will mean that reviewers will not have to manually perform them, making the current review process quicker.

  2. I’m a little shocked by the first paragraph. While we wait for the automating review process are there any tips anyone can share to get a theme reviewed and approved quicker?

    • There are a few reasons for the long wait times.
      – The first being the number of people doing reviews. The more reviewers we have the more themes can be reviewed at one time.
      – Secondly is the quality of the themes submitted. If we could just approve every theme that is submitted then we would be a lot faster. For some themes it take multiple reviews for them to be ready to be approved.
      – Sometimes both theme reviewers and theme authors are not able to give an update within a couple of days and this drags the review time out. It is understandable that people have the responsibilities other then contributing.

      There are a few things that you can do to help speed it up.
      – Help review themes
      – Make sure your theme is near perfect and you understand all of the requirments. Perhaps ask a friend to look at your theme.
      – Help with writing the automation checks. This is a great time to start learning regex. There are great online tools that help you like https://regex101.com/

  3. Maybe full functional themes, without additional “upgrade pro” could be prioritized in that queue.
    I thing, the theme directory is still not a commercial directory, so noncommercial themes should be prioritized by review’s team. Possibly even in search results too.


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