Skip to content
Switch branches/tags
Go to file

Latest commit


Git stats


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time

WordPress Themes Review Checklist

This is the actionable checklist to review a WordPress theme on

Getting Started

Internal Setup

Run Test Tools

  • Run Theme Check then see the results
  • Run Theme Mentor then see the results
  • Drag Monster Widget to the Sidebar then see how it looks



  • Check PHP and JS errors.
  • Include at least index.php and style.css.
  • Have a valid DOCTYPE declaration and include language_attributes.
  • Sanitize everything.
  • No removing or modifying non-presentational hooks.
  • No shortcodes are allowed.
  • Support the following WordPress-generated CSS classes: .alignleft, .alignright, .wp-caption, .wp-caption-text, .gallery-caption, .sticky, .bypostauthor

Core Functionality and Features

  • Use WordPress functionality and features first, if available.
  • Don’t include admin/feature pointers.
  • No custom post types and no custom taxonomies.
  • No pay wall restricting any WordPress feature.
  • No disabling of the admin tool bar.
  • Use get_template_directory() rather than TEMPLATEPATH to return the template path.
  • Use get_stylesheet_directory() rather than STYLESHEETPATH to return the stylesheet path.
  • Avoid hard coding to modify content. Instead, use function parameters, filters and action hooks where appropriate. For example wp_title should be modified using a filter.
  • Able to have child themes made from them.
  • Include comments_template().


  • If implemented, disable favicons by default and have the ability for users to override.


  • All theme text strings are to be translatable.
  • Include a text domain in style.css
  • Use a single unique theme slug – as the theme slug appears in style.css. If it uses a framework then no more than 2 unique slugs.
  • Can use any language for text, but only use the same one for all text.


  • Be 100% GPL and/or 100% GPL-compatible licensed.
  • Declare copyright and license explicitly. Use the license and license uri header slugs to style.css.
  • Declare licenses of any resources included such as fonts or images.
  • All code and design should be your own or legally yours. Cloning of designs is not acceptable.


  • Theme names must not use: WordPress, Theme.
  • Spell “WordPress” correctly in all public facing text: all one word, with both an uppercase W and P.

Options and Settings

  • Save options in a single array.
  • Use sane defaults and don’t write default setting values to the database.
  • Use edit_theme_options capability for add_theme_page(), rather than rely on a role (e.g. “administrator”), or a different capability (e.g. “edit_themes”, “manage_options”) for the capability to add the settings page.
  • If using a theme options page, add it to the ‘Appearance’ menu.
  • Use either the Settings API or the Customizer for implementing theme options.
  • Prefix all options, custom functions, custom global variables and custom constants with the theme-slug.


  • Don’t include any plugins. A theme can recommend plugins but not include those plugins in the theme code.
  • Don’t do things in a theme considered plugin territory.


  • Screenshot.png should be of the actual theme as it appears with default options, not a logo or mockup.
  • The screenshot.png should be no bigger than 880 x 660px.

Security and Privacy

  • Don’t phone home without informed user consent. Find out more about security here.
  • Make any collection of user data ‘opt-in’ only and have a theme option that is set to disabled by default.Validate and sanitze untrusted data before entering into the database. All untrusted data should be escaped before output. (see: Data Validation)
  • No url shorteners used in the theme.
  • Use esc_attr() for text inputs and esc_textarea() for textareas.

Selling, credits and links

  • If you are a themeshop you should be selling under GPL to be in the repo.
  • If the theme adds a footer credit link, there should only be one (link to WordPress does not count)

Stylesheets and Scripts

  • No hard coding of scripts, styles and Favicons unless a browser workaround script. Everything should be enqueued.
  • No analytics or tracking.
  • No minification of scripts or files unless provide original files.
  • Required to use core-bundled scripts rather than including their own version of that script. For example jQuery.
  • Include all scripts and resources it uses rather than hot-linking. The exception to this is Google libraries.
  • If a tag is used in style.css the theme should support that feature or adhere to what that tag stands for. For example custom background or header.


If using templates, custom template files should be called using get_template_part() or locate_template(). There are several template specific things you should consider when certain ones are being used. Use *_url() template tags, rather than bloginfo() equivalents.


WordPress Themes Review Checklist




No releases published


No packages published