Our Take on the Theme submission checklist

You think your theme is ready for submission to ThemeForest? Our web developer has assembled a pre-submission checklist, that could help you avoid a lengthy review-process.

Coding Standards

WordPress has its own coding standards which you should follow as closely as possible (https://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Coding_Standards). You might get by without them, but your code will be more readable and maintainable for other developers and even yourself.

I personally like to use the WPCS (https://github.com/WordPress-Coding-Standards/WordPress-Coding-Standards) to validate my code. It is really easy to set up and it can be included in your IDE, if you are using PhpStorm, SublimeText or Atom. This package will outline any inconsistencies in your code and even fix some of them, if you choose to do so. You can even set how thorough or strict the check will be, but in my opinion using the strictest setting is the best approach.

If you include scripts from other developers, be sure to check their code too, it will be nonetheless a part of your theme .

Use the Theme Check Plugin

A little less strict than the WPCS is the Theme Check Plugin (https://wordpress.org/plugins/theme-check/). It is strongly recommended by the ThemeForest team, so be sure to install it and check any errors or warnings it returns. It is the main tool the reviewers use, so your theme won’t get approved if you have errors or warnings from Theme Check.

We advise you to use the WPCS and the Theme Check Plugin to be on the safe side. There are some warnings/errors that are checked only by one of the tools.

Required Plugins

If your theme does not work properly without a plugin you should use the TGM Plugin Activation (http://tgmpluginactivation.com/). It has become the ThemeForest standard script for managing plugins in themes. Make sure that not using any plugins doesn’t break the site. Some basic functionality should be possible without any plugins.


Test all of the WordPress core widgets in your theme (even those that are rarely used i.e. Calendar or RSS). Check that the design and UX matches the rest of the theme so the user doesn’t get confused.

Edge cases

Be sure to test edge cases in your theme, e.g. a very long title, 10+ categories set for one post, no featured image and so on. Most of these cases are covered in the Theme Unit Test (https://codex.wordpress.org/Theme_Unit_Test) so import this data and “click through” the whole page. We discovered some issues when we did this check.

Those are some directions that might help you reduce your review time and save you one or two soft rejections. We hope our checklist will help you, fellow creators, with the submission of your next theme.