Secrets of a WordPress Theme Reviewer [Interview]

Today we interview Nisha Singh, an official WordPress theme reviewer who approves WordPress themes before they go live in the official WordPress theme directory.

As you are aware that we publish WordPress themes ourselves, and Nisha had a chance to review some of our WordPress themes. We were impressed by her detailed notes, and impeccable quality code evaluation, which enabled us to improve our WordPress themes to the high-quality standards set by the WordPress theme directory.

WordPress Theme Reviewer Interview

theme reviewer

So we decided to publish this interview with her, and she agreed to share some secrets that will help WordPress theme designers make better WordPress themes, as well as give an opportunity for those interested in theme design to become a WordPress theme reviewer yourself.

Tell us a little more about yourself.

I am working as a Tester in AmiWorks and whenever I have free time in the office I review WordPress themes.

Why did you become a WordPress theme reviewer?

I am part of the WPoets team at AmiWorks where my primary role is to test the quality of the themes that we create for our clients since we also follow WordPress theme review guidelines. So to improve my understanding of the process, and to contribute something to the WordPress community I started reviewing themes from the WordPress theme repository.

What training /experience is required to review WordPress themes?

You don’t need any formal training, just the ability to understand the guidelines and figure out if themes are not violating them, and since most of it is done by tools it’s very easy.

Tell us more about the WordPress theme review team and how they work.
I think Justin Tadlock’s article answers this question way better than I could :)

Basically, we make sure the theme works as it’s supposed to in all sorts of scenarios and uses WordPress best practices.

What is a typical daily work schedule of a WordPress theme reviewer?

Nothing special, we test themes whenever we have some free time.

Here are just a few of the themes which Nisha has reviewed…

reviewed themes

What rules do you follow when reviewing WordPress themes?

I follow all the rules that are mentioned on WordPress Review Guide on WordPress Codex.

What tools do you use to review WordPress themes?

We use the following plugins

All these tools are mentioned under the WordPress reviewing guidelines.

How do you check WordPress code quality?

I do it at two levels, first the auto-check by various plugins and then I manually check the code to verify that they are following theme code quality guidelines.

How do you prevent spam in WordPress themes?

If Credit links for the author or theme (AuthorURI and ThemeURI) are not appropriate according to guidelines we report it to theme repository admins and they remove it from the repository.

What are the most annoying things about WordPress theme reviews?

I don’t find anything annoying from a tester’s perspective, but from the theme authors’ point of view I think not knowing when his/her theme will be reviewed is a bit annoying.

What are your views on footer credit links which might generate bad links from spam sites?

I agree completely with the current guidelines for footer credit link, it ensures that spammer does not start exploiting the WordPress theme repository.

How can WordPress theme designers get more traffic and publicity for their themes?

They can submit one or more of their themes to the WordPress theme repo, which will get them some traffic if their theme is good and well designed. This is the easiest way to get noticed, apart from that they can get their theme reviewed by a few popular blogs like Smashing Magazine.

Do you also design WordPress themes? What are your favorite WordPress themes?

No, I personally don’t design themes but my company does, and my favorite themes are Max, Photolistic and Responsive

How can someone become a WordPress theme reviewer?

It is actually very simple, just go to the Ticket Request Queue Page, and leave a comment asking to be assigned to a Theme from the Theme Review Trac Queue. Be sure to include your username with your request, so that a ticket can be assigned to you. For more details, check out how to join WPTRT.

nisha singhNisha Singh is a WordPress theme reviewer at the official WordPress theme directory. She works as part of the WPoets team at AmiWorks where she tests the quality of the themes.  Check out more interviews on QOT. This interview was done on Sep 17, 2012.

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About the Author: P Chandra is editor of QOT, one of India's earliest tech bloggers since 2004. A tech enthusiast with expertise in coding, WordPress, web tools, SEO and DIY hacks.