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, impeccable quality code evaluation, which enabled us to improve our WordPress themes to the high quality standards set by WordPress theme directory.

WordPress 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.

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

reviewed themes

Tell us a little more about yourself.
I am working as 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 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 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.

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 Theme Unit test, Theme Check plugin, Debogger tool , Log Deprecated Notices and Broken Link Checker. 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 author or theme (AuthorURI and ThemeURI) is not appropriate according to guideline 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 theme authors point of view I think not knowing when his/her theme will be reviewed is 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 do not start exploiting the WordPress theme repository.

How can WordPress themes designers get more traffic and publicity for their themes?
They can submit one or more of their themes to 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 few popular blogs like Smashing magazine.

Do you also design WordPress themes? What are your favourite WordPress themes?
No, I personally don’t design themes but my company does, and my favourite 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. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook. Check out more interviews on QOT.

8 comments on “Secrets of a WordPress Theme Reviewer [Interview]

  1. PrIyAnGsHu says:

    She really seems to be a great theme review having much knowledge about coding. This type of people helps to make the WordPress community more effective and better :).

    • QuickOnlineTips says:

      WordPress theme reviewers are volunteers who give their time and coding skills to give us all excellent spam free designs.

  2. BasicWP says:

    Interesting insights on process and people involved in reviewing WordPress themes. This was all new for me and for sure will motivate others to join Reviewer team for contributing more to WordPress community.

  3. Albert Albs says:

    That is a great service. Kudos to Nisha. WordPress powers 50% of my monthly earnings including WordPress installation, Blogging, WP SEO works and all. I was searching for the way to contribute to this community. Thank you very much sharing this WordPress volunteering service.

  4. Gunawan cavalera says:

    I would like to appreciate you the way, you have shared the post with us. It is really hard to find the quality post, but you have done this job nicely

  5. The Sorcerer says:

    The choice of themes for genesis framework is very limited though.

  6. Sunil says:

    An insightful article from a highly relevant individual. WordPress themes are highly useful and this article opened my eyes to the elaborate ways in which the themes are tested for their sustainability before being made available to the public. Great article! Cheers.

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