Create a Perfect WordPress Theme for WP-Themes Directory – Guidelines

by on October 2nd, 2009

I created a theme back some days and it was rejected. WooHoo! People at WP-Themes Directory guided me about the mistakes I was doing and I was able to create another version of it which was accepted and got huge success and downloads. I am going to share some key points which you should care about while developing WordPress Themes for submitting at Wp-Themes Directory. You know! well, there are some rules. If you are creating some WP-Theme for your own blog then there are no rules. You can use backgrounds and all whatever you want. But for themes at WordPress, you are bound to follow some rules. e.g. Header background or image should be customizable. It should be separate so that users at WordPress can change and use their own background for their blog. There are some more rules which I have explained in detail in following.

  • use a license, add a GPL licence
  • Remove non-theme files if any, like Thumbs.db which is created by default by Windows in every folder
  • Make sure header is customizable and user can set a different header background from wp-admin for theme
  • Make sure that posts with multiple pages show links for other pages as well
  • Hard coded /feed link will not be accepted and hard coded twitter link or other links will not be accepted
  • Themes with spam/ad links are not allowed in the directory. Just link back to author site in footer will be accepted.
  • Use overflow hidden for post area, so that images or anything else should not overlap sidebars

Read my previous post on this which also contains some useful guidelines: How to and Where to Upload Your WP-Theme at WordPress Directory Successfully

Posts Multiple Pages Links

In single.php file and in page.php file: You will have something like;

Add the following after that:


Pages: ', 'after' => '

', 'next_or_number' => 'number')); ?>

It is essential. If some post is bigger with huge content, it must be broken down at some places by using following code in posts:


If you add this code in posts, it will show links in the bottom of the post for the next pages of the same post. If you use above PHP code in theme then these links will be displayed.

Theme Test File

After creating theme, If you did not already, test your theme with the sample data in the WordPress export file available at Theme Development Checklist

Download that file, import it in your blog and see every post according to instruction in each post.

Theme Version Updates

To update your theme increase the theme version in style.css only and upload your theme again. Only zip files are accepted. If your theme will be rejected it will be still showing in your account but will not be displayed publicly, and when you update that theme and create its newer version, use same name for folder which you used before and use the same name for zip file which you uploaded before but change / update version info in the theme CSS file only which is at the top in CSS file.

Uploading Theme File

Use different browser if the file is not being uploaded. FireFox, Safari or Opera are recommended and Opera works most of the time.

How Do You Know that Theme Meets Quality Standards

During upload, the process will try to figure out that theme meets major requirements or not. If not, it will give you straight hints do do something. Do that and upload again.

How Much Time it Takes

Your theme will be reviewed and it takes two days for somebody to get back to you and update you about the status of your submitted theme. He will guide you if there are bugs. You can upload updates to your theme at any time, they will automatically show up in our review queue.

Further tips are here: How to and Where to Upload Your WP-Theme at WordPress Directory Successfully

4 Reviews

  1. Hiroshi says:

    @mack: Get any developer to code a site for you. A PHP website + a blog for themes preview connected with each other can run this whole setup. People can come at your site, get registered, submit theme, you will review theme and approve / disapprove it. On approval it will be online at your site. TechMynd has got a developers team which can help at really affordable price. Use contact form to get a quote.
    In other case you can search for freelancer developer as well.

  2. mack says:

    I want to make a WP theme directory, but just dont know, how to make one?
    Like People should come and submit their themes to my site.,
    How will that work?
    I have zero knowledge on programming.

  3. macafee says:

    I’m always amazed how you can so easily write your message

  4. wallmart says:

    Can not imagine how glad I am that got to your post