Recently, I joined the WordPress Theme Review Team.  I’m in the process of reviewing my first theme and these are some notes that may come in handy.

Setup a test environment

I have a local WAMP setup.  If you develop for WordPress and are still uploading to your live server, stop what you are doing and download WAMP (or LAMP/XAMP).  It’s a packaged tech stack that includes everything you need to run WordPress on your local machine.  It means faster iteration times and no fear of messing something up on a live server.

Review details

The best way to explain the review process is simply to point to the place where WPTRT outlines it – it means less duplication here and more of a guarantee that you are looking at the most updated process.  Oddly, the details are on a page that explains how to join the team – but really, it covers the setup:


Theme Check

The Theme Check plugin feels unnecessary to setup for reviewing themes that you did not write.  In order to get a theme into the review process, it has to pass an autorun Theme Check process when the theme is uploaded to

Unit Test Data

When you upload the unit test data, if you did this on a local setup, chances are that you will receive error messages that fail to import the media files.  For me, this was because I did not have an SSL certificate on my local setup.

To fix this, I went into the unit test XML and replaced every occurrence of ‘https’ to ‘http’.  Thanks to Jen Wachter for the post that put me in the right direction.


Alternatively, I could have installed an SSL certificate on my WAMP server, but those directions (and most directions that I’ve found) felt like overkill for this case.

Unfortunately, Twitter embeds will not work without SSL.  So, if you want such services to function properly, you could simply trick WAMP into thinking it has a certificate by clicking the WAMP icon >> PHP >> PHP extensions >> php_openssl.