As a key theme reviewer, it is always discouraging to see long queue of themes waiting to be reviewed and some taking ages to be reviewed. This is a feeling shared by all of the reviewers and the ones being reviewed.
To tackle this and other various bottlenecks in the theme review process, the Theme Review Team at WordPress.org prepared an action plan on This action plan pinpoints the various problem areas in the process and recommends approaches to enhance the reviewing process. You can read the proposed changes here.
My thoughts on Theme Review Action Plan. I really appreciate this move by the Theme Review Team. It definitely works towards reducing the queues and making reviewing easier. But it also has some “drawbacks”. Minor ones and depends on how you perceive the plan.
In the latest meeting, held on Tuesday (12th July 2016), the team further discussed the action plan and “the timeline for it and looked at a few items that needed a decision for the theme check sniffs.” (Read here) One of the main highlights on the plan would be the reduction in response time and the limitations of issues of a ticket. Before, when a ticket was reviewed, a response time of it was 7 days. Now, a reviewer can be removed if there is no response within 24 hours. A reviewer also has the authority to close a ticket if a theme has more than 3 security or prefixing issues. That theme can be improved and re-sent for reviewing. So, just because your ticket has been closed does not mean it’s the end. Stricter rules like this will make people attentive while making a theme. This will, no doubt, increase the quality of themes in the WordPress.org Theme repository.
While it is a great start, there lies the possibility that a good developer’s ticket might get closed. I repeat, getting your ticket closed is not the end. People may also find it difficult to accept the changes as ‘change’ is always looked down upon. I feel by giving it some time and adapting to them will only make our job as theme reviewers easier. Let us all see this as an opportunity to further improve your product and create a better one.
The proposed changes in the action plan are still open to comments. So, make sure you voice your opinions at the make blog. If the team is able to implement these changes soon, theme authors who have been waiting for months on a review can finally have their answer.