A month or so ago, I contributed some time to reviewing themes as part of the WordPress.org Review Team. Yesterday, I got the great news: the two themes I reviewed went live. And this without an Admin member having to re-open the ticket!
I must admit, I felt quite proud of myself and happy for the developers who had worked hard to offer the WordPress community their best product.
But there’s a little bit of a story preceding this happy ending, and I’d like to share it with you.
The Abandoned Themes Queue
I don’t know how many of you know about this, but if you’ve ever submitted a theme to the WordPress.org themes repository, or simply reviewed a theme, you might have heard of the abandoned themes queue.
What a sad name! Here’s what it’s all about.
All themes submitted to the repository for review are placed in a queue. As each gets assigned to a reviewer, which some time can even take weeks, it leaves the queue and its fate is in the reviewer’s hands. So far so good.
It sometimes (or often?) happens that the assigned reviewer disappears without trace and without so much as a word, while the theme developer, with his/her heart full of hope, eagerly awaits a response.
After a minimum of a week of waiting (but it can take longer if the theme developer doesn’t actively pursue the matter, or an Admin member of the review team realizes what’s happening), the unfortunate theme joins the abandoned themes queue.
At that point, the theme is parked for as long as it takes to find a merciful soul who takes pity and comes forward asking an Admin to review the theme. At least this is what happens in a number of cases.
My Theme was in The Abandoned Queue
My latest WP.org theme, Pizzaland, found itself in the abandoned themes queue. Luckily, a fantastic reviewer took it into his own hands and did a great job.
But that was when I became acutely aware of the uncertain path a theme review could take once the reviewer makes a disappearing act.
Guess where I picked up my two themes for review from. You’re right, the dreaded abandoned themes queue.
Please, Do not Push that Button
Not too long ago, a button was prominently in view on the WordPress.org theme review team pages. If you pressed that button, you would instantly get a theme to review.
This could be among the reasons, perhaps the main reason, for theme abandonment.
Now things are much better. At the bottom of the page, you find a discreet button that looks like this
Once clicked, here’s what you’re going to see:
Much better. If you’re not 100% prepared to carry out a theme review for WP.org, please please please, do not click that button!
Here are the themes I reviewed that went live yesterday:
Go and check them out, they’re quite cool!