Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to not only interview Chip Bennett regarding the new WordPress Theme Review team but I also had a chance to speak with Edward Caissie who is a member of the team. You can listen to the full interview and associated discussion on episode 106 of WordPress Weekly. However, one of the things that came out of that show was the need for community volunteers to help out in the reviewing process. After speaking with Edward, he accepted my request to write a guest blog post explaining how people can contribute to the theme review team.
The following was written by Edward Caissie, member of the newly established theme review team.
How do I get involved with the WordPress Theme Review Team (WPTRT)?
It’s really rather simple. Just follow these steps below.
- Subscribe to the Theme Review mailing list.
- Make sure you have a WordPress.org username.
- Send a message to the mailing list expressing your interest in helping out with Theme Reviews.
- A current WPTRT member will contact you (generally via a reply to your message). If you are ready they will assign you a ticket in the Theme trac and you will be on your way to becoming a Theme reviewer.
Of course, there is more to reviewing Themes as part of the WPTRT, the above is just how you get started.
Let’s have a quick look through these steps.
- Subscribing to the mailing list gets you involved in one of the main discussion areas of the WPTRT. It is one of the places we discuss ideas about various items that may, or may not, affect how the Theme Review guidelines are interpreted or used when reviewing a submitted Theme.
- Your WordPress username is a common focal point for all of your WordPress activities. If you are a Theme author, or a plugin developer, you already have one and this is the one that will be used on the Theme trac system. It could also be the username you log into the WordPress Support forums with although current members generally use their “developer” username.
- We need to know you are interested, although you can also log into the #wordpress-themes channel on freenode.net and chat via IRC with one of the theme reviewers as well. The mailing list is generally the more common approach.
- We assign the first few tickets to new reviewers just to help with the learning process. Once you have shown you understand the process we’ll make a few changes behind the scenes and you will be able to assign yourself your own tickets in trac and carry on reviewing Themes.
We expect that sometime during this process you have thoroughly familiarized yourself with the Theme Review guidelines as well as a few other relevant pages in the codex. Here are the links to the pages I always recommend reading:
- Theme Development – http://codex.wordpress.org/Theme_Development
- Theme Unit Test – http://codex.wordpress.org/Theme_Unit_Test
- Theme Review – http://codex.wordpress.org/Theme_Review
NB: Just in case, I would suggest reading these pages at least once a week, although generally our intent is to not have them change very often.
Also, you should create yourself a test-bed installation; import the Theme Unit Test data (from the link above); and, install the following few very useful plugins:
- Log Deprecated Notices by Andrew Nacin aka nacin
- DeBogger and Theme-Check by Simon Prosser aka Pross
Now, you might be asking why would I want to join the WPTRT?
There are many reasons and many ways to get involved with the WordPress community. This one will offer you: insight into how the Theme submission process works; the opportunity to influence positive change in the Theme Review guidelines; a wealth of new ideas and code possibilities; and, interactions with some of the best and the brightest current Theme authors involved with the WordPress Themes repository.