Justin Tadlock

Now offering professional theme reviews

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A couple of months ago, Emil Uzelac launched a theme review service. After finding out that I had talked about doing this a few years ago, he asked me to join.

I pretty much immediately accepted his offer.

It was a no-brainer. We’re both admin/senior reviewers for the WordPress.org theme repository and have years of experience explaining issues to developers. I also just happen to think it’s an awesome idea for a service. There’s never been a piece of software in the world that wouldn’t benefit from a second pair of eyes (or even a third pair in our case).

What is the service?

What we do is charge developers a fee for a full code and security audit of their theme. We tell you what needs fixing, what can be removed, and offer as much advice as we can on the various elements of theme development. We then follow up with you if you have any questions.

What makes this cool to me is that it’s all handed via GitHub’s issue tracker (or BitBucket if you prefer). This allows all of us to stay on the same page and keep the lines of communication open.

You also get two reviewers on each project. Both Emil and I will each take a turn at reviewing your theme, so we can each catch issues that the other may have overlooked. This actually works really well because both Emil and I have different development backgrounds.

Who needs the service?

If you’re developing themes professionally, whether it’s for a theme shop or a private client, you probably want to deliver the best code you can possibly deliver. It always sucks pushing out a version 1.0 only to realize you’re breaking a bunch of sites over a minor code issue.

And, let’s face it. Theme development is drastically different today than it was 5 years ago. There’s so many more possible issues that you need to account for that it’s easy to overlook some.

If you’re making a living developing themes, the service is right up your alley.

Teaming up with StudioPress and Envato Studio

A month ago we got in touch with Brian Gardner and quickly set the groundwork to review Genesis child themes. Working with Genesis is a good first step. I already had some familiarity with it when doing some client work in the past. Not to mention, it’s a beautifully-coded parent theme that allows for a lot of possibilities.

Today, we launched our service on Envato Studio under the expert feedback category. It’s no secret that I’ve been vocal about the code quality coming from ThemeForest, so I’m happy that Envato is teaming up with us to bring our service to all ThemeForest authors and others. I also want to give a huge shout-out to Will Herring, Ben Fornarino, and Stephen Cronin for all the work they’ve done to make this possible.

ThemeReview.co is still a young business, and I’m sure we’ll be learning a lot in the coming months. The one thing I can promise you is that Emil and I will put everything we have into helping all of you make better themes. Stop by the site and sign up. I look forward to working with you all.