This morning, a post written on WPin.me brought attention to a GoDaddy theme that was uploaded to the repository and approved only 24 hours later. The quick turnaround understandably frustrated theme developers who have been waiting months for approval. The article alleges that GoDaddy was able to jump the queue due to preferential treatment.
According to the ticket, the theme started the review process and was set to closed 9 hours later.
People took to the comments and Twitter to express their concern for the process by which this theme was reviewed — upset that their themes were still awaiting approval.
This kinda sucks, since I’ve had a theme waiting for months. Mostly glad I’m not in the theme biz anymore. https://t.co/IDhG7I8DzH
— Scott Bolinger (@scottbolinger) October 12, 2016
Samuel Wood, who reviewed the theme, said this is a special case but not because of the company behind the theme. The theme in question, Primer, was using the name of another theme that had never been used. Because it was already released, GoDaddy needed to make sure they could get the name before moving forward.
“This was a special case because they were using an old name that was already in the system. Without manual intervention, they would not have been able to use that name properly. Since they had already released the theme and had a dozen child themes depending on it, then they needed that name,” he said.
He even shared the process with the community:
Wood was able to give them the name and get the theme ready. “This is not the first time I’ve handled things specially for special reasons, and it won’t be the last. We administer the WordPress.org systems first and foremost to help users,” Wood said. He explained that if the parent theme hadn’t been made live, GoDaddy wouldn’t have been able to submit child themes.
This speaks to a much bigger issue, which is the timeline for theme approval. Back in July, the WordPress Theme Review team set out an action plan to streamline the process but there are still hundreds of themes waiting to be looked at.
It’s a slow and frustrating process, and is something that the team has been trying to automate. However, at this time, the automated process can’t do enough and people are still having to review each theme. One solution, proposed in July, was to focus on three main categories — security, licensing, and breaking issues — instead of keeping themes in the queue until they satisfy every requirement.
Changes were made during this time to allow more than one reviewer at a time to access a theme and also made changes to ensure that tickets with no response after 24 hours will be moved to “new.” While this may have relieved some of the build up, people are still left waiting.
Wood agreed that waiting over a month for review is ridiculous. Hopefully, we’ll be able to see some relief soon.