[theme-reviewers] theme and plugins hosting on wordpress.org

Kirk Wight kwight at kwight.ca
Fri Feb 3 17:01:25 UTC 2012

A few answers inline; I'm speaking from the point of view of themes in the
Free Theme Directory (it may be different for plugins).

On 3 February 2012 11:32, Petar Genev <petar.genev at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi there,
> I am sorry if some of my questions are silly but I really get very
> confused of what I can and can't submit to the repository, what links I
> can/can't place and where.
> I got some of my answers from Chip Bennett in a few support forum threads.
> Thanks Chip.
> There are still things to clear out.
> Here is my whole story:
> I am planing to build my own blog which will include:
> - blog posts with stuff like how to deal with wordpress, how to customize,
> best practices of lots of wordpress stuff.
> - reviews of free themes and plugins hosted in the wordpress.orgrepository with "download from
> wordpress.org" links.
> - reviews of themes from woothemes.com and "purchase from woothemes.com"
> affiliate links.
> - reviews of themes from themeforest.net and "purchase from
> themeforest.net" affiliate links.
> - reviews of plugins from codecanyon.net and "purchase from codecanyon.net"
> affiliate links.
> I want to upload themes and plugins to the wordpress repository so they
> can get viewed and used by many users. I want to put link back to my blog,
> so those users can check on my blog it they want to.
> No spam messages, no spamy email lists, no collection of any user data.
> I am not trying to be a spammer of any kind. I want to give quality stuff
> to wordpress users and get some traffic to my blog so I can eventually get
> some financial benefits.

In style.css, you can have a Theme URI and/or Author URI; just make sure
they go to the appropriate page, eg. http://petergenev.com,
http://petargeev.com/awesome-theme/ (see:

> I see many wordpress.org users are doing stuff like that. Some of them
> sell their own stuff on their blogs, some refer to others, some submit to
> the repository a light version of a plugin for example and then put links
> to lead users to purchase the full version from their blogs. I've even seen
> banners of Themeforest and Codecanyon with affiliate links on the blogs of
> some members.
> As you read further do not get the image that the only thing I want is to
> recreate and use stuff that has been developed already to release themes
> and plugins to wordpress.org. I want to build original stuff too, but I
> want to quickly see how it goes first.
> I will list all of the questions here and hope to finally clear it all out
> :)
> 1) Is it ok to have a blog + affiliate links like that and promote it with
> free GPL themes and plugins. I am not gonna put affiliate links in the
> themes files or anywhere on pages on wordpress.org. The affiliate links
> will stay on my blog only.
> Now on what can/can't be hosted in the wordpress.org repository
> 2) If I make a theme from another theme. Let say I take Twenty Eleven and
> redesing it, so it have a good new look. I use the whole back-end
> functionality the way it is. Name my theme "Twenty Eleven New Line" or
> something like that but keep the original name. Is this fine?

It's fine to base a new design on an existing theme (that's one of the
benefits of the GPL). To be allowed in the Free Themes Directory, however,
the new theme must have significant changes in design or functionality, or
it will be considered derivative. For example, you can't simply take Twenty
Eleven, change the default link color, and submit it to the directory. (see
discussion here:

> 3) what is acceptable? When I say redesign... do I have to create psd html
> css files from scratch or I can use whatever is in the theme I am
> redesigning and work on what has already been done.
> To get a new great looking design I can work on existing psd files and
> save coding time using existing html/css.

Not sure what you're asking... you do not need to include PSD files, and
yes, you can base your new, fresh design on the existing HTML/CSS (again,
the benefits of GPL)

> 4) If I redesign for example the woothemes Swatch theme
> http://www.woothemes.com/2011/08/swatch/
> It is completely free. I have asked them and they told me that I can do
> whatever I want with that theme and re-distribute it wherever I  want. They
> said that even for wordpress.org repository.
> Is this acceptable?

Yes - their themes are fully GPL, meaning you can do what you like with
them, and distribute them however you like. I'm not sure if anyone has ever
taken a GPL premium theme and tried to submit it as-is to the theme repo; I
don't think that would be in the spirit of what the theme repo wants to be.
Again, using their code as a base for something new, however, would be
great. Of course, it still has to pass the requirements of review,
regardless of where that original code came from.

> About links to me. I don't quite get where can/can't put links. I
> understand SEO back links and viagra links are not acceptable at all. I was
> thinking of:
> 5) theme or plugin option page - a donate link or a link to my blog?
> 6) theme description page?
> For example here http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/all-in-one-seo-pack/I see a link "Upgrade to pro version" on the second line of the
> description. I assume it is acceptable to have links like that?

As for themes, it is acceptable to submit a "Lite" version of a commercial
theme - but that lite version must stand on its own and meet all
requirements. As for a link to the commercial version on the theme options
page... uh, not sure. Anyone?

> 7) can I put links to my social media, like Follow me on twitter on the
> description pages of my themes and plugins on wordpress.org
> 8) Let's say I sell a plugin on CodeCanyon.net. I upload a Light version
> of that plugin on wordpress.org repository. Put links to my blog, to the
> review page of my full version plugin. And from that page of my blog users
> can go and purchase it from codecanyon. I am not gonna put links directly
> from wordpress.org to codecanyon.
> Both light and pro version are my creation from scratch.
> If this is not acceptable, what is the difference if I sell the pro
> version on my blog (like all in one seo pack) and elsewhere like codecanyon?
> I hope to clear it all this time. :)
> Thank you for your help in advance and again sorry if some of my questions
> are silly.
> --
> Regards,
> Petar
> _______________________________________________
> theme-reviewers mailing list
> theme-reviewers at lists.wordpress.org
> http://lists.wordpress.org/mailman/listinfo/theme-reviewers
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.wordpress.org/pipermail/theme-reviewers/attachments/20120203/48b61c08/attachment-0001.htm>

More information about the theme-reviewers mailing list