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

Edward Caissie edward.caissie at gmail.com
Fri Feb 3 17:51:23 UTC 2012

@Kirk has covered most of the points so I see no real need to repeat them.

As to the "Lite" theme linking to the commercial theme with either URI;
generally this is not accepted. It would be better to have those URI
landing page(s) have a link to the commercial instead.


On Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 12:01 PM, Kirk Wight <kwight at kwight.ca> wrote:

> 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:
> http://codex.wordpress.org/Theme_Review#Credit_Links)
>> 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:
> http://lists.wordpress.org/pipermail/theme-reviewers/2011-October/007020.html
> )
>> 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
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