Why my WP REST theme won’t be in the directory … yet

Essentially, every thing is done on my new WP REST API-based theme, Quotidiano.

After only a couple of weeks of design, development and testing, the daily blog theme is ready to go. If I wanted to, I could send it off to the WordPress theme review team to get it into the theme directory.

But I’m not. Or at least I’m not going to for the time being.

A quick search of the theme directory reveals that there aren’t any WP REST API themes active in the directory. There might be some in the queue for review, but I’m not entirely sure. 

My reasoning isn’t because of anything the review team has done, nor because I think they’re bad people. In fact, most of my experiences with the team have been positive to make my themes better. My only complaint is the wait time, but that’s to be expected with the number of submissions per day.

The full REST API is pretty new in WordPress core, only coming in WordPress 4.7, and the lack of themes that are out there has given me caution about submitting it for review. While the team’s guidelines for normal themes are well-known, I’m not exactly sure what the standards are for REST API themes. I know there’s something to be said about being the first to do something, I’m not sure I’m the person to do it. I feel pretty good as a WordPress developer, but I’m not sure I’m ready to take that step in being the first to get a REST API theme through the review.

For what it’s worth, the team does allow themes that use the WP REST API per a vote back in 2015, but I don’t know how the guidelines change for themes that take advantage of it. I ran Quotidiano through the Theme Check plugin and had to put a number of functions, like comments and linking pages together, in sort of a “throwaway” function just to make it “pass” the check. I highly doubt that’s a recommended practice and would likely cause issues in the review process.

Now, I’ll definitely be watching and waiting to see if a REST API theme does make it through the review and then use that as a guide for what I need to do. At that point, I’ll likely make any necessary changes and submit it for review.

So for the time being, the theme will reside on this site, which you can download here and in a GitHub repository. I’ve got it set up to automatically update when a new version is pushed to the repo (for the most part), so users won’t lose out on that feature.

But as for it’s future in the WordPress theme directory, that will remain in wait-and-see mode.

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