Can anyone help me with plugin territory VS ok for a theme?


I am in the process of developing my first theme to sell on Envato. Specifically testing it at the moment and cross referencing all the docs to try and avoid getting a hard rejection (which is slightly terrifying).

I have created some bespoke widgets and a module on the homepage which I think all come under plugin territory. My concern though is whether they are worth rolling out as a plugin with the theme, as they really do quite simple things (list of social icons to follow, an about the author bio, ability to add banners etc).

I have purchased lots of themes as a customer which came with widgets, but only when I looked at the requirements in detail did I realise this is all changing. I had intended to add a Gutenberg module too but am descoping that for now.

Could anyone tell me what the done thing is, in this situation? Would you have a plugin recommended with your theme eg. amazingtheme and plugin: amazingthemeplugin which contains stuff like this? Or should I be looking for plugins which already offer this and styling for them / recommending?

I’m at the stage where I want to make sure my theme isn’t rejected for not following the guidelines, but equally don’t want to strip features from the theme and risk it being rejected for not being unique enough.

Any advice from authors / reviewers would be massively appreciated,

Thank you,


I show social icons in the header too, but they are either there or not and can’t be added to a widgetized area. Thinking about it, these may be problematic too, as I have fields where the user adds their social URLs which would be lost if they changed themes.

Am I taking this too literally? Would this kind of thing be ok, or should I avoid storing any data via customizer which is not design related?