Mysterious theme submission requirements

Hey guys,

We have recently submitted a new theme to themeforest that was soft rejected with some modifications we need to do and after 2 resubmissions it was hard rejected just because we use open source PHP template engine called Latte ( in our theme.

I have checked all Envato marketplace official documents and it is not written anywhere that it’s forbidden to use a template engine such as Latte or LESS. Themes is fully working, compatible with plugins and users can also use standard PHP if they wish. It is like forbidding us to use LESS for CSS files. It’s a progress in web development.

Here is a message from reviewer:

We’re not currently accepting WordPress themes that use a separate templating language to insert the data, instead of the built-in WordPress templating functions. We do anticipate strong demand for these types of themes in future and are getting things in place so that we can accept them, but can’t accept them right now. We’re therefore hard-rejecting this theme.

We’re sorry that we didn’t pick this up on your first submission.

As we use template engine in all new themes and we have developed our framework with this engine for several years it means that we can no longer submit any theme to the marketplace. After 56k sales and over 2.6 million turnaround it’s a hit under the belt.

I just wanted to share this experience with you and possibly get some support or feedback as this might be the last theme we submitted to Themeforest.


As a developer, when I buy a theme and can’t modify it as I want because it’s built on some wierd ass framework it really annoys me as it goes against what you should be doing with WP.

In my opinion, themes should be as natural as possible following what’s in the WP codex rather than what the developer of the theme likes. There are tons of frameworks so realistically I would need to know all of them if I wanted to continue buying and editing WP themes.

A good example of a current theme I bought, the footer .php file is:


To me as a novice to whatever framework the developer used, is gobblygook and I created a child theme, created my own footer.php and copied the generated html from the frontend and pasted it into the file and then replaced the parts I wanted too.

You may save a few hours per theme by using a framework you are used too, and have the right to use them, but you are selling themes to novice users and other developers of different skill sets, you are making it really hard for them to manage their themes and also giving themes a bad name in general because you don’t follow the WP way.

If you used it on a custom project, it would be fine and dandy as that’s what the project wants / needs but when you are selling your themes for public use, you have a large audience which expect the theme to follow a certain standard.


Typical attitude. If that’s the rule, why not let us know so we don’t waste days, weeks or even months of work? No just wait until we submit then tell us. I’m curious about what exactly do they need to get in place to except them?

Personally I wouldn’t use something like that for the same reason Gareth has said. But to introduce such rules without notice is completely out of order.

Gareth, I get what you’re saying. I’m currently working with such a theme and it’s really annoying that I can’t do something simple like override a shortcode. But the state of premium themes is that customers want them to have lot’s of options and to produce those themes without using any frameworks or helpers like kirki, optiontree, visual composer or in house framework would mean the development time would outstrip the the return.

And Themeforest isn’t helping. With the ridiculous review times and wasted development time because they don’t tell us what their rules are prior to submission.


I don’t know anything about Latte, but the submission requirements are listed here: and they say that “Themes are required to provide child theme support.”

I don’t know, Latte is providing child theme support? Just sayin’ :slight_smile: don’t shoot the messenger. I can understand your frustration, I can imagine how long does it take to develop a theme :frowning:

Unfortunately the submission requirements page isn’t accurate. That’s part of the problem, they don’t update it. Plus “Support child theme” could simply mean that the child theme works not that everything is easily extendable. Most themes on here aren’t because most themes use frameworks making it difficult to understand how to extend it.

Did your previous themes use latte or was it something new you started using?

If they approve it before but not anymore, maybe you should contact Envato to clarify this. Remember that Envato is hiring new people. Maybe they don’t have to much experience…

Thanks for your message. Our themes support child themes, that’s no problem at all.

Yes we use it for 2 years without any issues. Last theme approved with our framework was in January 2016.

I’ve described everything in my ticket to Envato support and this a reply I got. They didn’t even read my message. It’s a joke:

Hi Martin,

Thank you for contacting Envato Market Help. My name is Ernest and I am an Envato Help Officer.

We’re sorry to hear about the recent rejection of your items. We know that this can be disappointing, and we’re very happy to hear that you’re taking the time to revise/improve your work.

While we are unable to provide any further feedback, an alternative way to get feedback before submitting it again is to post a screenshot or link on the forum.


There are many talented and helpful community members who can likely give valuable feedback to you.

You should also check out this article:

Rejected Items
Ernest | Help Officer

That’s why I ask, it is rather pulling out the rug from under your feet without notification or justification. This is what bothers me about themeforest currently, there is no respect for authors time or our investment in a themeforest based business. If rules change there should be plenty of notice. I’ve lost count of the weeks of development time I’ve lost over these sorts of things. I agree with keeping coding standards high but keep us informed of changes to requirements! I fear though this is not going to be something that changes - I hope I’m wrong.

Exactly. We have 3 complex themes fully developed that we wanted to submit to themeforest. Together around 3000 man hours of work. They’ll probably never be sold here though.

Resubmit and briefly explain the other approved themes with similar backend. Keep messages short and to the point. Reviewers very busy.

Only they’ll go back into 70 day review queue and maybe hard rejected again. ln which time the item can’t be sold elsewhere.