Soft Rejection - Some questions

First submission and first soft rejection, pretty gutted to be honest, but these things happen, not gonna fret too much over it. Was given the copy and paste blurb re: ‘design needs lots of improvements’.

As this is my first submission and first rejection, I have some questions regarding the process:

  1. Will the reviewer have based his decision on the online demo I have made, or the appearance of when the theme is first installed and imported with some dummy content? (if they even do that, would imagine they do).
  2. Is it possible to ever get in touch with the review to ask the question mentioned above? I don’t expect an essay of feedback, but it would be great to know for certain that I am at least heading in the right direction from the start instead of facing another soft rejection because of misinterpretation.

For those wanting to take a peak at the theme itself, you can check it out here:

As this is my first theme submission, I didn’t want to run before I could walk so intentionally only started with a simple blogging theme.



  1. They will probably check the demo first but base their decision on a combination of code, design, front and back end etc.

  2. You can try to contact reviewers in some cases but there’s no guarantee of a detialed response. (they get a LOT of submissions many of which are simply not up to standard so it would take forever for them to reply in detail to each one).

Are you sure it was soft not hard rejected? Normally no feedback means hard.

In terms of the file - I actually don’t think it is that bad. It’s not ready for here but for a first attempt you have a solid building block to work from.

Are you sure all submission guidelines were met esp. around plugins, prefixes etc?

Try to really make the file stand out. I get you are sensibly playing it safe with your first but it needs to feel premium and different from what’s on the market already.

Header could be a bit more imaginative e.g. slightly bigger social icons, maybe a top bar etc.

Unlike most first attempts your typography is quite good! Maybe make the titles and post info (currently looks the same as post copy) stand out a little more.

Have a proper nav link to the author pages e.g.

Have a contact page, about page, maybe a basic WP gallery (I know you want to be minimal but they are easy and harmless!)

If possible create different home pages

I really like your footer design

It is a good start just needs to be raised a little to feel more premium and complete.

looks like a free theme, you should add more detail

Cheers for the feedback!

Definitely a soft rejection, checked it all again this morn (as well as the panicked checks last night).

Whilst this is my first theme submission personally, i’ve actually made two themes before that are active and selling on the marketplace at the moment, but these were done with a partner and he handled all the submission stuff before. I’ve always been very cautious about adding too much personality to a theme, I want buyers to not have to struggle to tear themselves away from my design choices if they so want, but with Narvi i may have aimed a little low in the design minimalism department.

I’ll take another shot at it and re-submit soon, cheers once again :smile: