WordPress Requirements Update and New Gutenberg Optimized Attribute



We have several things to announce today:

  • An update to the WP theme and plugin requirements
  • A new Gutenberg Optimized attribute and rules around using it
  • A new ‘WP Requirements Compliant’ author badge and information on how to get it

Requirements Update

We have released an update to the requirements based on feedback from the original announcement, as well as several other factors. The key changes are:

  • The Gutenberg requirements have been reworked and separated out into a separate page.
  • A 6 month fallback period has been added for plugin territory functionality. Functionality migrated to a plugin can now also remain in the theme until November 30, 2019.
  • The creation of widgets has been added to the list of plugin territory functionality.
  • The use of create_function() is no longer allowed due to it being deprecated in PHP 7.2.
  • The use of purchase code for items on Elements has been clarified.

There are other changes too. If you want to see the line by line changes, you can view them here.

Please update your items where necessary, to take these changes into account. The deadline for existing items to meet the current requirements remains 31 May, 2019, as outlined in the original announcement.

Gutenberg Optimized Attribute

As some of you will have noticed, there is now a Gutenberg Optimized attribute.

This must only be selected for themes and plugins that meet the definition of Gutenberg Optimized in the reworked Gutenberg requirements:

We will be correcting items we find that have this turned on but which don’t meet the Gutenberg Optimised definition. We will also be taking action against authors who are found to be abusing this.

We understand some of you will have chosen this in recent weeks before the definition was published. Please reconsider your items and make sure that this is only turned on where the definition is met.

WP Requirements Compliant author badge

As mentioned in the original requirements announcement, we have been looking at ways to increase the visibility of authors whose items are compliant.

As part of this, we have introduced a new WP Requirements Compliant badge:

This badge will be assigned to authors who pass a spot check on a selection of their items.

When all of your items have been updated to meet the current requirements, please complete this form to nominate yourself as ready for a spot check. Once we receive your completed form, we will check a selection of your items and:

  1. If all the items checked meet the current requirements, we will award you the badge.
  2. If there are a small number of issues, we will ask you to fix these and resubmit. We will then recheck the items.
  3. If there are too many issues, we will not be able to consider you at this time. You will need to go through your items again and make sure they meet the requirements, then resubmit for a spot check after a 2 month waiting period.

Please do not submit the form unless all of your items meet the current requirements.

Please endeavour to maintain your items so that they always meet current requirements, even after receiving the WP Requirements Compliant badge. We will continue to reassess items belonging to badge holders and may remove it from those who fail future spot checks.

On top of the new badge, we are still actively looking at other ways to increase the visibility of compliant authors, including changes to our search algorithm. We will update with more information on these additional benefits before the end of this calendar year.

Please see these official responses before posting, to see if they answer your question (thanks!):

Thanks to everyone who has shared their thoughts and pointed out areas for clarification in our requirements and guidelines. We value your feedback and input. We’ll be around for the next seven days responding to your questions and comments in batches. Please remember our community guidelines as you post.

Your Sites Will Break! Envato forcing old themes to change is a problem.
Market Search Boost for WordPress Requirements Compliant Authors on ThemeForest

Hello @steve_lam,

Can an author get the WP Requirements Compliant badge if their themes do not support Gutenberg, but meets all the current WP requirements?

It is mandatory that all the themes from the portfolio to support Gutenberg?!

Looking forward to a reply.

  • Thanks


great decision to meet the requirements and the new badge of approval.


As far as the deadline for update is set to May 2019 (is that correct?), will authors who did not submit compliance form be affected before the date? For example, will search performance of author’s new and compliant themes be affected if some of the older themes are still in process of updating?

Thank you!


Hi All,

I’ll answer the questions asked so far:


All themes need to meet the Mandatory Gutenberg requirements. They are now part of the current WP Requirements. So to be eligible for the badge, yes, all your themes need to meet these.

Note: You have until 31 May 2019 for existing themes to meet the requirements, but you won’t be eligible for the badge unless they meet them now.

Your themes don’t have to implement the things outlined in the Strongly Recommend section (although obviously we’d like you to) or the Gutenberg Optimized section (unless you turn on the Gutenberg Optimized attribute), so these have no bearing on whether the WP Requirements Compliant badge is awarded.


Yes, all existing themes need to meet the requirements by 31 May 2019. We are still working out what action will be taken for authors with themes that don’t meet the requirements by then. We’ll announce more about the implications closer to the date.

If you have all your themes ready before that, then you can can submit the form and if everything checks out, then you’ll be awarded the badge. We will not check every theme (unless you only have a few), but we will be checking a cross selection of your themes, including newer ones and older ones.

We’re still considering whether there will be a search boost as well. I can’t promise if or when that will happen, but we are looking at it. If it does happen, it will be at the author level, rather than item level.

So, yes, if you haven’t been able to update all your themes, then there may be implications for you in the search results. The badge and search boosting are incentives to encourage authors to update their items as soon as possible.


I’ll be monitoring this post and will be answering questions in batches.


Great :+1:t3:


is this applies to Plugin Developers who also sells on CodeCanyon ? and also which dose not have any integration with Gutenberg ?


Sorry, quite confused here.

So, if our themes are not compliant with Gutenberg and we check ‘no’ in ‘Gutenberg Optimized’ option. Will we still get the badge?

edited: came up with some more questions so I will list my questions here.

  1. As mentioned above, if our themes are not compliant with Gutenberg and we check ‘no’ in ‘Gutenberg Optimized’ option, will we still get the badge?

  2. What happen if we don’t get the theme updated by 31 May 2019? Will items be removed or something?

  3. By requiring old themes to be compliant with new requirement, how much do we need to change in old themes? Every single things here: http://take.ms/G891Y ? Example, in the past, the way we code themes might not be required for pre-fix, now we have to put pre-fix in all old themes?

Or just to make it compliant with new major requirements in this topic : Updated WordPress Requirements (and also Gutenberg) is enough for changing in old themes?

The point is requirements in past 4-6 years ago and today are so different and it will be HUGE changes if every single things needed…

4.1 Regarding ‘6 months fallback period’ for ‘Plugin territory functionality’. Does it mean that if we update all themes by end of May but not doing ‘Plugin territory functionality’, will we still get the badge? Because it states that ‘Functionality migrated to a plugin can now also remain in the theme until November 30, 2019.’

4.2 And what will happen if we don’t do ‘Plugin territory functionality’ by November 30, 2019

  1. A second time checking will be performed after two months waiting period. I think it would be fair to change it to third time because in the first time, author might still don’t really know where they really need to focus on. When we submit for new items these days, even we made sure everything was perfect, still got many rejections so this is something quite really hard.

Hope to get accurate answers from Envato team regarding my questions.



I’m not quite sure if this is the place to discuss this matter (and seems like I’m late too, sorry) but as for widgets in themes I have 2 questions:

(1) Enhancing native widgets

There is a usecase that wasn’t taken in account, I think:
I tend to enhance WordPress native widgets with additional functionality. That requires unregistering a native widget and registering a new enhanced code instead. This is forwards and backwards compatible way though.
It was discussed in WordPress.org theme repo too:

So, are widget enhancements allowed by Envato too, or should all of these be a new widgets in a separate plugin?

(2) Functional widgets (with no content generation)

If a theme adds a custom search widget (for a Staff post type), should this also be added as a plugin? The widget produces no content at all, it’s just a functional widget providing better search options for dedicated post type.
Could these types of widgets be included with theme?

Thanks for any input on these!

Must WP themes be Gutenberg ready ?

Seems that all the themes should have the “Gutenberg Optimized” to “yes” in order to get the badge…which is a pain for authors with lots of themes :expressionless:


I would like to know what if a theme has some unique features that require specific custom fields? Could we include the code for those field registration in the theme?

For example, for portfolio themes, we already have a portfolio plugin which registers a custom post type and standard custom fields for portfolio functionality. If the theme we are going to build has its own unique features that need additional custom fields (or to override the plugin’s custom fields), could it be done in the theme?


Yes, very!


To be honest, author who meets all requirements, will not get any search boost. All will be worked as now: themes with better sales ratio be on top of search results. IMO.

P.S. I’m just curious: is there any plans about future of ThemeForest? Is there any plans about ADP (new field with old price/new price, coupons system, etc)?


This a big confusing for plugins. It is a great step, but when A is said B has to be done as well.
WordPress plugins can be done in two ways:

  1. Via front-end (Guttenberg, Shortcodes).
  2. Via RESTAPI - https://developer.wordpress.org/rest-api/ . There is official way how to do these API via POST, GET, PUT, DELETE, HEAD, PATCH JSON params. But 9 of 10 plugin authors DOES NOT follow the standard procedure.

So, the REST_API only (i.e. validator) plugin is allways Guttenberg ready, as it DO NOT HAVE ANY front-end part. And many authors use custom-make ‘hacks’ for API calls, they also use ‘admin-ajax’ for the front end, where there REST-API is official since WP 4.7.
So my suggestion is that you would add another line:

REST API optimized”:
No API (N/A)

As otherwise, even if I release a MindBlowing REST-API plugin, it won’t be boosted in search because it is not guttenberg-optimized (as there is no front-end). So I’d suggest to consider this is as a full scope (REST-API / Guttenberg). And boost those that are either “REST-API” optimized or Guttenberg-optimized.

REST-API is a big thing, maybe even bigger than a Guttenberg when we talk about multi-server communications, as there is no no language-barrier if REST-API is used, and .NET can work with PHP apps.

And one more question. If I have plugin that follows all coding standards and is based on shortcodes, shortcodes are supported by the Guttenberg, and they are not deprecated. So there is no blocks yet, but that is not required by WordPress either, as Guttenberg supports shortcodes. So am I able to get that “WP Requirements Compatible” badge?


I have read in the requirements for plugins the following:

  • Create equivalent blocks in Gutenberg for any shortcodes created by the plugin.

My shortcode has 0 to max. 130 optional attributes. Adding all 130 possible attributes to a block makes this completely unusable. So how should this be solved to be optimized?

Best, Michael


Hi All,

There seems to be lots of confusion about the new Gutenberg Optimized attribute and the new WP Requirements Compliant badge and how they are related, so I’m going to just address that issue in this update. I’ll be back later in the day to address the other issues.

The Gutenberg Optimized attribute and the WP Requirements Compliant badge are not directly related. We just chose to put them in the same announcement post so that it would be less likely for people to miss one of the announcements.

Gutenberg Optimized Attribute

This is an item level attribute. You can choose to turn on the Gutenberg Optimized attribute yourself when you upload. If you do this, then your item must meet our definition of Gutenberg Optimized. The theme definition is here (the Gutenberg editor must look like the front end of the site) and the plugin definition is here (depends on what your plugin does).

Your item does not need to meet all of the requirements to turn this attribute on. Of course your items will need to meet all requirements by 31 May 2019 (or earlier if you want the badge), but that has nothing to do with this attribute.

WP Requirements Compliant Badge

This is an author level badge, which is awarded by Envato. It will only be awarded to authors who have passed the spot check process, ie all items meet the current/updated published requirements (for themes and plugins respectively).

Note: Items don’t have to do the things in the strongly recommended sections - these are recommendations. In regard to Gutenberg, items don’t have to meet the Gutenberg Optimized definition, but they do have to meet the Mandatory requirements for Gutenberg so they aren’t breaking people’s sites.

I’ll now answer some of the specific questions around this:


Yes, this applies to plugin authors as well. Your plugin needs to meet the current plugin requirements by 31 May 2019. If they meet the requirements earlier than that, you can nominate for a spot check and if you pass, you will get the WP Requirements Compliant badge.

If you don’t have any integration with Gutenberg, your item won’t be breaking any of the Mandatory Gutenberg plugin requirements so it will be okay. Obviously you must not turn the Gutenberg Optimized attribute on for this item.


If your themes don’t meet the Gutenberg Optimized theme definition then you can’t turn on the Gutenberg Optimized attribute. That won’t affect whether you get the badge or not. You can still get the badge if all your themes meet the requirements, but note, that means meeting the mandatory Gutenberg requirements.


No, as explained in previous answers you can get the badge (if all your items meet the requirements) without items having to be Gutenberg Optimized. Please note: They do need to meet the mandatory Gutenberg requirements so that your items aren’t breaking people’s sites.

Gutenberg will be added to WordPress 5.0, which is scheduled to be released tomorrow. Your current and potential customers are going to start wanting to use it, so it’s worth considering optimizing for it.


Yes, you would be able to get the WordPress Requirements Compliant badge (if you pass the spot check), but you would not be able to turn on the Gutenberg Optimized attribute.


I’ll leave it here for now, but will be back later today to answer some of the other questions. I hope this has made things clearer, but please let me know if there is still any confusion.

WP Requirements Compliant badge

I was asking about putting custom widgets into plugins for existing themes that has registered custom widgets inside these themes and had no answer.
If customer will update theme with widgets that was registered inside theme and now they are in the plugin this will break theme layout until the plugin with custom widgets will be installed and activated and widgets are set correctly.
Question: can you apply this requirement for new themes only to avoid this problem?


Just add check
if ( class_exists( 'Your_Super_Custom_Widget' ) ) register_widget( 'Your_Super_Custom_Widget' )


Very Good! :slight_smile:


Ok, even if we don’t want to set the Gutenberg Optimized option to Yes we still need to work and make the theme semi-compatible… which also doesn’t make sense (for old themes).

Styling all the elements from the Gutenberg to match with the design of the theme is likely: full compatibility in one word :expressionless: .

If we don’t offer support for Gutenberg, why should we style the elements?! Where is the sense here?

Unstyled elements from Gutenberg will not break people’s sites…as you mentioned before.

Looking for a reply on this… we just want to clarify this matter…because for authors with + 50 themes, styling each element from the Gutenberg will be just a Pain…