WordPress ThemeForest rules of reviewers


I want to discuss some pretty hot topic of WordPress ThemeForest rules of reviewer teams. There are plenty of them but most frustrating which I get a lot, make a theme looks like a demo but without a demo content! These are quotes from reviewers which I’ve got.

  • Without demo content, the default install is basic and bland.
  • Default styling looks nothing like demo
  • Explain how to setup the theme similar to the demo without relying on importing the demo content xml.

It is a big issue when you create a highly customizable theme when all parts of the website basically dynamic layouts like Header Builder, Footer Builder, Templates Builder, Product Builder so absolutely every part of the website is customizable via Page Builder. And make default installation looks like a demo you can only by creating dummy layouts of the header, footer, posts, and etc. Which as you understand have no a real use. And after demo import will not be used ever again.

Also, this rule is totally hypocritical since all themes look nothing like demo before demo import. To prove my point check screenshots of Avada theme:


or Enfold


As you can see there is nothing common between before and after demo import but it is ok for these themes.

Maybe it is double standards for non-popular authors but who wins in this situation? A customer does not win because understands that all modern themes depend on third-party plugins like Page Builder and in order to get what you paid for you need to setup the settings and layouts from the demo website. Authors have to build lots of dummy content and styles just to pretend that theme without plugins and demo content looks like a demo website despite the fact you can not change or do anything because it is all dummy layouts and styles.

Envato members what do you think about this topic?


Bear in mind that for most of the themes, that rule wasn’t effected due to uploaded date. For the last ~1 year, the rules has been changed so it’s not about being popular author.

I have themes uploaded few years earlier and that wasn’t an issue. I came with an idea to populate a classic page/posts ( e.g Twentyfifteen ) then when you save any data for the theme, it changes automatically to look/design of the site

Thank you for your thoughts. I’m just trying to understand what purpose in this rule? It is obvious that there is no any benefits from this rule for anyone.

You should contact the support for a specific answer but it’s a requirement that the theme shouldn’t be look incomplete after activation

I agree with you and I posted some forum posts like your one, the WordPress review guidelines followed by the reviewers are completely wrong and non sense in many cases, as result the waiting time submission is of weeks and both Envato and the author lost days of work to make changes that any user will never use. I actually forced to redo some changes required by the reviewer after the approval, incredible.

Instead CC WP, CC JS, TF HTML don’t have big problems, only the WordPress section.

Cannot find any requirements regarding importing demo and default styling in WordPress Submission Requirements https://help.author.envato.com/hc/en-us/articles/360000472383

I have contacted Envato support about it, so now waiting for their answer.

It may be not clear but it’s stated under WordPress Unit Test part