Theme Review Virtual Environment

Virtualbox: a virtual Mint running on Mint.

Setting up the recommended theme review environment in Virtual Box on Linux Mint. The hardest part was setting up the PHP code sniffer. WordPress reviewers use several plugins for theme reviews.

Do you want to publish a theme on WordPress? In that case a team of reviewers will check the theme for errors. The code must follow the WordPress standards and policies. If the theme doesn’t meet the standards the theme is rejected.

The theme review team recommended to test the themes on a virtual system. I installed Virtualbox via apt. Found and downloaded a Linux Mint .iso via Torrents.  Booted the system and installed Linux on the virtual disk. So far so good.

The LAMP server

Set up a LAMP server via the Ubuntu meta-package:

sudo apt-get install lamp-server^

An then WordPress was installed manually. Noproblemo here.

Set up WordPress as Reviewer

Testing is a major subject in WordPress. Several tools are recommended:



Then the codesniffer was installed. My first experiments were more or less “trial and error”. If worked, but pretty it wasn’t (later I found Tom McFarlin’s excellent tutorial.).

This blog is a research tool. So I’m saving my fumblings with the code:

 2011 pear
 2013 sudo pear channel-update
 2014 pear upgrade-all
 2016 pear install wordpress
 2018 sudo apt-get install composer
 2019 composer create-project \
 wp-coding-standards/wpcs:dev-master --no-dev
 2020 phpcs --standard=WordPress wp-config.php
 2021 phpcs --config-set installed_paths wpcs
 2022 sudo phpcs --config-set installed_paths wpcs
 2023 phpcs -i
 2024 phpcs --standard=WordPress /foo/bar.php

Lo and behold: the sniffer worked. Via wildcards it’s possible to scan all files in the theme directory:

phpcs --standard=WordPress pathToTheme/*/*.php

The sniffer will print errors and warnings – and so the debugging process may begin. Here’s a sample:

Sniffing PHP errors
Sniffing PHP errors

Note the wildcard result. Several files are checked.  Errors and linenumbers are displayed. That’s a handy tool.


Avoid “Pig Latin”

In a package of test tools I found the pig latin. Don’t use that silly plug in. It will redesign your Dashboard and add all kinds of silly pig latin words all over the plugin.  Joke or not – it’s a complete waste of time.

Theme Testing Environment Ready

Now the virtual theme testing environment is up and running. If there are grave errors in the theme, no damage will come to the test pc.

The next step is a real life theme review.


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