5 Tips on How to Get Approved
on ThemeForest

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Note: This post hasn't been updated in over 2 years.

Thumbs Up by Brett Davies

If it’s the first time you are making a theme for ThemeForest it might be difficult to get approved, but it’s not impossible. The standards are really high these days, but if you really want to get approved you will.

Because getting approved on ThemeForest might be a bit hard, today I’m going to give you five tips on how to get approved. This article has been wrote with ThemeForest in mind, but some of this advices are also applicable to other marketplaces.

1. Value Feedback

In most of the cases the items are rejected because of their design. When it comes to design, opinions can be very subjective, but make sure you always listen to what the reviewers have to say. Even if you don’t agree with the reviewer, I guarantee you that your theme will end up thousands of times better.

2. Be Persistent

Be persistent and never give up. Many authors spend months until they get their items approved. One time, I spent a whole month trying to get my theme approved. And it got approved! It might be a bit difficult, but it worths the effort.

3. Wait

Wait for the perfect time to submit your item. Don’t submit your item in a rush. Take some time and review the item before submitting. I’m sure you will find some errors, that can make the difference between approval and rejection.

4. Find a Work Partner

Your item has been rejected because of the design? You aren’t a designer? Find a work partner! I did, and I’m extremely happy. Now I can focus on coding, while my partner takes care of the design. You will increase the chances of being approved and receive some important feedback from your partner.

5. Understand the Market

Understand what the market is looking for and create awesome products. Don’t create something that already exists, because it’s more likely to be rejected.

I guess the most important tip is to never give up. Remember that most of the authors got rejected at their first try.

Good luck!

  • Rafael

    A tip for when you created a clean or other style theme is look for effects and details:

    mouse over effects, movements, gradients, animations, custom fonts, responsive, small details like a line, a pattern for example. Are things that make the difference between rejected or approved theme =D

    Good luck for us!

    Cheers, Rafael

    • Akshit Sethi

      Great suggestion man! I think I found my way out. I am going to work on the details now and get my theme accepted. 🙂

  • Zoran

    We’re always looking to collaborate with developers and designers on themes! Contact us on ThemeSumo.com if interested. Cheers.

    • Zoran

      We’d like to feature some of our upcoming themes on ThemeForest exclusively, a collaboration with some existing ThemeForest developers would be ideal.

  • Miro

    Well I just got rejected. The design is the issue. I’ve created theme that gives you many design options and kept it clean and simple in the preview, but it looks like this was a bad idea. The reviewer is looking for something unique. I’ll take my time and give it to him 🙂

    • Neil

      Exactly the same as myself, a blank canvas for a theme seems to be rejected, which is fine but I see so many ‘plain’ themes out there.

    • Heath

      I’m (…MODESTLY) a world class designer, I’ve got a bunch of awesome designs and unique UEX ideas ready for development, but am struggling to find the right contractors to build to the standard required for resale, so if there’s anyone out there keen to partner with a designer, give me a shout.

    • jeff

      hi everyone, i’m a PSD theme designer.
      I have 8 years experience in design field and I can sure that my design can mostly approved by the team.
      (I got proven comments of these!)

      I can create the themes like:
      – corporate website
      – design agency website
      – online store
      – crowd funding
      – travel
      – magazine website

      and it can be use for wordpress, magento, opencart and so on.

      If you would like to work with me together for a long term via TF, kindly add me via Skype.
      My Skype ID: jeffpow2

  • nimbleo

    Would definitely agree with the above points. I submitted my first landing page last year and got rejected – was definitely a downer…

    After experience the all famous rejection, I picked myself up, took the feedback on board and submitted my new landing page template at the start of Feb this year.

    I’m pleased to say, I made it on the Top New Authors for the month of Feb and am now looking forward to seeing more success 🙂

    Keep at it guys and don’t give up!


    • Because your landing page is so sexy! 🙂

    • Wow congrats, nimbleo. I submitted my first theme and got rejected as well. The message from the reviewer was a default message that says the default things, such as your design is not unique (as the other items for sale at the marketplace are all unique), the structure is not…. bla bla bla.

      With this feedback i don’t know what to repair.
      Please help me with some suggestions.
      I would really appreciate this.

  • Brian

    Didn’t put one in yet but I hear the design must be original and smooth.

  • ReTox

    “Even if you don’t agree with the reviewer, I guarantee you that your theme will end up thousands of times better.”

    This is a bunch of bullcrap.

    I’ve seen so many approved themes recently that are performing very low in terms of sales and their designs are modified according to reviewer’s taste.

    • David

      ReTox is right. The reviewers are hardly the arbiters of the design world. Unfortunately, they’ve gotten into a self-reinforcing pattern where they make their approval decisions based on what has been approved before. We see fewer and fewer original design ideas while the same old styles with the same old features (every single theme must have a jQuery slider!) get approved again and again. It would be good if that cycle could be broken, but I doubt industry-leading designers would settle for the reviewer pay.

  • Hi everyone,

    I want to create my first template at themeforest, is it possible to submit a design first(jpeg file) and then they will review the design if its rejected or not before converting to html or wordpress theme.

    Your Response is Appreciated!

    Thank you,

    • I think you first get feedback from other well supported users in Marketplace forum before upload final design..

  • AMZ

    “Don’t create something that already exists, because it’s more likely to be rejected.”

    If this is the case then why reviewer does not mention this. It is like you guys have one standard rejection message

  • shaxrillo

    my theme rejected two times but i will try 🙂

    • Hi any luck with your theme? I also uploaded theme 2 times but was rejected

  • Pavel

    Hi everyone! Well, any1 had a issue when reviewer said that itam cannot be resubmitted? (withought actually pointing what is wrong just saying “as it did not meet our minimum requirements for quality and/or marketplace policies”. I mean, i understand there may be issues (this is my 1st item), I do, but here nothing specifically is explained AND no way to resubmit it.
    A bit unexpected really.
    Anyone recieved something like this or am I alone that lucky? 🙂

    • maxim

      it’s happen to me too and there is no exact feedback why the itm is rejected:/ anyone can help?

    • Sapto Prasojo

      it’s happen to me also… and now, i must develop new design

  • Milos

    Hello designers and developers … First of all I think if we all want to sell something, it needs to look good and be functional.
    I’m a designer, have a lot of experience designing on 99designs.com, oDesk.com, elance.com … so I decided to make the PSD template and upload it on Themeforest. I have read many comments in forums so I exepcted to get rejected from the first time and that is what happened. I got the same message as you all do …. bla bla bla.
    I’ve seen so many designs selling in there that are very simple designs, and I gues that the competition is there for sure, so it would be great if we could help each other as much as we can so we can go through and start selling.
    Here is something that could be helpfull:


    Wish you all best