Popular WordPress theme Astra has been suspended for five weeks with over one million users. The fine comes in reaction to suspected infringement of the ban by WordPress against the inclusion of affiliate links.
The link to the official WordPress Astra theme page shows that the theme is not available from WordPress.
What is an affiliate link
An affiliate link helps an organization to get profit from recommendation. For example when I include an affiliate link on my website about blue, if someone buys using that link, I will get a little profit from them.
Astra being a free theme , like many free WordPress plugins and themes, they also offer premium versions that contain additional features that are appropriate for professional publishers as opposed to casual bloggers.
The official announcement of the WordPress
The official WordPress announcement by TRT Messenger (Theme Review Team Bot) announced the suspension on 7 August 2020.
The requirement to disallow affiliate links was introduced a year and a half ago. WordPress has been discussing both their official Slack channel and their blog for weeks.
According to WordPress, Brainstorm Force had advanced warnings.
Official WordPress statement:
“18 months ago you started adding affiliate links in your theme.
…We have this requirement against this:
Themes are not allowed to have affiliate URLs or links.
We added this requirement more than 18 months ago, specifically for this kind of issue.
We also asked other theme authors to remove such links from their themes and discussed this topic, on Slack & the blog, for many weeks.
We don’t understand how you can miss something like this, and it’s also not the first time we have to come and tell you something is wrong with your theme.
Because of this, your theme will be suspended for the next 5 weeks (until September 11th, 2020).”