Update: Astra has been reinstated but not removed from Popular theme listing
This is not good news for the over 1 million people using the popular Astra theme as WordPress has suspended the theme for violating prohibitions on affiliate links.
There is no need to panic or switch themes immediately. The suspension is not permanent. The suspension is for 5 weeks.
If you visit the WordPress theme directory and search for Astra theme, you will not find the popular Astra theme that you know of. But you will find a different theme by the name Astral. See below.
So why did WordPress suspend Astra theme?
WordPress had asked theme developers to stop adding affiliate links to the theme over a year ago. And Astra has been doing that even though they denied it.
Here is the official statement from WordPress:
“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).”
Astra reaction to WordPress ban
Astra which is owned by Brainstorm Force denied adding affiliate links to their theme. They instead says they added referral codes.
Here is their response:
“We however admit that we used filters available in third party plugins where we only pass our referral code.
“But at the same time, we do NOT add any affiliate links or whatsoever as per the requirement.
“We’re not sure if using the referral filter is against the requirement. But if it is, we’re happy to remove it immediately and submit the new version.”
When will Astra be back to WoordPress directory?
According to the statement by WordPress, Astra will be back to WordPress directory by September 11th, 2020.
But that may be depending on Brainstorm Force removing the affiliate links from the theme.
What to do as a WP Astra user.
Since you cannot access the theme from WordPress directory, the best solution is to access it via the website.
You can have access to support and pro theme via The website.