1) Make sure you’ve reviewed VIP documentation
This site features documentation and a guide for developing sites on WordPress.com VIP. We share best practices, helpful tips and share information on custom modifications other VIP clients have implemented to help you code better, faster, and stronger. We highly recommend going through the Getting Started and Best Practices sections.
2) Make sure your local environment is set up correctly as described here:
3) Work with an existing theme that’s available on WordPress.com
If you’re looking for a barebones theme, to start from, check out _s, which is built and maintained our own Theme Team.
If you’re interested in working with a Premium theme, let us know and we can provide access to the code.
If you’re running a number of sites you’ll want to take the common theme approach – it’s a single theme used across multiple sites
If each site contains some unique functionality you can add that via Child Themes. Here’s an excellent walk-through.
4) Re-use and Recycle
5) Follow Standards
We recommend all developers follow the WordPress Coding Standards. It helps ensure consistency and cleanliness in code and helps us review things much faster.
6) Avoid Common Issues
Please review the list of common issues we see in Theme Reviews.