As you might know by now, themes in the official repository are no longer allowed to implement a theme options page (section, feature). All new themes were required since early this year to implement support for the Customizer and some weeks ago this rule became mandatory for themes already published in the repository as well.
We’ve given this a great deal of thought and we decided not to transfer theme options for our existing themes to the Customizer interface.
The Customizer has grown since early this year, however we feel that it still does not provide the right medium (in terms of space, usability, customizability) for our existing theme options interface.
We built our themes settings to fit and work in a certain way and the Customizer structure just isn’t right for them (and rewriting part of the options to make them work there will create issues maintaining backwards compatibility for existing installs).
This means that for new theme updates to make it to the repository we will have to at least remove the theme’s settings page. We have prepared for this and we will be moving the settings page functionality (with all the existing options intact) to the newly published Cryout Serious Theme Settings plugin – which the themes will start recommending right in the dashboard (so it’ll be easy to find and install) and which can be installed with a couple of clicks.
This plugin will be the same one for all our themes so you’ll only need to install it once no matter which of our themes you use (or intend to switch between).
The change will apply to Parabola, Tempera and Nirvana at their next update. To access the theme settings, you will need to install the settings plugin. You should expect any updates published starting with November to implement this. If you don’t like this change, you can stop updating the themes on your site(s), but you will miss out on any new features we might add and all fixes.
The change will not apply to Mantra (for which we have different plans), nor Zombie Apocalypse which, as you may (or many not) have noticed, we’ve already switched to use the Customizer-based options.
As a side effect to this change, we will also be disabling the presentation page by default for fresh installs since there is no way to customize its content out-of-the-box until the settings plugin is also installed.