WordPress and theme options part II – the fracture

crossroads-thumbAs 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 December 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.

12 Comments

  1. Arghh. I so wish I’d paid attention to your news before I moved to a new webhost. Problems that I thought were associated with the move were actually related to the newer version of WordPress that my new host offers.

    Thanks for posting the work arounds. I’ll definitely be buying you coffee again!

  2. I have installed all the updates. I’m confused to say the least. I want my presentation page back with the sliders and cryouts. I assumed that the latest cryouts plugin was suppose to fix the problem. What do I need to do?

  3. What a stupid decision of WordPress…
    I’m a newbee in WordPress but using since three months I’m sure for myselfe that all the settings won’t be accessible in a user friendly manner in the customizer section.

    And I guess there an many other themes with much more settings than in you themes.

    Using a plugin as a replacement for the option settings is a good idea.

  4. Thank god you did the plugin!!! I use your themes because I really don’t like the customizer… didn’t realise they had made it mandatory… oh well will have to learn that if my clients want to use a different theme.

    I just did all the updates btw and not one hitch… thank you!

    1. The previous version of the plugin had an issue when it was used on theme versions that did not require it. This issue is now fixed and you need to manually delete the plugin folder to return your site to working order.

  5. I downloaded the Cryout Serious Theme Settings plugin, but can only activate it if I have the Tempera 1.4 version. I can only find the Tempera 1.3.3 version… Where can I download Tempera 1.4?

  6. Couldn’t agree less with your decision. I never use this Customizer: it simply has too few options. I say let every developer decide for themselves. Having said that I would definitely encourage an initiative in which developers would aim at agreeing on a standard structure/framework/architecture/ to act as a skeleton for creating settings functionality. Currently there are a lot of differences between themes in how they implement options pages. Some are very tranparent and customer friendly, other far from that.

    Keep up the good work. Love your Nirvane theme.

    John

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