Justin Tadlock

If you were a WordPress theme developer: Theme options

This is the fifth post in the If you were a WordPress theme developer series, a group of articles where you, the user, get to add your opinion of how WordPress themes should work.

In this post, we’re going to be covering theme options, or theme settings.

What are theme options?

Theme options are settings for whatever theme you’re using. In the themes section of your WordPress dashboard, there might be a page labeled Theme Options, Theme Settings, or some variation of that. This page will allow you to select particular settings for your theme.

Not all themes have an options page built in. Of course, not all themes need this page. A theme settings page might look something like this:

WP theme settings

There could be anywhere from one or two options to tens of options.

What would you add to a theme options page?

Let’s lay down some ground rules here because every theme will be different.

  1. Our theme is very basic.
  2. The theme options should be about content, not style.
  3. We want to get information to our users in a way that doesn’t force us to dive into code.

The most important rule is that our options page should be about content. Let’s forget layout and styling for the time being.

What would you like to see in a theme options page that would enhance your blog’s content?