The Options theme's new groove

That’s right. I said “new groove.” I thought it’d at least be a catchy post title.

So, what’s this all about?

The Options WordPress theme is almost out of beta. I’ve foregone some of the planned smaller releases and am jumping ahead to the official release this week.

With over 6,000 downloads of the beta version, I’ve gotten quite a lot of feedback from users about what works, what doesn’t, and what the theme needs. The forums have been buzzing lately, and I want to thank everyone that’s helped out thus far.

A new stylesheet

Yes, the new version will come with an extra stylesheet. Just click on the image below to see it in full view. It’s not quite finished yet, but I thought I’d get a little feedback on it and have you help me decide on a name. All I’ve got right now is “Soothing” or “Soothing Blue.”

The Options WordPress theme reloaded and restyled

New administration options

I’ve been completely reworking a lot of the things that go on behind the scenes with this theme. I finally learned how to work with widget controls, which will give users a much easier interface to work with. I’ve also solved some of the category tab issues by just putting together drop-down lists of the user’s categories to choose from.

Check out some of the new admin things by clicking on the image below. The widgets might look a little different in the image because I’m running on WordPress 2.5 on my local copy of the theme.

New admin panel and widgets for the Options WordPress theme

New features

There are many features that’ll be in this update. I’m sure you noticed some with the admin and widgets screenshot. My main goal with this project has been to take the coding out of the user’s hands, and that’s what I’m working toward. Here are some of the things you can expect:

  • Config file For those of you that like to tinker with code and change things up a bit, I've put together a file that controls all the other files. You won't have to touch the other code. Just open this file and edit it easily. This will also make updates easier because you won't have to worry with correcting things that have been changed.
  • Features gallery The features gallery has definitely been updated. It now works completely with all browsers, including IE. I think you'll find its update much better than the one out now.
  • Widgets You'll have easier control over displaying ads, your tabs (which now include more options), and other things.
  • Stylesheets You can now upload new stylesheet folders, and they will be automatically added to the list of available styles. This will make upgrading to new stylesheets easier. It'll also allow me to release stylesheets without updating the entire theme.
  • Gravatars I'm adding Gravatar functionality in the next couple of days. So, it'll definitely be part of this release.

Are you ready?

I’m looking forward to this release. I’ve been working on it every spare moment I could find since the initial release of the theme. I’m excited about it and look forward to another 600+ posts on the Options theme forum.

Let me know what you think. You still have a few days before the release of this thing to give me some feedback.