WordPress Theme Developer Handbook Updated with Comprehensive Guide to the Customizer API
In response to more than 150 comments debating on the topic, Nick Halsey, who has worked extensively on the feature in WordPress core, stopped by the WP Tavern to offer a few words in support of the Theme Review Team’s decision:
Many of the comments here are misinformed or unaware of both the full power of and the future importance of the Customizer. I’ve given an overview of my perspective on my blog, and while those views don’t directly represent the views of the WordPress project, I can say that most people working on the Customizer in core would agree with my points. Like it or not, the Customizer is here to stay, and ignoring that fact will eventually cause users to turn against you. – Nick Halseyhttp://wptavern.com/wordpress-theme-developer-handbook-updated-with-comprehensive-guide-to-the-customizer-api
@Theme-Paradise – The current interface is basic but very programmable. You can either make custom controls or use custom controls made by others. There are several already linked in this thread. I’m also pretty eager to see what the recent Redux / Kirki team-up will produce. Even though Kirki already provides a better customizer experience as is, the support of the Redux team should make things very interesting!
If you have concerns that can’t be address by the current state of the Customizer API (adding custom controls, etc), another way to improve it is to submit a ticket in the WP Core Trac. WP v4.3 will be out in a few short months it could include changes from anyone especially this early.
@HighGrade – Thanks for taking the time to post! You may not have read through this entire thread (or articles linked within – I don’t expect that). It’s clear to see that the market is already too saturated with 1000 option themes types though. Redux and Kirki Advanced Customizer are now joining forces. You’ll soon be able to use your Redux Options config file with Kirki instead to make the switch that much easier.
There are many segments to any given market and ThemeForest is no different. The number of themes that use the customizer today are far fewer than that of other options frameworks but that should represent an opportunity rather than obstacle. It’s all about perspective, I suppose.
Why choose to compete in the most crowded space if your product may not be well suited for it? If you think you have to because users won’t buy anything else or it won’t be profitable enough, I’d submit those may just be excuses. Regardless of the target market for a given theme, it’s really up to the author to educate / convince the prospective buyer they’re worth purchasing. That’s the pretty much the challenge of any seller trying to market their wares though as well as choosing the right audience within that market. Even though TF’s WP market only represents a portion of the WP community, this is still a necessity since it’s one of the larger ones.
I like your McDonald’s analogy. Those who go to eat at McDonald’s often especially those take the extra food deals will likely become fat over time. This is not unlike what will happen to a website using certain themes especially those with unnecessary junk bundled in. McDonald’s can offer all the good deals it wants but if it’ll make one fat or it will just go to waste (like non-used features), whether it’s a good deal or not may not be relevant. While Caveat Emptor still applies here, authors sometimes specifically prey on the ignorance of a certain buyers. It’s not exclusive to Envato markets as Apple does it too. It can certainly be profitable so I understand why it is done even if I may not agree with the practice.
There will almost always be plenty of the less savvy users that will still go “Ooh, shiny!”over such deals due to being uniformed / lacking experience. These users perhaps should not be your target market if you’re worried about the competition. They may even eventually outgrow their WP adolescence and no longer be in the market for such offerings. You may actually find it easier to sell to them then.
This has just been my experience. I’m always interested to hear stories from others whether they’re contrary to this or not.
Some awesome news here, folks!
Redux and Kirki Frameworks Join Forces to Provide Better Support for the WordPress Customizerhttp://wptavern.com/redux-and-kirki-frameworks-join-forces-to-provide-better-support-for-the-wordpress-customizer
@BoldBocks – Wow. That’s a great, helpful bunch of links! I happen to be a DRY lover myself and was already was aware of those you posted. There were still a couple, I hadn’t seen before though.
@Splendous – I think you’re referring to the “The Canvas” WP the here on TF? Yes, that theme really pushes customizer use to the next level and then some.
It shows the customizer can cope quite well with lots of options. It’s fairly well organized but looked like overkill to me. The author apparently didn’t feel limited at all. He probably had too much fun creating it and didn’t want to stop. Lol.
Best reasons to use Unyson are that it’s a plugin, allows modular extensions and isn’t a theme (but can integrate into almost any theme). Good for making a theme since it is a framework. It also comes with a instructional theme to illustrate use of the framework. It has a builder extension which is optional and uses shortcodes AFAIK. Themes made with it will likely not be accepted to the WordPress theme repository (at least until it’s brought up to date / Customizer compliant) because of how it currently does theme options.
Best reason to use LayersWP is because it leverages the WP customizer. It is not a framework though and shouldn’t be used to build another theme. This a builder (not a framework) and also probably is not the best choice for a paid client site especially if you want future portability. If it’s not a client site or you’re not the type to think ahead / worry about the future, it could be a fine choice. This builder uses widgets instead of shortcodes though.
To be clear, Themes are NOT frameworks. Themes are themes. To call a theme a framework is disingenuous at best IMO. Genesis IS NOT a framework as much as they would like to call themselves that or convince people who don’t know better of it. It is too old / popular to change that misnomer now though. I don’t expect to change anyone’s mind on this as there are more people misusing the terminology than not. I just prefer not to perpetuate the misinformation any further. Smarter people than me have already said as much and some even before I even knew what WP really was.http://justintadlock.com/archives/2010/08/16/frameworks-parent-child-and-grandchild-themes
Found this thought it might be useful to those reading this thread – http://wptheming.com/2015/02/page-select-customizer/
@woorockets – I’m not surprised to hear you come on out that side of the issue. Having inspected the code in your themes and plugins, they work but they’re not elegant. That’s only my take though. Redoing them would represent a significant effort on your behalf and I thank you for making them many of them available for free as well.
I like reading articles by developers that are I consider smarter / more experienced than myself. There are no shortage of those as there is all much to learn. One of my favorite older ones is the linked below. It asks a very good question IMO, “Are we writing code to be clever or are we writing code for others to understand?” I submit that you tend more towards the former than latter.
Check it out – https://tommcfarlin.com/writing-wordpress-code/
I feel there will always be a market for overcomplicated, high maintenance items like yours. People will continue to purchase them because they think they need them only to regret that decision later. They’ll learn by doing, making mistakes and learning from them. That’s life. All in one themes are such a commodity in the marketplace these days though. Maybe that changes or maybe it stays the same. I can’t say.
The way authors (especially new / less well established ones) can choose to stand out or distinguish themselves from the norm is to perhaps adopt a less is more WP customizer way of doing things. I’d to think of this new era of WordPress as a “renaissance” or “rebirth” of how people choose to build sites with WordPress.
They’ll be plenty that’ll cling to the notions of the past because it’s easier, less scary and more profitable in the short-term. That’s fine. Each to their own. It’ll leave the opportunities for the long term planners who are in it for the long haul to rise to this new standard rather than simply comply the minimum guidelines.
I enjoyed this one…http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2013/03/05/the-wordpress-theme-customizer-a-developers-guide/
Treehouse has some great video coverage on it as well…http://teamtreehouse.com/library/wordpress-customizer-api