Whether you’re developing a theme for personal or commercial use, setting up a custom WordPress options panel turns your theme into a flexible, easy to use tool. Also, providing your buyers with everything they need to tweak the overall look and feel of their websites without having to mess with the actual code will instantly add value to your theme and make it more marketable, which, in turn, could boost sales and help you build a reputation of a reliable and experienced expert.
Well-Written Code Is Just A Start. Options Is What Sells Your Theme
Regardless how much time you spent learning to code, you will never be able to sell your theme if it looks outdated, doesn’t offer enough customization options, or if it’s difficult to set up. If you take a look at some of the third-party theme markets out there, you’ll notice that all successful themes come with tons of predefined layouts, pages, and page elements for the user to choose from. And most of them come with a custom WordPress options panel to make it easy for the user to actually take advantage of all the customization options.
Not Every Theme Needs A Custom WordPress Options Panel
There are many factors you need to consider when deciding whether to set up a custom WordPress options panel. For example, what is your target market? Are you developing a framework other developers will be using to create their own themes, or are you targeting stay-at-home moms looking for a pretty theme for their blog? If your buyer is familiar with WordPress and PHP, it’s safe to assume they might be better off without a custom WordPress options panel, which can’t be said for a complete beginner looking for an easy way to set up a website without touching a single line of code.
Do Your Homework Before Developing Your Custom WordPress Options Panel
Before you start writing the actual code, you also need to determine which elements of your theme your buyers will want to change, and leave the rest out. You see, while it’s important to provide your buyers with enough customization options to help them set up a unique website, the last thing you want to do is overwhelm them with a custom WordPress options panel packed with irrelevant settings they’ll never actually use. There’s a fine line between an effective custom WordPress options panel and a cluttered one.
Common Settings Found In A Custom WordPress Options Panel
So, what are some of the most common settings developers include in the custom WordPress options panel of their premium themes? Obviously, you’ll want to include the options for features that are specific to your theme, such as custom post types or loading animations, as well as the contents of the footer. You’ll also want to cover some general theme options, such as logo and favicon customization, style tweaks such as fonts and colors, Google analytics code field, as well as all the necessary sidebar options.