A theme options page is a necessity in your premium WordPress theme. Even free ones are popping up with them. It can be a big step to take, especially for someone with more of a design background than a development one but the benefits are extraordinary.
When I was creating the options page for Thesis Magazine, I read as much as I could on WordPress options pages in order to create the best one possible. There are many ways to go about it, so I’ve included some awesome tutorials that have really helped me in the past as well as a cool resource Ian Stewart put out the other day that will blow your mind.
So without further ado, here are 10 resources to help you create a wordpress options page:
Looking around Theme Forest you’ll be hard-pressed to find a theme that doesn’t contain an options panel. I’m sure that part of the reason for that is this great tutorial that walks you through the creation of one step-by-step.
This tutorial over at Net Tuts will show you how to make a jQuery-powered options panel similar to the ones used by WooThemes.
A recent tutorial by 1stwebdesigner will teach you how to make an options page with nice detail and lots of pictures. You’ll also learn how to include an external stylesheet to your functions.php file.
A very popular 3-part tutorial by WPShout going over in plenty of detail every thing you need to know about creating an advanced options page for your WordPress theme.
This classic tutorial by For The Lose will get you started on the road to your own options page very quickly.
A detailed tutorial by aext.net that which will teach you the ins and outs of creating theme options, including what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
Although slightly dated, this quick tutorial by CatsWhoCode will teach you how Jean went about creating the Mimbo theme options.
This Codex page won’t teach you how to create options pages. *gasp* It will however teach you all about adding administration menus to the backend of WordPress, which I believe is invaluable. Definitely worth a look for anybody looking to create theme options pages.
Here is the WordPress Codex‘s take on creating options pages. It’s long and detailed and can be overly technical at times, but it will teach you a lot of great things. There’s something to be said for learning straight from the source.
I’m more excited about this than anything else on this list, and I’m sure you will be too. Here is a sample theme options page from Ian Stewart, the man behind the Thematic framework and member of Automattic’s Theme Team. This is pretty much a framework for you to install and then customize to fit your needs. It gets rid of all the boring stuff you have to do before getting to the functionality enhancements. I haven’t tried this yet but it looks like it’s going to be a huge productivity boost for theme developers.
Well there they are. 7 tutorials, 2 Codex pages, and one premade template. If you read through all of this (or even some of it), you’ll be making theme options pages like a pro in no time. And your customers will thank you.
Know of any other great resources? Let us know in the comments!