WPZOOM Framework Theme Options

WPZOOM Theme Options

WPZOOM Theme Options

This was submitted by Pavel Ciorici, founder of WPZOOM, which by the way have a free theme called Meeta. Quite a lot of options, including ones I never want to see in a WordPress theme, like SEO, but they seem to look well organized.

I think that the panel looks good on its own, but quite weird in a “WordPress environment.” It feels like it’s just floating there in the air, like a totally separate app. Even the blue “Save Changes” button is not the right size, shape and color. The first themes I saw with such an approach were from WooThemes, and I called it “WordPress in a WordPress.” I also dislike the usage of the word “Framework” here, which feels like too much marketing.

What about you? What do you like or dislike about the WPZOOM Theme Options? Do you think it’s important to follow design conventions when creating options panels for your themes and plugins? Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and don’t forget to rate this entry!

14 thoughts on “WPZOOM Framework Theme Options

  1. I’m not sure I like the “make it look like core” argument that seems to underlie all discussions around plugin/theme interfaces. I understand why people say it, but WordPress is not some gold standard of UI design. By constantly repeating “make it look like the rest of WordPress”, I can’t help but feel that we’ll squeeze out different and better approaches to UI.

    I’m not saying everyone should go wild with multicolored option screens. But moving beyond what WordPress uses by default can be healthy and should not be discouraged. It seems that every options screen is judged by how closely it matches core.

    As for WPZoom, it’s a nice interface. Admittedly, the double-lefthand-sidebar it creates is a bit awkward, but overall I like the look. Too many options for my taste, but I’m a bit of a stickler on that.

    • Similar interfaces are around for while, if they where quite good, they would made into core UI for settings panel. Maybe theme options panels shouldn’t be same as other WordPress setting screens, but not that much different.

      • Perhaps. What I’m getting at is that most options screens are partially judged by how closely they follow core’s UI. I think that is the absolutely wrong way to look at it. Instead, it should be “is it intuitive or not?”, and that’s it.

        My “perception” of the debate could be completely subjective. But I caution against following the mantra of “match core” too much for a couple of reasons. 1) Core is inconsistent itself in many areas. 2) Core is not as good as it could be. So why not encourage people to mix it up?

    • Andy, thanks so much for your opinion! I agree that WordPress isn’t the best UI, and developers shouldn’t be discouraged to try out new approaches, but yes, there are certain conventions that I think must be followed. Links should be blue, primary buttons should be blue, secondary buttons should be gray, and so on. And not because it’s good UI and sexy, but because people are used to it :) Oh, and the better UI should be proposed to Core Trac.

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  5. Thank you all for the input and feedback for our Theme Options page.

    In the past we have tried to keep all settings on one bigger page, as well as try to keep available options to a minimum. We had themes with just 6-10 options / input fields. This however meant that every 2nd or 3rd customer would request changes in the support forums, ask for code changes, etc.

    So for the long run, we have decided to give more control to our customers. If a feature is requested many times, we add more support for it.

    P.S. most of our options are optional, so all themes usually work immediately after installation. But some themes have text input fields (like a phone number in the header), so you have to fill just those.

    So trust me, our Theme Options page is far from being called “bloated” or characterized as “too many options”, and I have seen many of these :)

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