Build a Better WordPress Theme with the Settings API

This post was originally written and published on the IEG technical blog.

Often when we create our WordPress themes, they come with a small theme options page built using the Settings API. This page could have inputs for everything from social media handles to uploading a new logo or picking a homepage layout. Having these options makes it easier for non-developers to make important changes to their websites, or give it minor refreshment.

Here’s a pretty straightforward example of how we use it on Chasing the Dream. Administrators can update the links for social media icons, enter the unique Google Custom Search Key, pick a homepage grid, and even update the footer text.

themeoptions

Having a theme options page is a good way to set global options, such as a font or accent color. Instead of having to find all of the places within the CSS every time a client wants to try a different shade of blue, instead they can have the power to update it themselves. Read more

Once Upon a Splash Page

I’ve been building this portfolio since January 2011, but I’ve been thinking about it for a very long time. As soon as I entered professional writing, I was told of the requirements. We all must graduate with a web site that will say who we are and make us marketable for jobs. I knew I wanted to build something on my own, not to use someone else’s template. I know that this was limiting at first, having little experience with HTML prior to sophomore year of college. Through web authoring courses and my own personal time dedication, I’ve really come to make this my own.

It’s gone through a lot of changes since I initially came up with my design. For a long time, I was interested in a splash page with either clouds or some other form of interesting navigation. I built it several different times, modifying it slightly in order to serve a better purpose. The final splash page included javascript animations, to which I am very proud.

In the end, it wasn’t saying what I needed it to say. As “cool” as I thought it was to have a splash page, there was no sense of my interests or what I do. I had to take it off the main site.

I couldn’t bare to remove it completely, after all of the work I had put into it. Feel free to check it out here in the most recently updated format.

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