[theme-reviewers] Options Framework Discussion
devin at wptheming.com
Sat Apr 20 16:07:30 UTC 2013
Hi Chip. As the theme review docs stand now, is including the "Options Framework" directly in the theme (versus plugin) a "required" item or a "recommended" item? I couldn't find anything in the docs that explicitly doesn't allow it.
Chip referred to a couple important user experience items:
"even if a Theme properly handles options such that it functions fully without the Plugin, including options via Plugin still presents a less-than-ideal, or even a bad, user experience. Why should a user have to take the extra time and effort to find, install, and activate a separate Plugin, merely to be able to use an integral Theme feature such as Theme options? I don't view Theme options as an extension of functionality."
I don't agree that installing a plugin is much of a burden for the user. My theme "Visual" displays a notice that lets users know the plugin adds additional functionality. They can click the "Install" link, and the Options Framework instantly downloads and installs for them. This is the same thing someone might do if their theme made use of a custom post type plugin.
I've sucessfully used this method for "Portfolio Press" the last couple years, and no one has reported problems installing the plugin. A couple commercial theme shops like Mint Themes and Organic themes also go this route- and I believe because it is because it makes their theme maintenance easier.
I'd prefer not to update either of my themes to use the included version (versus the plugin), but if that is the requirement to get my latest theme update live I'll go ahead and do it. If we can get that clarified in the theme review docs I think that would also be helpful for other developers who use it.
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