I found that the longest part of a plugin or theme development is creating the options panel, at least in my case. So i like to know what's your take on that. Do you use a ready made framework or class? And if so witch one? Or do you write it up from scratch? Use the settings API or plain options?


  • 4
    @One Trick Pony I don't think this is duplicate, asking about components to speed up development is considerably different from asking how to do it in vanilla WP
    – Rarst
    Jan 22, 2011 at 13:02
  • @Rarst , that's right , and also your take on in, (your being the community)
    – Bainternet
    Jan 22, 2011 at 14:02
  • @בניית אתרים by the way if you end up using something in practice please write about that solution in WordPress frameworks and parent themes community wiki question.
    – Rarst
    Jan 22, 2011 at 15:24
  • @Rarst I will!!
    – Bainternet
    Jan 22, 2011 at 15:48

6 Answers 6


OK so found some more:

  • JeffreyWay / WordPress-Theme-Options-Page - open source class the project is hosted on github aimed at theme developers, looks nice, haven't used it. (link dead) .

  • devinsays / Options-Framework - open source Framework the project is hosted on github aimed at theme developers , i later learned that is has evolved in to Thematic-options very large scaled project that has lots of features. (link dead)

  • helgatheviking / thematic-options-KIA - open source Framework the project is
    hosted on github aimed at help developers build options into their thematic child themes , witch was forked for Thematic-options very much up to date.(link dead)

  • Wordpress AdminPage Class - a commercial solution, packed it features and very easy to use.

  • OptionTree plugin - and IDE for creating option panels , lots of feature and constantly updated, downside is: it's not easily integrated in plugins or themes and default options are not an option (up to version 1.1.1).

that's it for now but still looking to here about your experience.


After a long time of trying I've managed to integrate Options tree with my plugin and after that part was done , I have to say that its never been easier to add options to my plugin, EVER! all done with no code, but using the slick UI that comes with it. So as of now its my favorite with a small exception of being a plugin by it self and not a framework witch makes the integration part a lot harder.


If you read the first update then this will be 180 degree turn, i have stopped using Option-Tree witch was hard to integrate in the first place but mainly for the reason that it create an option row in the options database table for each option you add to it so my plugin has created 287 rows in the database and thats bad for many reasons but the main ones are its hard to remove all of them at plugin deactivation and you have to create a get-option call for each one of them so that's a lot of database calls. Since that little set back,I found that most of the frameworks listed up here work in the same manner of each option gets its own row. So i modified AdminPage Class to save all options per admin page in an array of options and and now my plugin only generates 7 Rows in the database and at most i only need to call the get_option function 7 times so that saves lots of database calls, I'll contact the creator of AdminPage Class and ask him to consider this modification but other then that it very easy to use and even easier to manage.

Last Update

if anyone is still keeping score here, then i ended up coding my own

option panel class

enter image description here which it's main features are:

  • Open source, GPL licensed.
  • Works with plugins as well as themes
  • OOP Code all the way (which means easy to extend and modify).
  • Import Export Options.
  • All Options saved as a single row in a database.
  • Available fields are:
    • Input
    • Textarea
    • Radio button
    • Checkbox
    • Select Dropdown
    • File Upload
    • Image Upload
    • WYSIWYG editor
    • Date Picker
    • Time Picker
    • Color Picker
    • Taxonomy List Dropdwon or checkboxes
    • Post list Dropdown or checkboxes
    • WordPress User Roles Dropdown or checkboxes
    • Syntax Highlighted Code Editor (PHP, CSS, HTML, JAVASCRIPT)
    • Typography Field (set of size, color, face, family fields)
    • Sortable Drag & Drop
    • Repeater Field
    • Plupload field
    • hooks and filters all over the place so you can customize just the way you'd like
  • Great work! Any plans to add tabular data?
    – Kevin
    May 4, 2012 at 4:41
  • @Kevin, tabular like what?
    – Bainternet
    May 6, 2012 at 10:06
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    Simply jaw droping... Mi∫∫ing wørds here... Basically this A deserves this score, no less. . . . Cannot wait to play with this :o[) . . . . Wouldn't the Last Update be better placed on top? . . . And option panel class in <h1>? . . . Again: WOW, gazzillions thanks for this!
    – brasofilo
    Jul 24, 2012 at 15:17
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    thanks for the kind words, let me know what you think after you use it.
    – Bainternet
    Jul 24, 2012 at 15:34
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    is this what i have been looking for my whole life!? :) i'm honored my humble options panel got included in the answer. i actually think devin's OF framework evolved out of his thematic options and not the other way around. i tried to one-up him, but then he blew me out of the water w/ OF. i wish i could use OF for plugins and have toyed w/ porting it. can't wait to check out your class. thanks!! Aug 26, 2012 at 2:23
  • scbFramework has related classes, I used it for one plugin and it saved me plenty of time;

  • WPAlchemy MetaBox I see a lot of mentions for this around, hadn't used it myself yet;

  • Hybrid Core has set of functions for pages/metaboxes/settings, but it probably won't make sense to use it just for that.

  • That is interesting for some reason I never though just using a page template with meta boxes for a theme options page and WpAlchemy looks interesting.
    – Wyck
    Jan 22, 2011 at 16:36

The UpThemes team has just released their options framework as an opensource for everyone. It worth to take a look.


I had been using this , I liked how it outputs a iframe preview, but I started to just write my own since I'm figuring this stuff out.



The devinsays Options-Framework has now evolved more, into the Options Framework Plugin/Options Framework Theme.

This is beautiful and user-friendly, and there is documentation about including it right in your theme code. However, if you wanted to incorporate it into a plugin, that would take some work.


I think we can add Infinity Theme Anti-Framework to this list. http://infinity.presscrew.com/

  • I've heard of it but never seen or used it, share you exp.
    – Bainternet
    Nov 16, 2011 at 16:40
  • First of all, they have best image upload system. I am 100% certain on that. I am exploring other sections. Nov 16, 2011 at 19:53
  • Update: I think i found my theme system for wordpress. I dont think there is any other theme framework like infinity. Nov 19, 2011 at 18:15
  • Care to elaborate?
    – Bainternet
    Nov 19, 2011 at 18:34
  • Its soon going out of beta. I think it will be more better to wait for it. Nov 19, 2011 at 22:06

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